View Full Version : Citizen Erased
September 24th, 2005, 08:56 AM
Remember that joint project between Kedzuel and myself I mentioned back in the story, Lost Innocence? Well, here it is - all finished and ready for your perusal. This is to set up events for the next - and indeed last - MGX story.
Dr. Yuji Shinoda drove through the busy Tokyo streets, seemingly getting stopped at just about every red light. He didn't like driving through Tokyo's streets, especially not at this time of day. His car had seen better days - it was scratched in a couple of places, the labels for the Godzilla Prediction Network - the privately-funded enterprise he was in charge of - fading away. The computer equipment in the back of the car had not been used for some time - not since last year, in fact. He still kept it all maintained, but he'd not had any reason to use it for ages. Godzilla had not surfaced in Japan for some time, and in any case Shinoda was retired from active G-Chasing, so he had little reason to use everything these days.
Still, at least he had a windscreen. He'd found himself driving without one once, an experience he wasn't keen to repeat. That had happened 5 years ago, when he, his daughter Io, and their reporter friend Yuki Ichinose had gotten especially close to Godzilla. The towering reptile had peered through the windscreen to get a better look at them, like some kind of curious child. Yuki had panicked, and jammed the shutter release on her camera. The sudden flash from the camera had driven Godzilla into a rage. He'd roared, smashing the windscreen, and Shinoda had been forced to beat a hasty retreat as Godzilla came tearing after them. He'd given up the chase when they were safely away from him though, and had gone back to taking a 'stroll' through Nemuro. That had been a highly dangerous occasion, but it was a memory Shinoda was rather fond of, given that he had never been closer to Godzilla before or since. Surely he had to be one of the few people who had looked Godzilla in the eye and lived to tell the tale?
Mixed among the detritus of the computer equipment was a variety of shopping bags - Shinoda's groceries for the week. He'd spent a few good hours in town, making sure he had everything he needed. Now that Godzilla hadn't appeared here for so long, Shinoda was starting to eat regular meals again, whereas before he often had to skip them as he went out G-Chasing. In fact, he felt like Godzilla's long absence was something of a mixed blessing - funds for the outfit were at an all-time low, though this was helped a little by Io's skilled management of his bank papers. They had enough funds to see them through for a while. Shinoda felt that he had been getting used to being a 'family man' again - able to find time for other activities, and getting used to running a household again. He'd been able to spend a lot more time with Io - they usually did anyway, but at least Shinoda now felt Io was able to grow up normally, like every other child...
He'd always found the idea of 'normality' stupid though. After all of the things he'd seen and experienced, life constantly threw surprises at those unprepared for it. So to try to lead a 'normal' life was pure folly. He still kept an eye on his tracking systems every now and then, just to make sure Godzilla was not making any more moves. Things had been very quiet over this last month...
Beside him sat ten year-old Io, her black hair tied back in a long ponytail, wearing a denim jacket over her yellow shirt, and a red skirt - no doubt she'd soon be ditching skirts in favor of jeans soon enough, Shinoda thought, knowing that she'd hit her teens before he knew what hit him. Io was smart beyond her years though - a habit born out of necessity rather than teaching. She'd been an enormous help in keeping the GPN running, and had often accompanied Shinoda on his G-Chases - Shinoda had never been able to find a sitter for her for obvious reasons. She had been forced to grow up pretty quickly in that regard. Yet she was still able to find time to just... well, be a kid, and her relationship with her father was a strong one. Shinoda was really glad that she was with him, and knew she'd grow up to be a fine, upstanding woman. Her mother would have been proud of her.
As he headed onto the highway, back towards the distillery that he and Io called 'home', he passed by a spot that overlooked the bay, which had long ago been reconstructed after Godzilla's last visit. He remembered this spot very well, especially of the people he had met. One person in particular, who Shinoda had regarded as a friend for three years. He didn't know what his friend was doing now though... Hopefully nobody did.
Something of what Shinoda had been thinking must have shown on his face, for Io spoke up; "Yen for your thoughts?"
Shinoda snatched a glance back at her. He paused for a moment before answering;
"Oh, you know..." Shinoda said, trying to remain offhand, "Just thinking about the past... everything we've accomplished... We've been through a lot together, eh?"
Io wasn't buying it though. She knew her father well enough to know when he was keeping his true feelings concealed. She had the feeling she knew what was bothering him... because she'd been thinking the same thing.
"You're missing Alan, aren't you?" she said, reasonably. Shinoda froze for a moment, before nodding. He knew he couldn't hide anything from his daughter, who seemed to have inherited her inquisitiveness from him. He knew Io had often looked up to Alan Tyler - a highly-skilled G-Chaser and photographer - as a sort of role model - not exactly a great choice, but he wasn't about to hold that against her. Often she'd been saying that the first thing she'd buy when she came into money was a motorbike like Alan's... even though that bike was now officially theirs now. Shinoda planned on giving it to her once she was old enough and had passed her tests.
"Yeah," he said. "It's just the way he left, having to practically flee the country like that. Leaving your old life behind must be a terrible thing for someone to go through... I suppose it's like that with those 'Witness Relocation Programs'. Something terrible happens, and you have to leave everything behind to save yourself from persecution."
"But why can't the CCI leave Alan alone?" Io said indignantly. "It's not like anyone will believe what happened to him if he tells them, so they'd be wasting their time trying to keep him quiet."
"You'd think so," Shinoda said wearily. He had told Io everything that had happened to Alan, and of all the horrible discoveries he'd made within the CCI's walls. He saw no sense in leaving her in the dark - she was old enough and mature enough to hear the truth. "Thing is, not everyone thinks like we do. If they believe Alan will blab, they'll move to silence him. Besides... what if they find a way to use his abilities as a weapon? That would spell disaster for us all... for Alan and Gojira especially. Alan cares deeply about Gojira, probably even more so than ever now, he'd never do anything to hurt him, but he may be forced into it against his will, by people like those at the CCI. It's for the best that he remain away from Japan, where the CCI can't touch him. That way both of them remain safe."
Shinoda's fears were not entirely unfounded. A month ago, Alan had broken into the CCI building and recovered numerous damning files of some of the secrets the CCI had to hide. Amongst them he'd made a horrible discovery - the CCI had injected samples of Organizer G-1, a part of Godzilla's genetic code, into Alan and two of his friends. The cells merged with the humans' own, mutating them all by varying degrees. Alan was the least affected, aside from his mind. Through some unexplainable phenomenon, Alan was capable of sharing his mind with Godzilla, allowing him to see through the monster's eyes. This was not through Alan's choice though, but if anyone ever found a means by which they could get Alan to control Godzilla's mind altogether... It didn't bear thinking about.
That was Shinoda's biggest fear, that someone would find a way to use both Alan and Godzilla as weapons. Alan knew this all too well, and had been forced to flee Japan. No doubt he was still in hiding in the United States - he'd not even so much as posted a message on the G-Chaser Network, nothing to let anyone know that he even existed...
Io folded her arms, scowling.
"I've never understood why people keep trying to hurt Gojira," she said, dispiritedly, "It's not like he deliberately sets out to hurt anybody! People can't hurt him, but they still keep trying. Now they tried to merge him with humans... That's the sickest thing I ever heard."
"I know, and I agree," Shinoda said, "There's nothing we can do about it now though, except pray that Alan doesn't get discovered." He shook his head, clearly troubled by the nagging possibility that Alan had been discovered. "It's times like this that make me wonder whether Gojira's attacks against humanity were justified, all this time... I wonder how he felt finding out what we had done to his father... I know he and Kiryuu seem to have accepted each other for what they are, but I wonder how Gojira felt the first time he learned the truth... that his father had become the Mekagojira."
"I would think it would have been as big a shock for him as it would be for everyone else," Io stated. "Fancy meeting someone you'd long presumed dead... It would blow anyone's mind."
"I still can't believe Alan and Kiryuu actually met face-to-face," Shinoda sighed, "or that Alan stole those files for him... It's ironic that the original Gojira would want to learn about his death... Still, at least it meant Alan had been able to reveal the truth about Monster Zero to the world. I guess that's one thing we can thank Kiryuu for."
A month ago, only a couple of days after Alan left for the United States... that had been when the news had spread. All of the world's media stations had received incontrovertible proof of the cover-up that both the British and American governments had played to hide the truth of the creature most knew as 'Monster Zero' to the world. Both governments had inadvertently had a hand in summoning the monster - two scientists, Dr. Martin O'Brien and Dr. Lesley Jenkins, had discovered fossilized cells - M0 cells, they were called - that were later revealed to actually belong to Monster Zero. The theory was that the cells had called the creature here. Both governments tried to wash their hands of the affair, hence the cover-up that had lasted for over two years. No doubt they were even now trying to find the source of the leak, but if Kiryuu had recovered that proof, they had no chance, and Alan would've covered his own tracks far too well. It was scary what the bio-mechanical dinosaur could do...
"Speaking of Monster Zero..." Io mused, "You have any idea what's been done to prepare for if he comes back?"
"Last I heard," Shinoda said, "Miyasaka said the Japanese government has been in talks with other countries, like Russia and Great Britain, to discuss anti-monster measures that may prove effective in driving him off. Kiryuu's really our best hope, though... I wonder if Gojira will fight too..."
Finally, Shinoda pulled up outside the distillery. He and Io got out of the car, and proceeded to start pulling shopping bags out of the back seat.
"Do you think there's any hope?" Io then asked. Shinoda just looked at her. He really wasn't sure how to answer that. From what Alan had told him about Monster Zero, the creature seemed even more powerful than Kiryuu and Godzilla combined... If they lost, then what could possibly fight against him? Was he being too pessimistic already, just thinking this?
"I don't know..." Shinoda said, quietly. Io looked like she'd expected an answer like that - she wasn't sure about the outcome of the seemingly inevitable battle, of how either Godzilla or Kiryuu could win...
"I guess..." Shinoda continued, "We'll just have to see what happens. Take things as they come..." He walked over to Io, and pulled her close to him. "We can't just give up though... All we can do is the best we can, no matter how hard things get."
Io just nodded. The battle to come would be hard... but they'd find a way to pull through. They usually did, why should Monster Zero be any different?
With that in mind, the two picked up their shopping bags, and headed back through the distillery.
September 24th, 2005, 08:57 AM
Invasion of Privacy
Shinoda didn't often speak with the staff and managers of the distillery. Usually just an acknowledging 'hello' or something, just to let them know that he acknowledged their existence. After all, if it wasn't for this place he probably wouldn't have an office or even a home. So it was quite a surprise for him when, upon walking across the noisy ground floor of the distillery, that the short, bespectacled, plump manager approached him and Io, seemingly panic stricken.
"Mr. Shinoda!" he yelled, running towards them, "Mr. Shinoda! It's terrible!"
The manager stopped just in front of them, gasping for breath. Shinoda was taken aback. The manager looked terrified out of his mind about something. He kept pointing nervously towards the back of the distillery, where the staircase to the GPN's offices was located...
"What is it?" Shinoda said, holding the manager's shoulders and trying to calm him down, "Just take it slowly... What happened?"
"They came...." the manager stammered, in-between intakes of breath. "Men in suits... said they were with the CCI... said they had a warrant to search the place... your offices in particular... I couldn't stop them... They'd've arrested me on the spot... They... they..."
Shinoda's eyes went wide. He had a horrible feeling as to what had happened. Without pausing, he dropped his shopping bags and ran for the stairs leading to the attic. Io followed close behind him. Several of the staff had paused in their work to watch the whole spectacle. When the two reached the attic, all of their worst fears were confirmed...
The attic offices of the GPN were completely wrecked, turned upside-down. Indeed, it almost looked like the CCI had detonated a bomb in them. Filing cabinets had been thrown open, charts and maps pulled off the walls, papers strewn all over the floor and surfaces. A couple of the little potted plants Shinoda kept in here were on the floor, the pots smashed and their contents scattered all over. Even the small kitchen and living areas had been raided, pots and pans and a variety of other amenities scattered. Jars full of liquid had been broken, their contents now dampening the papers. One of them, Shinoda noticed, was the jar he kept Godzilla's skin sample in, the sample itself visible, lying unprotected amongst all the papers.
Shinoda's breathing went ragged. All of his life's work, everything he had been working for... now much of it destroyed in one fell swoop. Io was quiet, trying to force back tears.
"They..." she said quietly, almost as if speaking was becoming painful. "They must have been looking for the files Alan took... But why here?"
"I..." Shinoda stammered, "Did they... Miyasaka... He wouldn't have..."
Dr. Shiro Miyasaka, a long-time friend of Shinoda and his contact in the CCI, knew about what Alan had done to retrieve the files from the CCI. Shinoda's biggest fear was that Miyasaka had talked, even after promising he wouldn't. Had he finally cracked and told them where they could start looking? However, Shinoda didn't have the files... They were safely out of the country. No doubt Kiryuu had them now, so they'd never be seen again...
It seemed the CCI had finally got a lead that they could follow up on... No doubt Katagiri was pleased... That man had been looking for an excuse to shut Shinoda's outfit down for a long time. He must have been thrilled to hear he could ransack the GPN's offices. Shinoda was sickened by the thought, but he wouldn't put it past the man. Io meanwhile was trying to salvage some order out of the chaos by trying to pick up the myriad files and sort them. Some of them were hopelessly drenched, and it looked like the CCI had torn some of them up. Others were missing entirely. Io looked back at her father in dismay.
"How could they..." she said, the bitterness in her voice evident. "Why? Do you think they could have found out about who took the files from their offices?"
Shinoda just shook his head, not sure how else to answer. He noticed his computer had been turned on - they must have been looking through his address books. He searched through all of his records, finding out several of his notes on Godzilla had been deleted. He didn't doubt that they had downloaded all of his data before deleting it. However, Shinoda had been very careful to ensure that all traces of his contact with Alan had been deleted. In truth, he'd half-expected something like this to happen, so had taken steps to ensure nothing could be found out about Alan from his servers. The CCI couldn't possibly have any proof that Alan and Shinoda were connected...
"Oh no!" Io suddenly said. Shinoda spun around, finding Io holding up a box marked 'Videos'. The box was now empty. Shinoda knew instantly that the CCI must have taken the lot.
"You don't think they could find out about Alan from them, do you?" she continued fearfully. Shinoda feared they could. One of the tapes had been made by Yuki two years back, showing Alan involved in a G-Chase... If they saw the tape, they'd know instantly who was on it... He held his head in his hands, hiding his face. Io knew instantly that Shinoda was answering in the positive to her question.
"Well, that's it..." Io said, looking utterly defeated. "They know that we're connected to Alan... They'll be figuring out what happened... They'll want to talk to us about him, and who knows what they'll do... They'll be getting everything they need to know..."
Shinoda then remembered something. Even if the CCI did know about Shinoda's connections to Alan, they wouldn't know where Alan was, would he? He'd not heard anything about any further searches for Alan from Miyasaka... there wasn't any reason to panic just yet... Besides, they didn't know the full circumstances of the CCI raid... They didn't know about everyone that was involved...
"Not everything, sweetheart," Shinoda said. From an inside pocket of his sleeveless jacket he pulled out a piece of a glistening black metal tentacle. This was a piece of the Utah Foundation's fabled bio-syntech, artificial muscle tissue that was a part of Kiryuu himself. Kiryuu had had Alan pass it on to him, as a gift, he'd said. Kiryuu had also emailed Shinoda himself a couple of times in the past... even phoning him and speaking to him once...
Shinoda had been careful to erase any contact he'd had with Kiryuu. Just as he had done with Alan, he'd removed all traces of email contact. He'd kept the tentacle close to him at all times, not able to leave it here for fear of something like this happening.
"At least they still don't know Kiryuu was involved," he said, confident in what he was saying. If the CCI had gained proof of Kiryuu's involvement, then they would really be in serious trouble. It could even dangerously delay any efforts to defend the human race from Monster Zero, and if that happened they were all doomed...
"Maybe..." Io said faintly, knowing that they were not out of the woods by a long shot. "But what do we do? We can't keep protecting Alan now, and if they start questioning us they'll soon find out Kiryuu's involvement... What can we do?"
Shinoda sat for a few moments, in silence. He was turning things over in his head. What could they do? Somehow Alan had to be warned... Nobody knew where he was though. It wasn't safe for either him or Io to remain in Japan any longer either...
There was only one thing they could do... it was drastic, but they had to do it... He looked back at Io, a much more determined look on his face.
"We'll beat them to it," he said. "We'll find Alan first. It's not safe for us to remain here, so what do you say about a trip to the United States?"
At first it looked like hope was dawning in Io's eyes. They'd go to the USA... they'd find Alan... then a horrible doubt came into her mind that knocked that hope out of her.
"America's a huge place..." she said, doubtfully, "How will we know where to look? We may never find him in such a large country, especially since he doesn't want to be found."
"We've still got to try though," Shinoda said, more determinedly, "I hate to think what will happen if Alan is caught and taken back to the CCI. Besides..." he paused for a moment, looking back at the tentacle still clutched tightly in his hand, "... I want to return this to it's owner."
"You mean..." Io said, her eyes growing wider, "... You're taking that back to Kiryuu?!"
"Not exactly," Shinoda said. "We obviously can't speak to Kiryuu directly, but I do know someone who may be able to help. An old acquaintance of mine - Dr. Katsura Yugami - is one of the key staff on the Mekagojira project. I'll return this to her, and she can pass it on to Kiryuu. He needs to be alerted of this as well. He may be able to find Alan when we can't." He paused for a moment, seemingly gathering his words. He wanted to ensure Io that all hope was not lost, even though he himself wasn't so sure. "I can't hold onto this anymore. I'm not about to give the CCI any help in finding out if Kiryuu was involved, and I'm certainly not going to help them to find Alan. We've got to do this, help any way we can."
Shinoda also had a slightly personal reason for going. He remembered he'd had a crush on Katsura for a long time during their college days, but he'd never gathered up the nerve to ask her out. He could understand that there wasn't likely to be any future with her, he just wanted to see her again... for old times' sake.
For a moment, it seemed Io's spirits were lifted slightly. She was then brought crashing down to Earth with another realization;
"But neither of us can speak English," Io lamented, "How are we going to get around that?"
For a moment, it looked like Shinoda was stumped with that one. However, an answer soon came to him;
"Last time I spoke to Yuki," he said, "she said she'd be out in the United States. It hasn't been that long since I last saw her, she may still be out there. She speaks English, she'll be able to give us a hand."
Shinoda couldn't help but wonder if they could persuade Yuki to help them. She'd put G-Chasing behind her long ago. This wasn't a G-Chase though... Surely she'd be able to make a concession just this once.
"Could you start packing anything you think you might need?" he asked. "I have the feeling we'll be staying out there for a long time. I'll join you in a minute, I've got a couple of things to do first."
Io nodded, and left the room. She figured she may as well start packing her father's stuff as well - he wasn't very organized when it came to this kind of thing. Shinoda meanwhile was about to pick up the phone... then remembered that the CCI could well have his phone tapped. He wouldn't put it past them to do this, to try and catch him out. They could be monitoring everything that came out of his accounts. That was why he wasn't willing to trust the post to get the bio-syntech sample to the USA, in case the package was lost or intercepted.
In the end, he abandoned the idea of the phone and instead pulled out his mobile. He knew he'd be using long-distance, he only hoped he had enough credit left as he dialed Yuki's number. After a while, the line connected.
"Yuki?" he began, "It's Dr. Shinoda here... Yeah, it's been a while... Listen, I can't talk for long... Io and I are flying out to Salt Lake City in Utah..., are you still out in the States?... Thank God... Any chance we can meet up? It's really important... Really?... Are you sure we're not interfering in anything?... Okay... Thanks a lot, Yuki... I've got to go now... I'll explain everything when we meet.... Alright, I'll see you in a couple of days... Okay... Sayonara."
With that, he hung up. Yuki had agreed, rather enthusiastically, to meet up with them about a day after their arrival in Utah. He wondered if she'd be so enthusiastic when she heard what she was about to get herself involved in, but right now they needed her help. Using his mobile again, he phoned Tokyo International Airport and arranged for a flight out of Tokyo to leave that night. He was thankful that Io had managed their finances enough to enable them to pay for the trip. He wondered how long their funds would last though...
He then pulled out a pen and a piece of paper, and started to write a letter. It was a letter to Katsura, which he intended for Io to get to her if the worst should happen to him. Hopefully things wouldn't come to that, but just in case they did, he thought it best that they had a backup plan.
Afterwards, he headed through to meet Io, to find that half of his packing had been done for him. Io had decided not to take much, so she'd found time to start packing his things too. Shortly after, the two of them were on their way to the airport. Shinoda began to understand how Alan felt when he had to leave that day... For he too had the feeling that he was being forced to leave his old life behind...
However, in that dark night, neither of them realized that they were being followed all the way to the airport…
September 24th, 2005, 08:58 AM
Mitsuo Katagiri, Japanese Minister of Defense and CEO of the Crisis Control Intelligence agency, viewed the screen one more time, in the lavish Prime Minister's office. He had been ordered to keep the Prime Minister, Hirohito Ifume, updated with any word of progress in his investigation into the disappearance of three confidential files from the CCI's vaults. Over the last month, he had not had anything substantial to follow up on, and the frustration had been mounting up in him. Whoever had stolen the files had not left any traces that could be followed. Same thing applied to the hacker who all but destroyed their security systems the night the files went missing, no substantial leads had come from his investigation into that either. The hacker had been extremely crafty, every address they traced was a dummy, and no other traces of his techniques could be discovered. Katagiri felt that he really didn't need this. Most days he had enough on his plate, especially if Godzilla decided to come to call. Mind you, Godzilla had been quiet lately, making Katagiri wonder if the monster had finally given up... without even giving Katagiri the satisfaction of killing the beast.
However, as he viewed the screen another time, he finally started to feel some kind of satisfaction... It looked like their experiments five years ago had given results beyond what anybody could imagine...
"Explain to me," said Ifume, as he viewed the tape with Katagiri, "Just how will this help us learn who sabotaged the CCI's systems and stole the files?" He finished with some skepticism - Katagiri was the best man he could rely on for an emergency like this, but sometimes he had to wonder what went through his mind.
Katagiri paused the tape. The tape had been recovered from the GPN's headquarters, and was dated two years ago, during a G-Chase through Tokyo. Katagiri had been astounded at the actions of one man in particular on the tape. The tape was now paused on a frame showing the man clearly, his golden reptilian eyes clearly visible.
"It proves to me," Katagiri said, his look deadly serious, "that our experiment went better than any of us first thought. Subject #3 has developed into a truly remarkable creature... even if that now makes him a threat, especially if he is a contact of Dr. Shinoda."
"How can you possibly know Dr. Shinoda stole the files?" Ifume countered, "You don't have any proof! I know that you two have a history, I hope you're not using this as some excuse to satisfy your grudge!"
Katagiri stood up to his full height. He was quite tall amongst the majority of the Japanese, a good half-foot taller than Ifume anyway.
"I told you, didn't I?" Katagiri stated, almost as if lamenting Ifume's lack of short-term memory, "You remember me telling you what I heard?" He pulled a cassette tape out of his pocket, and stuck into Ifume's cassette player. "Dr. Miyasaka doesn't know I have all calls recorded, even those of high-level employees. Someone in my position has to be careful with these things, in case my own employees, even ones I've known for years, try to betray me... Betraying me is betraying their country."
He pressed play on the cassette player. Instantly, Dr. Miyasaka's voice was recognizable, nervous and scared.
"So..." Miyasaka started, pausing for a while, quite possibly checking that no-one was listening, "What about Alan and the files? Are they safe?"
"I've not heard anything since he left Japan last month," Shinoda's voice spoke, "I can only hope that means he's managed to stay hidden..." At this Shinoda paused, wondering whether or not to mention some delicate subject or other. "I hope he's okay."
"I know..." Miyasaka said, "I'll never forgive myself for getting involved in those experiments in the first place..."
Katagiri then switched the player off. Clearly he figured Ifume had heard enough. It wasn't like there was much else to go on that tape anyway.
"You granted me a warrant to search the headquarters of the Godzilla Prediction Network based off of that excerpt," Katagiri said, smugly. "Who are you to say I'm rushing into things prematurely? You want to know who stole those files as much as I do, why else would you have granted me clearance?"
"But you still didn't find any proof!" Ifume said, getting more frustrated, "What we have certainly isn't grounds for arrest for the theft."
"Then obviously he's passed them on to somebody," Katagiri said bluntly. "Perhaps to #3. Why else would he have gone into hiding now, after all these years?"
"All these years..." Ifume said, trying to figure out what Katagiri meant. It quickly dawned on him though, and he felt he understood how deceitful Katagiri really could be. "He's been here in Tokyo the whole time, and you never took action?!"
"I didn't see the point," Katagiri shrugged. "I've been monitoring the G-Chasers' actions for some considerable years now. I have wondered what we could possibly learn from them, to figure out new ways of training the JSDF more effectively in combating Gojira. It was through monitoring the chasers' Internet activities that I learned of #3's continued existence. He has an email account, and a gallery where he posts photographs he has taken of the monsters. Clearly, he didn't remember what we had done to him five years ago, why else would he not be in hiding? So I didn't feel there was any reason to panic. Besides," Katagiri smirked, "Even if he did remember and talk, who would believe him?"
"Yet now, if your suspicions are correct," Ifume countered again, "then Shinoda will have passed the files onto him! #3 will know what we did, and could now go public at any minute!"
"I doubt it," Katagiri said. "To do so would be to admit he himself stole the files, possibly collaborating with hackers to do it. I doubt he'd be so willing to incriminate himself, even if it was for Shinoda's sake. I'm willing to bet either he or Shinoda know the identity of the hacker who disrupted our systems... even though I think the answer to that question is obvious to us both."
"Perhaps," Ifume said, shaking his head, "However, without proof, we cannot make a case against the Utah Foundation or their creation. I knew I should've had that monstrosity unplugged the moment I learned of what it truly was..." He hung his head even lower, almost as if ashamed to show his face. "I knew all of this would come back to haunt me... Not just the Mekagojira project, but also G-Synthesis."
G-Synthesis was a name that Katagiri had given the beta experiment with Organizer G-1. The name change had not been officially recorded, but Katagiri and Ifume referred to it as that. It had seemed particularly relevant after the discovery of #3's ability to enter Godzilla's mind.
"I knew keeping those abominations alive would be a bad idea," Ifume continued, his anger gradually overtaking any regret he might have had. "After what you reported to me about their mutations, I should've ordered them terminated there and then. But no... I said keep them alive and see what happens. I can't believe I listened to you."
Katagiri smirked. Ifume trusted his judgment, especially as far as matters of Godzilla were concerned. He was the best commander of all anti-Godzilla efforts that the JSDF had ever had... of course Ifume had to trust his judgment. He still believed the mutants still had some use... though he felt it a pity that #3, by far their most promising subject, may have to be eliminated.
He leaned across Ifume's desk, his face close to the Prime Minister's own.
"Alan Tyler is our country's dirty little secret," he said, in a low, icy voice, "Just like Monster Zero was America's and Britain's... and the exposure of the truth about that monster didn't help their governments one bit. I've read about some of the things that have been happening in those countries since. Anti-government protests, riots in the streets, calls for the governments to stand down... If the full truth about G-Synthesis was revealed, the same would happen to us..."
Ifume looked at Katagiri with wide eyes. He had an idea as to what Katagiri wanted, but he was still uncertain.
"Are you blackmailing me?!" he said.
"No," Katagiri said, deathly serious. "I'm stating that, with our knowledge of how to drive back Gojira, people will be looking to us for support should Monster Zero ever return. We cannot defend this country if we are forced to stand down... all because of one scientist who knew too much. Are you really willing to take that risk? I'm a soldier, not a politician - I know when a threat has to be silenced, to eliminate the risk."
Ifume was torn. He didn't want to use men and resources to go off on possible wild goose chases. They didn't have any conclusive proof, outside of the tape recording, and that on it's own was not enough. All they had were vague theories and accusations... and Katagiri still seemed willing to play along with them.
Still, he felt Katagiri had a point. There was an election coming soon, and he didn't want to jeopardize any chances of being re-elected. Besides, from day one he had mistrusted the Mechagodzilla, despite Katagiri's seeming excitement at the machine, and he felt that, even if there was just a slim chance, he could finally shut down the Utah Foundation's operations.
First of all, however, they had to get their hands on Dr. Shinoda... and then #3, Alan Tyler, whatever Katagiri called it...
Just then, there was a shrill ringing from Katagiri's mobile. Katagiri answered.
"Katagiri... Really? How long ago was this?... Where are they going?... I see... Thank you... Goodbye."
"What is it?" Ifume asked, as Katagiri hung up. "Any further developments?"
"Seems our dear Dr. Shinoda and his daughter are on their way to Salt Lake City in Utah," Katagiri stated, "I left two of my men outside the distillery to trail him should he leave. So it seems he could be going out there to rejoin with #3... I also find it hard to believe that he's also heading for Kiryuu's home state by mere coincidence."
"Damn-it, Katagiri..." Ifume muttered, "Sometimes I fear at the lengths you will go to."
"I will do whatever's necessary to complete my job," Katagiri said, his eyes narrowing. "Now, will you or will you not grant me permission to pursue him?"
Ifume could see that there was nothing to be gained from allowing their leads to leave. There was a danger that the information on G-Synthesis - not to mention the Oxygen Destroyer - could go public at any moment, and so far Dr. Shinoda was the only lead they had. He turned back to Katagiri.
"You have permission," he stated, "Find Dr. Shinoda, apprehend him and find out what he knows. Should you locate the whereabouts of subject #3, I want him brought back alive."
"Oh, so you do believe that there is a chance for G-Synthesis to work?" Katagiri asked, with mock surprise.
"Don't misunderstand me," Ifume stated, "I will do anything to ensure that this information is not made public. If the worst comes to the worst, you have permission to use lethal force. Hopefully things won't come to that, though - there's been enough blood spilled in our battles against Gojira."
"As you wish, sir," Katagiri said. He personally felt that, if Tyler did know too much, then he had to be eliminated to keep him quiet. He could see why Ifume would want to keep him alive - out of those who underwent G-Synthesis, #3 was the only subject to show real promise - but he didn't like the idea of risking a repeat of the events of five years ago. Maybe that's what he'd do... eliminate #3, and tell Ifume that there was no other way... It was certainly an option worth exploring.
"We must proceed cautiously," Ifume stated. "If Mekagojira is really involved in this, we must be careful not to alert its attention. I will arrange for a private flight for you and your best men to Salt Lake City. I will ensure that no records of your flight exist anywhere. Not even Mekagojira will see you coming."
"What of Dr. Miyasaka?" Katagiri asked. He felt Miyasaka could still be a danger, especially after that phone conversation he heard.
"I will keep him under surveillance," Ifume stated. "I will have his mobile tapped. The minute he makes an incriminating move, we'll have him. Now you'd better go. I'll contact you when your flight is arranged."
"Very well," Katagiri said, with a cold smile, "I'll leave now and await your message."
"Katagiri..." Ifume said, then, after a slight pause, he added in a vicious tone, "God help you if you mess this up. If I go down I will take you with me."
Katagiri said nothing. Both of them exchanged silent looks. Finally, as Katagiri left the Prime Minister's office, he felt like he had been insulted. How dare Ifume even suggest that he would fail?! That blowhard wouldn't even be where he was today if it hadn't been for Katagiri's efforts... As he walked through the corridors of the Diet building, several people gave acknowledgments to Katagiri, one or two even saluted. Katagiri didn't pay attention to them. He was too busy thinking over how to handle this situation, even as he stepped out of the building into the cool night air.
At last, he would finally have a chance to settle the account between him and Shinoda... He was convinced Shinoda, Tyler and Kiryuu were involved in the CCI raid, Miyasaka too... All of them would go down for what they had done... He wasn't worried about Monster Zero, he was confident the JSDF could deal with him... This, however, was a threat much closer to home, always the most dangerous kinds... He felt it a shame that Kiryuu would have to be shut down if he found evidence pinning him to the CCI raid... Katagiri himself had come up with the idea, and the mech had performed beyond his wildest expectations. In many ways, Katagiri felt that Kiryuu was a lot like him - both were willing to go to any length to achieve their ends... Still, a crime was a crime, and all criminals had to be punished.
Shinoda had a daughter, right? Io, wasn't it? Perhaps she would make a useful bargaining chip...
September 24th, 2005, 09:00 AM
A couple of days later, Shinoda began to wonder if coming to the United States was really such a good idea...
After he and Io had finally stepped off the plane and into Salt Lake City, he had had numerous problems, all of which revolved around the language barrier. He had inadvertently wound up a taxi driver when he wanted to go to a hotel. He had never been any good with English - he especially had trouble with the letter 'L', and hated the way practically every word in English used it. The taxi driver had not been a patient sort with his difficulties. Io fared little better, but in the end they'd finally managed to get to a hotel and book themselves in.
Things were no better with the hotel staff - it had taken a hired translator to get the point across, and even then his budget could only allow for a room with one bed when they needed two. Shinoda felt like he really didn't need all this hassle, what with his lack of sleep coupled with the seemingly impossible task to come.
In the end though, he and Io had got settled in, and they'd spent the rest of that day getting settled into the room and catching up on sleep. Now, the day after their arrival, Shinoda had only just woken up, feeling like he'd managed to shake off at least some of the jet-lag.
Noticing that Io was still asleep in the bed - Shinoda had been told to sleep on the sofa, after an argument over the only bed in the room - he thought it best not to disturb her. As he was pulling himself into the waking world, there was a sudden loud beeping from his mobile. Figuring who it was, Shinoda pulled it out and read the text he'd just received;
"Reached Salt Lake. Meet me at 'Bar Jack', midday. XX"
It was Yuki. She must have arrived yesterday, unless she didn't suffer from jet-lag to the extent Shinoda did. If only she'd arrived when he and Io had - he probably would've had much less hassle with translations.
He looked at the clock on the wall. It was now 11.05am. He'd slept even longer than he'd first thought. He didn't think he was that tired, but it seemed the rest of his body had told him otherwise.
Bar Jack... Seemed Yuki wanted to have a drink over their discussion. He only hoped this wasn't her idea of a date - now really wasn't the time for that sort of thing. It wasn't that he didn't like Yuki, he just felt there'd be time for getting together for things like this once things had settled down... once he was sure it was safe for him and those he cared about...
He'd always been reluctant to let Io come with him on his G-Chases, but he honestly didn't know what else to do with her - babysitters were somewhat hard to come by whenever Godzilla appeared. So Io had practically grown up with Godzilla, Shinoda only hoped that that hadn't desensitized her or something. Mind you, she'd probably never be as desensitized as Alan probably was... Last time he'd seen him, he'd seemed to have lost all cares about anything, even himself...
Shaking himself awake, he quickly got himself dressed, and headed out of the hotel room, quietly so as not to wake Io, who seemed very capable of sleeping off jet-lag. He headed down to the hotel lobby and, once again with difficulty, he managed to get directions to Bar Jack. He made sure to write them down in Japanese just so he'd remember, borrowing one of the hotel's napkins to do so. He decided to walk for fear of getting into another argument with taxi drivers.
A few minutes later, he felt that perhaps he wouldn't feel so embarrassed by riding in a taxi. For he had the feeling he knew why some people gave him odd looks. He looked decidedly lost in this place, almost frightened. He almost seemed like the stereotypical tourist, a real fish out of water.
Pull yourself together, he thought. You've been following one of the largest and deadliest creatures on this entire planet for years. If you can do that, surely you can keep your wits about you in a strange city on the other side of the world.
He felt that life still had ways of surprising him, even when he thought he'd seen it all...
The streets themselves were crowded with people going about their daily lives, as the human race had done for countless years. Shinoda found this strange - he'd imagined riots and panic at the discovery that a monster that they'd been told didn't exist could possibly return and destroy them all. Some people he noticed did have a sense of unease about them, almost as if they expected Monster Zero to drop out of the sky at any moment, but they were the exception to the rule of calm that seemed to be present.
Finally, he found Bar Jack, tucked away on a fairly busy street. As he entered the bar itself, he wondered why Yuki had picked such a place - the bar seemed rather full, even at this early hour. Everyone here was probably on their lunch break, and were downing a few pints before facing the trials of work again. Shinoda picked a small table, away from the main crowd in here. He was beginning to think that this was a bad idea...
At last, a couple of minutes after midday, Yuki arrived. She hadn't changed much since the last time he's seen her, still with short black hair and baby-blue blouse. She gave a warm smile to Shinoda when she saw him, and went to order drinks from the bar. Shinoda couldn't help but wonder why she was buying drinks, it was far too early for him... As it turned out, she came over with two glasses of orange juice.
"What, no wine?" Shinoda cheekily asked. Yuki only arched an eyebrow.
"Too early, even for me," she replied, "And don't you dare offer to pay for the drinks, they're already bought and paid for. This is my treat, and besides your budgets tight enough as it is."
Shinoda sighed. He knew Yuki had him there. She'd often been ready with a retort of some kind, it had been like that ever since the first time they met. He just sipped his orange juice, even though he felt sure it had been spiked with vodka or something, judging by how it tasted.
"You know," Yuki said, after a minute, "it's lucky that I was able to come out here to see you. You won't believe the amount of cajoling I had to do to get these couple of days off. I'm supposed to be out in Alaska now, but I guess that can wait for a day at least."
Shinoda was now starting to see why Yuki had picked this place and time. More and more people were coming in, and the noise of chatter was starting to build up, so even if anybody else here understood Japanese it would be easy for them to have a quiet conversation without being overheard.
"I really appreciate this, Yuki," Shinoda said, and he meant it. "I really do. I only wish we could've met yesterday - you won't believe the amount of trouble I've had trying to understand English."
"Oh, it really isn't so bad," Yuki said, shrugging. "Don't tell me you never even tried to learn it, not even with that English friend of yours... Alan, was it?"
"I never saw the point," Shinoda said. "Alan had learned Japanese, we just spoke that all the time."
"At least he put in the effort," Yuki said, almost chastising Shinoda, "You should've taken a leaf out of his book."
Shinoda sighed. He felt like right now they were wasting time. Every minute they argued was one that Alan might not have... He even began to fear that the CCI were already on to him...
"Anyway, I see that's not what you're here for," Yuki said, figuring she'd embarrassed Shinoda enough, "So what brings you to the USA anyway? I've never known you to travel abroad before, not even for Gojira, and you're obviously not here just to take in the sights, judging by the tone of your phone call."
"Okay, I'll be frank," Shinoda said, gulping down some more juice. "First though, before I tell you what I need you to do, it's best that I let you know everything that's happened. I'll tell you from the beginning..."
With that, Shinoda talked the longest he had ever done in his life. He told Yuki everything about what had happened to him a month ago, what Kiryuu was looking for, and what Alan had done to get it. He explained to Yuki about the measures both Alan and Kiryuu had taken to find the information they needed, and of how Alan had been forced to leave Japan forever because of it. Yuki was a good audience - she gasped at all the right places, and when she heard about what the CCI had done to Alan, she looked absolutely terrified.
"So..." Yuki said slowly, hardly daring to believe what she was hearing, "... he's related to Kiryuu and Gojira now?"
"Seems like it," Shinoda replied. "Poor Alan... learning all of this must have messed him up terribly. He really looked lost when I last saw him. I don't think he even knew who his real family were. I can't believe this has been kept hidden from me for so long..."
Yuki shook her head, a disbelieving look on her face. "To think I thought those eyes of his were just contact lenses..."
"Humanity's always so damned reckless and destructive..." Shinoda lamented. "Alan told me as such. Just about any discovery can be used as a weapon these days, especially with men like Katagiri around."
"You're saying he wanted to use Alan to control Gojira?" Yuki cut in, "Is that even possible?"
"It's one possibility," Shinoda said, "even if it's just not very likely. I know Alan too well... He's always cared about Gojira, he'd rather die than do anything to hurt him."
Clearly Yuki was having trouble comprehending the scale of what Katagiri had tried to do. She remembered that Shinoda often spoke about how man foolishly rushed headlong into what it didn't understand.... What made men like Katagiri think he could control a force of nature such as Godzilla?
"And these files..." she began, after a beat, "Kiryuu now has them?"
"I can only hope so," Shinoda said bluntly. "It's better that those things be destroyed though. One of them... It had a profile of something called the Oxygen Destroyer... It's the weapon that killed Gojira back in 1954."
"Dear God..." Yuki gasped. If something was actually powerful enough to kill Godzilla... "The CCI had the files for this sort of weapon?! Do you think they were trying to build another one?"
"I really don't know..." Shinoda said, "I wouldn't have thought so, that file didn't say anything about any other such weapons in existence. Dr. Serizawa, who made the weapon, thought he'd destroyed all of his files on the weapon - he even took his own life to seal the secret of it. However, turned out some of his files survived, and have been kept by the government all this time. I only glanced at the file, but I saw enough to know that such a weapon should never be allowed to exist. Dr. Serizawa had a fish tank in his laboratory, where he tested the weapon. It actually liquefied all of the fish in the water. It completely destroys oxygen molecules in the water, causing any living creature caught in the blast to die of asphyxiation, their remains getting liquefied... I didn't want to read any further... To think I told Alan that I didn't know how this thing worked, but I thought he had enough to worry about... It's best that no-one else finds out about the Oxygen Destroyer, the secret of it should've died with Dr. Serizawa."
Yuki was having trouble taking all of this in, this information hitting her like a ton of bricks. She was seriously beginning to worry about what she was getting herself mixed up in. It sounded like they had all stumbled onto more than they bargained for, secrets that should have died 50 years ago...
"Does Io know about any of this?" Yuki asked, feeling she already knew the answer.
"Yeah..." Shinoda said, "I saw no sense in leaving her in the dark. She treats Alan like her role model. If the CCI come after me, then they'll certainly come after Io too... and if they find out I've talked to you..."
Yuki could see what was coming. She leaned over and touched Shinoda's hand tenderly. No matter how dangerous things were, she wanted to help Shinoda any way she could.
"I'm not afraid, Yuji," she said, determinedly. "If you need help, then I'll do what I can. I owe you that much."
Shinoda gave a slight smile. He knew he could count on Yuki, though he still feared what might happen to her if the CCI found out about her.
"Anyway," Yuki said, sipping more of her juice, "What can I do to help then? You had to have called me here for a reason."
"Yeah..." Shinoda said vaguely. At that point he seemed to have slipped into some sort of daydream, but quickly pulled himself out of it. "I need you to find someone for me."
"Alan?" Yuki anticipated. That seemed to be where the whole conversation was leading to, anyway.
"Yeah, but there's someone else," Shinoda said, slightly annoyed that Yuki had cut in like that. "I need you to find the address of Dr. Katsura Yugami. She's involved with-"
"The Utah Foundation." Yuki said. "I read the papers, Shinoda. She's one of the chief science advisors on the Mekagojira Project, right? Why do you need to find her?"
"I've got something that I need to return to Kiryuu as soon as possible," Shinoda explained. "I can't just march into the Utah Foundation's offices and ask to speak to Kiryuu though. I doubt I'm even supposed to have this thing, and I'm definitely not supposed to know about Kiryuu. I know Kiryuu sent it to me as a gift, but I don't think they'll believe me. Dr. Yugami's the only person I know who works closely with Kiryuu, it's best that she receive it directly and pass it on to him."
Yuki had the feeling there was more to it than that, but for once she decided not to pry any further into it. She just began to run through all this in her head... Dr. Katsura Yugami? Where did Shinoda know her from, anyway? She wondered what this 'something' was that he had to return... especially if Kiryuu himself had given it to him...
"Besides..." Shinoda continued, after an awkward silence, "if the CCI catch up to me someone has to keep Io safe." He noticed Yuki opening her mouth to protest, but quickly cut her off. "Before you say anything, I don't want you putting yourself in unnecessary danger. At least if Io's with Katsura then the CCI can't touch her - if they try to get to her they risk alerting Kiryuu to their investigation, and not even Katagiri would dare risk that, knowing what he's capable of."
Yuki looked indignant at first, but then she understood what Shinoda meant. Maybe it was for the best that she trust Shinoda's judgment on this - after all, if it wasn't for him, she probably would have died in G-Chases years ago. She just nodded, a fearful look on her face.
"Don't worry," Shinoda said, "I won't let the CCI catch me so easily, and I know Io won't either. Somehow everything'll turn out okay... we're usually pretty lucky with that sort of thing."
Yuki sighed. "Okay," she said, "I'll do what I can. I still have some contacts who may be able to help. If I find anything, I'll phone you tomorrow, before my flight leaves."
The rest of the time was spent finishing their drinks in silence. Afterwards, the two of them stood up and left the bar, back out into the street.
"Well..." Shinoda said, scratching the back of his head, "I guess this is goodbye again."
"Yeah..." Yuki said, rather awkwardly. She hated the way her meetings with Shinoda were brief these days, but that seemed to be the nature of her job. She loved the traveling, but sometimes it was nice to just settle down and catch up with old times... The two of them looked at each other, almost longingly, for a minute. It seemed words failed them both. In the end, Yuki broke the ice with a small kiss on the lips. Both looked a little awkward afterwards, even though it was what both of them secretly wanted for so long...
"Good luck," she said, fearful, but still with a smile on her face. Shinoda looked back at her, forming a small, nervous smile of his own.
"For all our sakes..." he said.
Finally, the two of them parted ways, both heading back to their separate hotels. As Shinoda headed back to his hotel room, he kept mentally kicking himself. Why couldn't he just bring himself to say what he wanted to say to her, what he had been feeling for her for the last seven years?! He supposed he didn't want to say anything too quickly...
Perhaps, if they all made it through this - the CCI and Monster Zero's next attack - he'd tell her. He probably wouldn't get another chance after that.
September 24th, 2005, 09:01 AM
From Bad to Worse
Io had scolded her father when he returned from his meeting with Yuki. She'd wanted to meet her friend again. Io had known Yuki through much of her life, and had come to regard her as a second mother, so naturally she was not happy about Shinoda leaving her in bed. Shinoda figured this was a no-win situation - she would have been cranky if he'd woken her up anyway, especially if she had jet-lag.
The rest of that day had passed quietly, Shinoda preparing to pack a few things in case they had to travel far to Katsura's residence. He couldn't see how it was too far away from the Utah Foundation's main offices, but it was better to be safe than sorry.
At about midday the next day, Shinoda received the phone call he'd been waiting for from Yuki. There was a lot of noise in the background while she spoke - Shinoda assumed she was already at the airport.
"Yuki!" Shinoda said, his spirits starting to lift, "Did you have any luck?"
"Yes," Yuki said, speaking up slightly due to the noise in her area, "I spoke to a few contacts, and got the address for your Dr. Yugami! Have you got a pen and paper handy?"
"Just a second..." Shinoda said, reaching for some of the hotel's complimentary notepaper and a pen from the bedside table. He leaned against the table, ready to write. "Okay, go ahead."
"It's 361 South Auckland Drive, Provo," Yuki said, Shinoda noting it all down on the notepaper. "Don't worry about how far it is, it's just a couple of hours on the bus from Salt Lake."
"Anything about Alan?" Shinoda asked, tentatively.
"Nothing, I'm afraid," Yuki replied sadly. "Alan really doesn't want to be found, there's no trace of him anywhere. I suppose that's a good thing, in a way, it means the CCI isn't on to him yet."
"That's a relief," Shinoda said, sighing.
"Anyway, I've got to go," Yuki said, "My flight's just been announced. Sorry I couldn't be of any more help."
"Don't worry about it," Shinoda said reassuringly, "You've done more than enough for me right now. Thanks for everything."
"Don't mention it," Yuki said, "Hope everything goes well for you guys. Tell Io I said hi. Sayonara!"
"Sayonara," Shinoda said quietly. With that, he hung up, figuring it best that he not be held responsible for her missing her flight.
"Was that Yuki?" Io asked, rather crossly, "You could have let me say hi to her!"
"Well, she says hi to you anyway," Shinoda shrugged. It didn't sound like there had been a lot of time for extended conversation. Besides, now that they knew Katsura's address, they had a job to do, the sooner the better. Io only sighed - she'd wanted to speak to Yuki, why did her dad persist in rushing through everything?
"We'd better go see if we can catch the bus now," Shinoda said, starting towards the door. He was at it when he suddenly fumbled all over his jacket...
"Oh, damn!" he exclaimed, "I forgot the-"
"I've got them," Io said matter-of-factly. Shinoda had forgotten the paper with the address, not to mention his Japanese-English dictionary, as if that had been any use, and the parcel with the bio-syntech wrapped inside. He had been in such an excited state, longing to go, he'd forgotten the lot.
"I'll hold onto them," Io said, tucking them all inside her jacket, "You'll only forget them otherwise."
Shinoda wondered what sort of teenager Io was going to become, if she was already sassing at him. Then again, he began to wonder if he was going senile already. He decided to let Io hold onto everything anyway. It was probably for the best, in case something happened...
With that in mind, the two of them set out through the city to the bus station. Shinoda hoped that his vague grasp of English would be enough to get them on the right bus - they could end up riding to Mexico for all he knew. He wished Yuki could've stayed just one day longer.
As they passed a police patrol car parked by the busy street, Shinoda suddenly heard his mobile ringing again. He wondered who would possibly be phoning right now. He secretly hoped Yuki's flight had been delayed, and she had to stay with them longer... He pulled out his phone and answered, he and Io stopping while he answered.
"Moshi-moshi?" he answered.
"Shinoda..." Miyasaka's voice answered. Miyasaka's tone instantly had Shinoda worried. He sounded faint, like he had received a horrible shock. Shinoda had the feeling he was about to receive the same shock.
"Miyasaka?" he asked, "What's wrong?"
"I..." it sounded like Miyasaka was lost for words, "I made some inquiries, and now I have grave news... Katagiri's onto you. He's followed you out to Salt Lake City!"
Shinoda gasped. This was impossible. He didn't tell Miyasaka about this trip, so Katagiri couldn't possibly have found out from Miyasaka... He must have found something from his raid on the GPN's offices that linked Alan, and the CCI raid, to them. How did he know they were out in Salt Lake though? Were they followed to the airport?
"Shinoda, I can't believe you'd jeopardize Alan's safety by doing this..." Miyasaka said, chastising Shinoda. He must be speaking on his mobile if he was talking openly about Alan. "However, now's not the time for arguments. Katagiri wants you arrested for the CCI raid, and wants to find out where Alan is from you!"
"I don't know where he is, Miyasaka!" Shinoda answered, honestly, but Miyasaka quickly rebutted him.
"Do you think Katagiri will believe you?" he replied. "Prime Minister Ifume wants Alan alive, he wants to use him in the Organizer G-1 project again, with the other mutants. We know what Katagiri's like though, he won't be so keen to return Alan alive! He'll do whatever's necessary to cover up the truth of what really happened here!"
"Oh God..." Shinoda breathed. Katagiri was on to them... he couldn't be too far behind now... The one comforting thought he had was that they didn't know where Alan was, if they wanted to find out from Shinoda... Then another worrying thought came to mind. "Even if we find Alan, they'll still try to use the other mutants... What do we do?"
"Don't worry, Shinoda," Miyasaka said, his tone becoming more resolute. "I'll terminate the other mutants, and spread the word about the project."
"What?!" Shinoda said, shocked, "But that'll mean you'll-"
"I know..." Miyasaka said, sounding like he was regretting what he was saying, but still determined to proceed. "However, nobody deserves to be treated like those people did... It's better that they sleep, before they can be used to harm others... Everyone has the right to know what happened, of the mistakes we made."
He paused here for a moment, Shinoda was shocked into silence that his friend was willing to risk so much for them...
"It's the least I can do," Miyasaka continued, "...after all the lies. I should never have let this project go ahead, now I'll end it and even the score."
"Miyasaka..." Shinoda said, but it seemed any other words he had planned died in his throat.
"Find Alan at all costs," Miyasaka said, determinedly, almost shouting, "I'll give the order to terminate the other mutants now. After that there's no turning back-"
It was then that a muffled yell was heard, a sound of scrabbling, then a sudden loud thud, as if the phone had just been dropped. Shinoda could hear Miyasaka give a muffled yell, shouting, "What are you doing?!" before being silenced again. Then the line went dead.
"Moshi-moshi?!" Shinoda panicked, with no idea of what had happened to Miyasaka. "Moshi-moshi?!"
"Papa?" Io asked, now becoming agitated, "What is it? What's wrong?!"
"Shiro Miyasaka has been relieved of duty."
That cold, calculating voice belonged to the last person on Earth Shinoda wanted to see right now. For as he and Io turned, they noticed Mitsuo Katagiri stood behind them, with two other CCI officers clad in black suits just behind him. Katagiri was still holding his mobile to his ear, but hung up as he approached Shinoda and Io.
"Prime Minister Ifume notified me of Miyasaka's call," he explained, his voice still full of cold indifference. “I gave the order. He is now under arrest for causing a breach of national security."
Shinoda's eyes narrowed. He had never liked Katagiri, but now, after everything he'd heard about what the man had done, his emotions had changed. He now hated Katagiri, hated every part of him, hated him for everything he had done.
"How long as it been, Dr. Shinoda?" Katagiri asked, "Five years?"
"Not long enough for me," Shinoda replied, pure venom in his voice. "It's not enough that you go to such lengths to destroy Gojira, now you're trying to destroy peoples' lives as well?!"
"Gojira has already destroyed many lives," Katagiri replied coldly, "I'm only doing what's best for my country and its people. If that means I have to silence a leak, then so be it."
"I have no idea what you're babbling about!" Shinoda said, angrily. Several people in the street looked at them, but since they were speaking in Japanese none of them knew what was happening, so they passed by. "Do you honestly think I'd want to get involved in anything you do?!"
"Then why would Miyasaka ask you about three confidential files that went missing from our cabinets?" Katagiri replied, smirking. "I know things in the CCI that not even Miyasaka is aware of. I found out about your connection to the theft. Even if you didn't physically take them, I'll soon find out from you who did. Maybe I'll even find something to connect your new-found friends Alan Tyler and Kiryuu Mekagojira to it..."
"I still don't follow you!" Shinoda replied, "I really don't know anything about them!" Katagiri's eyes narrowed - he knew full well Shinoda was lying. He knew Shinoda knew something about what had happened last month, and he wanted to know what.
"Unacceptable!" Katagiri said firmly, "How can you deny it? We now have evidence connecting both you and Miyasaka to the theft, and we know Kiryuu disrupted our systems. Who else could have done it? The fact that your friend Mr. Tyler is in hiding surely shows he now knows what he is, doesn't it? We know you've been in contact with him, so no doubt you both had a few words about it." He gave an awful, self-satisfied smirk. "We've begun to piece it together, Dr. Shinoda. We're sure you'll be willing to tell us everything, with the right questions. Who knows..." he eyed Io evilly as he spoke, "...it might save your daughter from a lot of embarrassment, if it is revealed that her father conspired with terrorists and traitors."
Shinoda snarled, launching straight at Katagiri with a fist raised.
"You son of a-!"
However, he was cut short by Katagiri's goons, who stepped in front of Katagiri. One of them landed a sucker punch to Shinoda's midsection. Shinoda keeled over, falling to his knees, clutching his waist and gasping for breath.
Io screamed, seeing what was happening to her father, and took the only course of action that seemed viable to her... She ran. She ran as fast as she could away from the ensuing scene. She didn't dare turn around, she could hear Katagiri shouting "GET HER!". She heard several other people shout, one of them calling "OFFICER!" in English. Seemed the goons were pushing people aside in their efforts to get to Io.
Shinoda stared after Io, hoping and praying that she'd escape. He feared that goon was going to catch up to her...
"Freeze!" somebody shouted, and the click of a pistol was heard. A police officer - the owner of the patrol car nearby - had returned to the commotion, and was now pointing his Colt Single Action Army at the goons. Both of them raised their hands in the air and stepped back towards Katagiri, who turned to the officer.
"Officer," Katagiri said, in clear English. Shinoda took a double-take - he didn't know Katagiri spoke English! Then again, he reasoned, Katagiri would have to deal with foreign ambassadors all the time, he would have had to learn English... How could he not have seen this?
"I'm Mitsuo Katagiri," he continued, "CEO of the Japanese Crisis Control Intelligence agency."
"Oh yeah?" the policeman replied skeptically, "Show me some ID."
"As you wish," Katagiri obliged, pulling out his CCI ID card, and a blue piece of paper, handing both to the officer. The cop took both, still keeping his gun trained on Katagiri.
"This man," Katagiri continued, pointing at the wounded Shinoda, "is a suspect in a terrorist case. You'll find that the blue paper is a warrant for his arrest. His daughter has just run off, we hope to find her. It isn't safe for a child to be by themselves in such a large city."
The officer studied the documents. Much of them had been written in Japanese, though it seemed Ifume had provided translations with the documents. He pocketed both documents and holstered his gun.
"You can check directly with my superior," Katagiri continued, "The phone number's on the warrant, as well as a contact number you can use when you're finished with your enquiries."
"Fine," the officer replied, still eyeing them suspiciously. "We'll check all of this back at headquarters. You can take your suspect, but don't anybody think about leaving town until we clear you."
With that, the officer left in his patrol car. Katagiri sighed. That had been too close, but he saw no reason to worry. Surely Kiryuu had better things to do than look through somebody's police records, he'd be preparing himself for Monster Zero's return...
He would have to be extra careful from now on. Shinoda's little outburst had cost them greatly. Now Io was gone, their bargaining chip missing. They would have to make every effort to recover her. For now, he stood over Shinoda, the two goons pulling him to his feet.
"B*stard..." Shinoda muttered. Afterwards, he kept muttering "She escaped... she escaped..."
"Don't worry," Katagiri said, in a falsely concerned voice. "We'll find her soon enough. After all, I meant what I said - it's too dangerous for a child to be all on her own... especially with a possibly dangerous human Gojira running around."
Shinoda shook his head. Katagiri didn't understand a thing... Alan would never do anything to hurt Io... would he?
With that he turned to his goons. "Let's go."
"Kyokai," the two suit-clad officers responded, dragging Shinoda over to their dark car. Pushing Shinoda into the back seat, one of the goons sat next to him, making sure he couldn't run. The other officer drove, while Katagiri was in the passenger seat.
Katagiri knew they were close now to getting all the evidence they needed... All they needed now was Shinoda's daughter... a girl who knew too much... Legally, he could not arrest Io, but he could ensure she could never see her father again... He knew that would be suitable punishment for her. Seemed Shinoda had not been a great disciplinarian... Looked like he, Katagiri, would have to make up for it.
Shinoda meanwhile, could only think of Io, hoping that she could get to safely... that she would find Katsura...
Io didn't stop running until she was several blocks away from Katagiri. Once she was sure she was safely away, she hid in an alley, and began weeping. That foul, evil man... He'd taken her dad away from him, only for trying to protect those he loved... What was the point of even trying when such injustices continued to be performed?! Katagiri wanted to interrogate her father and torture her friend... What could she do? She couldn't do anything... She was lost, all alone, in a strange city on the other side of the world... She knew it was far too risky to go back to the hotel, where else could she go?
She pulled out the notepaper with Katsura's address. Should she try to reach Katsura, and deliver the tentacle to her? She supposed she could try... but she couldn't speak English, how was she going to make her intentions known?
Did she dare move now?
Drying her eyes, she walked out of the alley, and set about trying to find the bus station. For over an hour she walked, seemingly aimlessly, almost as if without purpose. Several people looked at her as she passed, but none of them bothered her.
At last, she came across the bus station. They all looked the same just about everywhere in the world, just big buildings with a large amount of buses parked around them, forever coming and going. The bus station was crowded with people, she hoped nothing happened to her. She'd heard a lot of horror stories about what it was like growing up in this modern world, and only hoped she didn't experience those stories first-hand...
She knew she was looking for a bus to go to 'Provo', she saw that her father had written the address in the nearest Japanese he could. She had started learning English at school, something Shinoda had never had the chance at, and tried to remember what she had learned. The address was '361 South Auckland Drive', right? Well, it seemed that way from her father's scrappy handwriting. So how to get to Provo?
As she wandered around the bus station, seemingly lost in thought, the nagging doubts began plaguing her mind again. She knew very little English, she was all on her own, and no doubt those men from the CCI were still looking for here… What if they were here? She tried desperately to remain calm, but that was something she was finding increasingly difficult.
She was so distracted that she actually walked straight into a uniformed man – one of the staff at the bus station. In her shock, Io released a sharp scream and tried to run, only to find the man gently but firmly holding her arm. She yelled a number of curses in Japanese as she tried to fight the man off.
“Hey! Hey!” the unfortunate staff member – his name tag read Bill – was saying to her. “Hey, take it easy, kid! I’m not going to hurt you!”
It took Io a couple of moments to realize that it wasn’t someone from the CCI who had grabbed her. Instead, as she looked up at Bill’s kindly eyes, she said a number of Japanese phrases, in an effort to apologies for her behavior. Poor Bill looked increasingly confused as she spoke.
“I-I’m sorry,” he said. “I can’t speak… what is it, Chinese? Where are your parents, kid?”
When he failed to get an answer he could understand, he finally sighed, saying “Look, I think we’d better take you to the office.”
He motioned for Io to follow. She did so, though rather reluctantly – she feared she’d miss the bus to Provo. Several minutes later the pair arrived at the main office in the bus station, which was full of office workers and the odd driver who was here on their break. One of the office workers – one Larry – approached them.
“Hey, Bill,” he said, looking down at Io, “Who’s the stray?”
“I haven’t a clue,” Bill replied. “She doesn’t speak English. Poor kid looked scared out of her mind, she was all by herself. I couldn’t just leave her.”
Larry looked down at Io. Larry was a little older than Bill, but much thinner, and was balding. After Bill’s rotund, kindly appearance, Io found Larry rather alarming.
“Know what she speaks?” Larry said.
“I don’t know,” Bill said. “I thought it was Chinese.”
“I know some Chinese…” Larry said. At this, he addressed Io in Cantonese. Now it was Io’s turn to be confused, for she had never heard anyone speaking in Cantonese in her life, and had no idea what Larry was saying. She tried to speak again in Japanese, at which Larry snapped his fingers.
“That’s Japanese,” Larry said, looking annoyed. “And I don’t know ***** about Japan, except for Godzilla and sushi. We’ll need someone else’s help.”
From his tone, it was evident that none of the staff knew Japanese, so Larry sent out an announcement over the P.A. system;
“Could anyone in the station who speaks and understands the Japanese language please report to the central office, please?”
Bill looked unsure about how good an idea this was. Upon noticing that look Larry became rather annoyed.
“You got a better idea?!” he snarled. Bill just threw up his arms in surrender. Io sat quietly, trying not to look at anything in particular. How was she going to explain this? How could she tell them where she wanted to go without mentioning the CCI or why exactly she was on her own to begin with? It looked like she’d have to invent a story.
As luck had it, a young man arrived at the office a couple of minutes later, in his early 20s and with short brown hair. He turned to Bill first.
“I’m David Middleman,” he introduced himself as, offering a hand to shake. “Somebody called for anyone who could speak Japanese? I’m studying Japanese, and I think I know enough to at least have a small conversation with her.”
“Oh, yeah?” Bill said. “You’re a lifesaver right now! Can you speak to this kid here?” He pointed at Io, who looked nervous as David approached her, with a warm smile.
“Watashi wa David desu,” David said to Io. “Donata desu ka?”
“Sh-Shinoda Io desu,” Io nervously replied. It seemed being able to speak to someone had boosted Io’s confidence slightly, and soon the pair were having a conversation. Neither Bill nor Larry could believe the fluidity with which both of them spoke. After about a minute of this, David turned to the others.
“She says her name’s Io,” David explained. “She came here to visit a relative in Provo, it was supposed to be a surprise visit. However, she got lost.” He turned to Bill. “She also says she’s sorry she panicked earlier.”
Bill just shook his head, as if he thought nothing of it. “What about her parents?” he asked.
“She says they’re not available,” David replied. “They’ve been detained, and she doesn’t know how to contact them.”
“Well…” Bill said, “I guess the safest place for her right now is with her relative. Has Joe left for Provo yet?”
At this, Larry picked up his radio. “Joe, you left for Provo yet?”
“No,” Joe’s gruff voice came through. “Was just about to, though.”
“Hold on a couple of ticks,” Larry said. “You’re getting a couple of extra passengers.”
“But I’m late enough as it is!” Joe protested, but Larry cut him off.
“Don’t argue! Just hold on a couple of minutes!”
Joe’s grumbling could be heard as Larry hung up, himself muttering, “This kid’s gonna get all our asses fired…”
“I don’t mind going with Io until she finds her relative,” David said. “Provo’s not far out of my way.”
Bill nodded. “Then it’s settled. Board her, but make sure she locates her relative before you leave her. Joe’ll be waiting at Stand 3.”
David nodded. Motioning for Io to follow, the pair waved goodbye to the staff before leaving. They reached the bus bound for Provo, with Joe muttering as David approached him.
“Can you get us to South Auckland Drive when we reach Provo?” David said.
“Fine, fine,” Joe grumbled, clearly not impressed with how his day was turning out. “It’s on my route, I’ll let you know when we get there.”
With that, the bus finally pulled out of Salt Lake City, on its way to Provo. As they traveled through the barren desert landscape, Io didn’t speak much. She liked David, but she didn’t feel comfortable speaking to him. She knew she wouldn’t feel truly safe until she was at Katsura’s house. If her father trusted the doctor, then she had to learn to trust her too. A part of her selfishly wanted to go and help her father, but the rational part of her knew that was a very stupid idea.
Finally, after a couple of hours of travel, Joe shouted, “South Auckland Drive!” At that, David and Io headed to the front of the bus.
“Do you mind waiting around until this kid’s safe?” he asked. What he got was a snarl from Joe.
“I’m gonna get fired for this babysittin’!” he protested. Io and David quickly stepped off until Joe had stopped protesting. South Auckland Drive was on the outskirts of the town, most of the residences were nice-looking condos. Io figured the Utah Foundation must treat its employees well to be able to live in such places. By this time it was late evening, and only a few people were still awake.
“Is that what you were looking for?” David said, pointing at one of the condos with the numbers 3-6-1 nailed onto one of the posts on either side of the drive. “San-Roco-Ishi?”
Io nodded. This was it – Dr. Yugami’s house. The lights in the house were still on, so the doctor had to still be awake. At this point Joe impatiently honked his horn.
“Arigato, David-san,” Io said, giving a brief bow. “Arigato.”
David gave a quick smile, before running back to the bus. As it left, Io ran up the drive leading up to Dr. Yugami’s house and approached the doorstep, one hand clenched around the parcel still hidden under her jacket. She rang the doorbell and knocked on the door a few times. She heard movement from inside the house, and saw a figure approaching the door...
How was she going to explain this, knocking on Dr. Yugami’s door at this time of night?
September 24th, 2005, 09:03 AM
We’re in Hot Water Now
The bell rang several times. Katsura heard it all the way from the kitchen. She was cooking food, making her dinner. It was her day off today, a time to relax and reflect over the work she has been doing. And also a time to get a way from the people whom she saw just about every day, the same faces, Will, Gordon, Maria, and of course Kiryuu. She needed a rest now and then from work, and from the same faces. Things had been a bit frantic lately at the base. Kiryuu was monitoring several hacker intrusions into the Foundation’s systems. Though Kiryuu did not say who they were from, she had a feeling that he was hiding something. He knew where they were coming from and it worried her.
Katsura sighed, when she heard the door.
“In a minute!” she called. “I’m coming!”
The bell continued to ring frantically.
“Just hold on!” she called, running down the hall of her house to the front door. Katsura cleared her throat, flinging the door open. “Yes.”
What she saw before the doorstep was a small, Asian girl. The girl’s hair was up in pigtails. In her hand was a package, wrapped in brown paper. The girl bowed respectfully, a greeting Katsura was familiar with.
“Yugami-sensei,” she began. “Konnichiwa.”
“Konnichiwa,” Katsura returned the bow. “Donata desu ka?”
“Shinoda Io desu,” Io replied.
“Shinoda…” Katsura breathed, continuing to speak in Japanese. “Shinoda’s daughter?”
“Hai,” Io said. “I have been sent here by my father. My father is in danger, Yugami-sensei.”
“Come in,” Katsura said. “Come on.”
She led her into the house, showing Io the living room. As Io stepped in, she promptly pulled off her shoes, a very common custom in Japan. They rarely wore shoes in the house. Io sat down on the soft, suede couch. Katsura could tell she had the look of fright on her face. She was trembling from head to toe, and her face was oddly pale. Katsura could tell that Io was fighting back a sob, her eyes fluttering several times.
“What happened?” Katsura asked.
“Katagiri has my father,” Io replied. “Because…because of something he had been involved with. Papa wanted to give this to you.”
She handed Katsura the package she carried. There was a note attached to the package. Katsura took the note out of its envelope and began to read it. It was written in Japanese.
If you are reading this, then Katagiri has caught up to me. No doubt he thought I stole the files from the CCI last month, but he probably now knows about my connection to Alan Tyler. The CCI will be after me, wanting to know where Alan is, something even I don’t know. Katagiri may also have gotten to Miyasaka, I don’t doubt he’ll be trying to follow up on any possible lead.
“I have enclosed with this letter the sample of bio-syntech I was given. I know you work closely with Kiryuu, so I felt it best to have it sent to you. It’s not safe for me to hold onto it anymore—I doubt Katagiri has any evidence to connect Kiryuu to the theft, as much as he’ll want to believe Kiryuu was involved, but I’m not about to give him any reason to.
“Ironically, I fear that Kiryuu may well be Alan’s last hope…
“I need you to do some things for me. First and foremost, find Alan and keep him safe. I can’t bear the thought of him being dragged back to the CCI, to be used as a weapon. Second of all, if my daughter Io isn’t with you, please find her and keep her safe. She’s growing up into a strong woman, but she can’t take on the CCI. I’d feel safer knowing she was with people I can trust.
“I’m sorry to drop this off on you, but I didn’t know who else to turn to. I wish none of this had happened that I had never discovered Organizer G-1. However, wishing is not going to help anybody. I can’t change the past, but I hope I can help in giving everyone a future. We shouldn’t be fighting amongst ourselves if Monster Zero is coming back, but Katagiri doesn’t seem to care. He must not get to Alan, at all cost. I fear what may happen if he does.
“Please pass on everything I’ve said to Kiryuu—he has to know. I wouldn’t put anything past Katagiri, so I need to know Alan will be safe... just in case.
Katsura felt a sob crawl up her throat and she sniffed when she read the note. She turned to the box and opened it up carefully. Then, she opened the box, seeing the silvery syntech blade inside. A small tear trickled down her cheek.
“You’re too powerful, Kiryuu,” she said. “Just too powerful.”
Katsura sighed, pulling her hair away from the black port in her neck. She grunted as she took out the stopper that blocked Kiryuu’s transmissions from her mind. Io remained silent as Katsura got up from the couch, slamming the side of her fist against it. This opened a secret panel near the fireplace. Katsura glanced over at Io and smiled for a moment.
“Come over here, Io,” she said. “You need to tell Kiryuu just what happened.”
“Talk to Kiryuu?” Io asked. The idea seemed a bit farfetched for her. She was not even at the base. She saw the black jack-port in Katsura’s neck and then she saw Katsura stick a cord from the panel into that port in her neck. The panel had a plasma screen in the wall and a keyboard.
“It’s a wireless connection,” she said. “We can’t risk the phones. He’ll tell Gordon and the others that Katagiri knows.”
She typed on the keyboard her password and identification. She went through several lines of code, then finally reached Kiryuu’s CPU.
Katsura? She heard Kiryuu’s voice into her mind.
Something terrible has happened, Katsura said. I need you to make a small connection through the projectors in my living room. Remember, Will installed them one time because of our—relationship.
What’s going on? Kiryuu asked.
You’ll see, she replied. And you’re in deep trouble.
She backed away from the keyboard just as several lights in her ceiling began to glow brightly. They were not lights, they were projectors. Io’s eyes widened just as a holographic form materialized in the center of the living room. She recognized the silvery form before her. It was Kiryuu Mechagodzilla. Kiryuu turned around, his eyes falling upon the child before her.
“Katsura…who is this?” he asked.
“This is Io,” Katsura said. “Io Shinoda.”
“Shinoda?” Kiryuu asked, his golden eyes becoming even wider when he heard that name.
“I don’t speak English,” Io said in Japanese to Kiryuu.
“But I do speak Japanese,” Kiryuu told her in Japanese and smiled, bowing slightly.
Io returned the bow, still a bit perturbed that she was seeing Kiryuu inside Katsura’s house.
“I don’t understand,” Io began. “How is he…?”
“Will Penter invented a device that can project a 3D holographic image onto the air itself,” said Katsura. “So, Kiryuu uses it in order to move about certain places where his real body can’t fit through. And I had a projector installed here so I won’t always have to go to the base to talk to him.”
“Soudesu ne,” Io said. “Papa told me to return your syntech, Kiryuu-san.”
Kiryuu chuckled slightly, sitting down on the couch.
“He doesn’t need to,” the hologram said. “It was a gift.”
“Yeah,” began Katsura. “Well, your gift is getting Yugi into more trouble than he aught to be in. He’s been arrested by the CCI!”
“What?” Kiryuu asked.
“Read that!” Katsura yelled, slapping the note onto his chest. Io could not believe how solid the hologram seemed. Kiryuu sighed, taking the note and reading it. His expression changed, his eyebrows became crossed and his gray face flushed with a slight hint of anger.
“I am going to bio-kinetically fry that little weasel!” the bio-mechanical dinosaur roared out.
“This is not Shinoda’s fault,” Katsura called. “It’s yours!”
“I wasn’t talking about Shinoda,” Kiryuu said. “I’m talking about Katagiri. I’ve had it with him. With what he has done to Godzilla. Enough is enough! He so touches a cell phone, I’ll fry his brain!”
“Kiryuu!” Katsura cried. “Shinoda’s in trouble because of you! Because of your selfishness to get what you want! They could do something horrible to him, and it’ll be on your head! And this time, you can’t bluff your way out of it.”
“Bluff?” Kiryuu asked. “You think I bluff my way out of things? I wasn’t programmed yesterday! This is another problem, and I can calculate a solution for it.”
“No more of your ideas,” Katsura sighed. “You’ve done enough. You should be afraid right now, Kiryuu. You’re about to ruin the company, you’re about to put us all in danger, including yourself and your son. Can you for once stop and think about that?”
Kiryuu leaned over, putting his claws into his dreads. This was the first time he could not see a solution. He gritted his teeth in frustration, anger, and regret. Everything he did, he did for not only himself, but for his son, and also for Alan, for Katsura, for Will, for Maria, and even Gordon. Kiryuu turned, seeing the sadden face of Io. Because of what he has done, her father was probably going to face treason charges.
“Is there anyone else that has been arrested?” he asked her.
“Hai,” Io replied. “Dr. Miyasaka.”
“All because of my need to know how I died,” Kiryuu sighed.
“Shinoda wants you to take care of Alan, Kiryuu,” said Katsura. “He wants you to save him. The CCI is here, Kiryuu. It’s here in the United States. Katagiri’s after Alan!”
“I should have killed him,” Kiryuu growled. “It would have saved him from this. The CCI would find him dead. Then, I would have sabotaged the ICU, killing the two victims inside as well, even going as far as going through their databanks and erasing the files on Organizer G-1.”
“And they would have found out about you doing it too,” Katsura sighed. “You can’t get out of this one as easily.”
“It’s because I was in their systems for 40 minutes!” Kiryuu shouted back. “40 minutes, Katsura. You know I don’t like being the CCI’s databases for more than five! Five minutes is usually all that I need getting what I want and get out.”
“This is exactly what Gordon was talking about,” said Katsura. “You are going to get us in trouble. Think about Maria for a moment. Even she might go to jail!”
Kiryuu sighed, growling again, leaning back in the couch. His head turned to Io again. What sort of monster had he turned into?
You can’t help yourself, Biollante snickered. You’re in trouble now.
If I get caught, so will you, *****, Kiryuu growled back at her. Just wait till they find out about you. I’d keep my mouth shut if I were you.
Kiryuu stared at the child before him. He had never seen a child before in person, at least not a human child. Io’s almond shaped eyes were downcast. He had a feeling she was thinking about her father. Shinoda will be put away for a very long time. This was his fault.
“I’m sorry,” he said to her. “But I had to know. I have the right to know what killed me.”
“But you don’t have the right to step on people in order to get that information,” said Katsura. “And you do step on them. You use them. You’ve used us. We’re getting tired of it.”
“What do you want me to do now?” Kiryuu asked. “Just accept the inevitable? Do you want me to go to Katagiri and confess, even tell him where Alan is?”
“You can’t do that, Kiryuu!” Io cried. “They’ll hurt Alan if you’d do that. Papa said that you’re the only one who can help him.”
Kiryuu leaned over at her: “And how do you expect me to do that, kid? Alan hates me. He hates me more now than ever since he found out about my real secret. And I’m not talking about the bit about being Gojira’s father. How the hell am I supposed to help him when I’m the last being on this Earth he would want help from?”
“You have to,” Io said, leaning closer to the hologram. “If you wanna set things right, you’d do it.”
“What about your father, Io-chan?” Kiryuu asked. “Do you expect me to find some way to bail him out as well? Katsura, you’re right. I can’t fix this.”
He rose up from the couch, walking towards fireplace.
“If I try to, I’ll probably make it worse,” he sighed, leaning against the wall. “Katsura, Gordon can’t know about this.”
“Don’t expect me to hide this from him, Kiryuu,” Katsura protested. “I’m not going to be your alibi.”
“I’m not asking you to,” Kiryuu rumbled. “I’m just asking you to not bring this up, not unless he asks about it. Just don’t volunteer the information to him.”
“What about Alan?” Io asked.
“He changed his number,” Kiryuu replied. “But I can easily find what his new number is, and his new service. I suppose he has the right to know. He’ll be angry with me.”
“Not like you don’t deserve it right now,” Katsura snapped back, crossing her arms. “Don’t you ever know when to quit? Just leave some questions unanswered?”
“You’re just like Alan,” said Io.
Kiryuu glanced back at the little girl, in shock about the comment she made.
“What do you mean by that?” he asked.
“Both you and Alan are willing to go to great lengths in getting what you want,” she said. “No matter what. Even if it’ll get both you and those around you in trouble.”
Kiryuu sighed, then began to chuckle at the remark.
“And then perhaps this is why he hates me,” he chuckled with a sinister tone. “It’s because of when ever he looks at me, he sees himself. And that’s something he doesn’t want to see. He doesn’t want to accept it. Maybe it’s because of the G-cells inside of him. I made him who he is. I’ve called him my grandson, after all.”
“Yeah, well, what you’ve done isn’t right by a long shot,” said Katsura. “Not even to Alan.”
“We were meant to meet,” Kiryuu said. “Katagiri used my son’s cells, Katsura. He’s gonna try to use those mutations as a way to control my son. And no doubt he might kill Alan. He can’t risk it this time, so he might kill the kid.”
“All because you inadvertently led Katagiri to Alan’s location,” said Katsura. “By leading Alan to Utah, making contact with him, and having him break into the CCI and steal those documents. All because of that, they know where Alan is! Like I said, some things are best unanswered.”
“My father said that once to Alan,” Io said. “When it pertained to Kiryuu.”
“You’re father is right!” Katsura nodded in agreement. “And the same thing goes for Kiryuu as well. Some things shouldn’t be answered, Kiryuu. The old American saying: ‘Leave sleeping dogs lie.’ That’s what it means!”
“None of this will matter when King Ghidorah comes,” sighed Kiryuu.
“King Ghidorah?” Io asked.
“Monster Zero,” Kiryuu said. “That’s his real name. King Ghidorah. That’s what he is known to both Gojira and I.”
Kiryuu glanced around, his mind sensing another attack entering the grid of the Utah Foundation. He grunted again, feeling that these attacks were becoming repetitive. They were hoping that they would find the evidence they needed, the files on the Oxygen Destroyer and the project of Organizer G-1. Kiryuu had both files in his databases, but they were very well encrypted.
“Another attack?” Katsura asked, sensing what he was sensing through the link.
“Yes,” said Kiryuu. “I have to go and handle the problem.”
“Those attacks are from the CCI, aren’t they?” she asked him, glaring at him accusingly.
“Yes,” Kiryuu sighed in admittance. “They are from the CCI.”
“I think Gordon knows,” she said. “He knows exactly why we’ve been hit every single hour of the day.”
“I have to go,” Kiryuu growled. “I’m sorry.”
“No you’re not,” Katsura groaned back at him. “You’re enjoying this.”
Kiryuu gave a quick humph and his image disappeared. Katsura unplugged the connection from her head, shaking her head in dismay. Gordon was right; Kiryuu has become more trouble than he was worth.
“What will happen, sensei?” Io asked.
“I don’t know, Io,” said Katsura. “It’s in Kiryuu’s hands now. And don’t call me sensei. Katsura will do nicely.”
Io quickly nodded, smiling slightly.
“I bet you’re hungry, aren’t you?” Katsura asked her. “How about I make you some food. Would that be alright?”
“I’d like that,” Io grinned. “I haven’t had takuyaki in a while.”
“I’ve got takuyaki,” Katsura smiled back. “It’s one of my favorites.”
“Mine too,” Io said as she followed Katsura in the kitchen.
“I heard you’re a good cook,” Katsura said. “How would you like to help me make some takuyaki?”
“Sure,” Io said. “Um, Katsura, what’s that thing on your neck?”
“That’s my link to Kiryuu,” said Katsura. “It’s a little complicated. But it helps him to understand humans better. He shares a small space inside my head.”
“Why do you have it?”
“It was a sacrifice,” she replied. “To get Kiryuu to understand what morality was. We couldn’t teach him something as illogical as morality—we couldn’t explain it to him. He had to see for himself. So, he—punctured me with a bio-syntech implant from one of his internal sensor cords. I allowed him to do it.”
“You have his G-cells inside you, now?” Io asked.
“Hai,” Katsura sighed balefully. “I do. Just like Alan has his son’s cells inside him, I have Kiryuu’s cells. And if Katagiri finds out about that, who knows what might happen. He might try to use me just like he is using those poor people in that ICU ward.”
She got out a skillet and threw five dough balls filled with octopus onto the surface.
“I hope you like my cooking,” Katsura said. “Looks like you’ll be with me for a while. Also, I’m gonna take you to work as well. I don’t want to live you hear alone.”
“You’ll get to meet Will and Gordon and Maria,” Katsura said. “Maria’s our new employee. She wasn’t with us when we were in Japan. So, she doesn’t know any Japanese. She knows Spanish though. Kiryuu and Maria talk a lot to each other in Spanish. Will knows some Japanese, a little bit more than Gordon. I think the only thing Gordon knows how to say is ‘where is the bathroom’ in Japanese.”
Io giggled a bit.
“I’m surprised you didn’t learn English,” Katsura said. “You didn’t take any English classes in Japan?”
“I was home schooled,” said Io. “And papa only knows a few sentences in English. It’s a hard language to learn.”
“Oh, I believe that,” she laughed. “I had trouble with it myself. I suppose it’s just as hard for English speakers to learn Japanese.”
Io laughed a bit, but then her face became serious. She lowered her head sighing sadly.
“I might never see my father again,” Io said lowly. “Katagiri is a cruel man.”
“He should be locked up in an asylum,” Katsura sniffed. “He’s psychotic. How could Ifume hire such a maniac to run his defense section?”
“Papa always spoke harshly of how the CCI was run by Katagiri,” she said. “How they turned into an agency of crooks. In a way I think they deserved what Kiryuu did. I’m kinda glad he did it.”
“Yes,” nodded Katsura as she stirred the takuyaki. “But even if it was in some way the right thing, it shouldn’t have been done. Now we’re all in trouble because of it.”
She turned to Io, lifting her head up and leaning down.
“Kiryuu sometimes seems harsh and arrogant,” began Katsura. “But he does what he has to do. Though, there are times when he needs to know that enough is enough. We’ve been so hard on him, so, he’s being hard on us. This job isn’t easy. It doesn’t have its good perks sometimes. I just have to do it. I love Kiryuu, I’m proud of him. I felt I gave something back when I helped create him.”
“Papa said that Kiryuu was evil,” said Io. “Because the Foundation gave him that AI.”
“Knowing Kiryuu’s true nature,” began Katsura. “I think he was probably a little evil before he died and we brought him back to life. He’s not really evil; he’s just—thinks he’s invincible. He’s a powerful AI system and we built him up to be that way. Though, because what we created him from and the bones that are inside of him, Kiryuu—like Gojira, does not want to be controlled. He wants to have control. He hates being controlled. We humans think we have control over everything, but then something like Kiryuu comes along and that throws a monkey wrench into what we thought we knew. He’s the proof that we don’t have control over everything. But then he takes it to another step, thinking that because we can’t control him he can do what ever he wants, some times. But I think this incident here has shown him something he didn’t expect. It showed him that sometimes even he doesn’t have control over everything too.”
“Well, I guess he sounds very human,” said Io. “But what about Gojira? What does he think? What does Gojira think about Kiryuu?”
Katsura chuckled: “Welcome inside the network, kid. I can tell you exactly what Gojira thinks, because of Kiryuu. He’s confused, frustrated, but he loves his father. Kiryuu has everything to consider, even if he does thing selfishly. He loves his son, he doesn’t want anything to happen to Gojira. Gojira knows this, but he just wants his father back—to be with him and to take care of him. I guess it’s because Gojira is still young in his mind as well. He’s like a big kid. He’s happy when he sees his father show up to visit, and then when Kiryuu leaves, he’s sad again. And no matter how many times Kiryuu explains to Gojira that he needs to be with us in order to keep Gojira safe, Gojira still does not want to understand.”
“Wow,” Io said. “If only my dad were here to hear that. He could…” she broke off, her head lowering again. “He could write up all sorts of books on just what you said. If Kiryuu sees Gojira anytime soon, could you have him tell Gojira that there is one human out there that is devoted to make sure he’s safe from the others?”
“Okay,” Katsura nodded. “I will. I think Kiryuu would like to tell Gojira that. It’ll help Gojira understand more. It’ll show Gojira that someone does care about him as a living being. I think Gojira might like that.”
September 24th, 2005, 09:04 AM
And All the World’s Eyes Turned to Japan
Katsura walked into the main base, going through the glass doors. Behind her was Io Shinoda, holding her hand tightly as she glanced around fearfully at this strange place. To her, this building looked like nothing more than an office building. There was carpeting everywhere, broken apart by square sections of hardwood floors. For right now, she could not trust anyone here, save Katsura. Katsura could not trust her house keeper to keep Io safe either. She had no choice but to bring Io along to work. Katsura greeted the guard at the door, showing her badge.
“Dr. Yugami,” began the guard. “The kid can’t come with you.”
“Please,” Katsura began. “She has to. I can’t keep her anywhere else. I don’t want to leave her alone in my house.”
“I’m sorry,” he insisted in a more stern tone. “But children aren’t allowed. The insurance doesn’t cover it. You know the policy. What if she gets hurt? We could be sued.”
“Trust me, we won’t be sued,” Katsura said.
“I’m sorry,” the guard shook his head again. “But you’ll have to take the kid home.”
“No she won’t,” began a deep, rolling voice behind the guard. He turned around only to see Kiryuu’s holographic form standing behind him. The hologram’s arms were crossed and he had an expectant look on his face.
“Mr. Mechagodzilla!” he called.
“You will let Katsura bring the girl into the base,” Kiryuu growled at him. “Or else.”
“But, sir,” the guard protested. “You know company policy. She could get hurt, or hurt some of the equipment inside.”
“She’ll do neither,” Kiryuu growled at him. “This girl is under my protection, understand? I take full responsibility for her.”
“But sir,” he repeated. “You can’t take her down there. The company policy…”
“Will change,” Kiryuu glared at him, pushing him aside with his claw. “I hold 30% of the company’s stocks now. I can get Gordon to change the policy this once to allow one child inside. Besides, even Gordon will realize how important this child is to us. I can’t let her go.”
“Y—yes, sir,” the guard nodded finally, allowing Katsura and Io to pass beyond the gate.
“Arigato, Kiryuu,” Katsura sighed with relief.
“Douitashimashite,” Kiryuu bowed slightly. “O-genki desu ka, Io-chan?”
“Watashi genki desu, Kiryuu-san,” Io bowed. “It’s good to see you again.”
“The feeling is mutual,” Kiryuu smiled slightly. “I will meet you when you arrive in the hangar bay. I’m afraid I have matters to attend to.”
“What kind?” Katsura asked.
“More hackers,” Kiryuu replied. “I’m on full alert right now. I’m sorry, but there’s no time to explain.”
Kiryuu’s image quickly faded away. Katsura sighed looking around the hallway.
“Hackers…” she breathed.
“It’s Katagiri,” Io whispered to her. “I know it. Because he knows that Kiryuu was involved with Alan. He’s after Kiryuu too, just like papa.”
“No jail can hold Kiryuu,” Katsura smiled weakly. “He knows what he’s doing. I wonder just how Gordon is handling this.”
They walked down the long corridor and got into the elevator at the end. Katsura punched in her code in order to have the elevator access the lower levels. The elevator slowed to a pause and Katsura looked up at the lights. She had not even reached the floor she needed to go yet. The elevator stopped half way and the doors opened. In stepped a familiar face, a Caucasian man with blonde hair and sea blue-green eyes. She knew who it was, Manda the Guardian of the East. The Sea Dragon was in his human form. He had been staying at the base for a few weeks now. Katsura began to wonder if the MBPD was starting to miss one of their officers. Besides being the only remaining Guardian of Atlantis, Manda was also a policeman for Miami Beach.
The Dragon was dressed in ordinary looking clothing, a pair of jeans and a Hawaiian shirt with various palm trees and flowers decorating it. She could see a white T-shirt underneath his Hawaiian shirt. His faded, baggy jeans looked a little torn at the cuffs. His tennis shoes were also a bit worn around the edges. Manda held his hands in his pockets as he stepped through the door. Manda glanced over at Katsura, smiling warmly. His eyes shifted to Io.
“Hello,” he began. “Who are you?”
Io shook her head, not understanding his words.
“She doesn’t understand English, Manda,” Katsura said.
“Oh,” he said. “Uh…Gomenasai. Uh, watashi wa—Manda desu. Uh…hell…”
Katsura giggled at the Dragon’s attempt at trying to speak Japanese.
“Sorry,” Manda sighed. “I’m a telepath. We really don’t need to learn languages. I can pick up what she says to me through her thoughts. And I could speak to her that way, if that doesn’t freak her out too much.”
“I wouldn’t right now,” Katsura said. “She’s been through a lot. This is Io Shinoda.”
“Shinoda?” Manda asked, his blue eyes widening. “Yugi’s daughter?”
“Yes,” she nodded.
“You know the FBI is helping the CCI hunt for her,” Manda said. “Her picture is all over the news. I’m surprised you managed to get her out of Salt Lake City without any problems.”
“And I’m more than surprised that you’re still here,” Katsura said. “Why are you still here?”
“Keeping my promise to Mothra,” said Manda. “By keeping an eye on you guys. Mothra didn’t want Alan to know about what’s inside of him. I warned Kiryuu. He didn’t listen to me! Now look what happened.”
“Do you know what Kiryuu is doing about it right now?” Katsura asked.
“I’m no computer expert,” the Dragon sighed. “But I think he’s gonna do what he said he’d do to Katagiri if that jackass pulled a stunt like this. He’s gonna get the CCI into more trouble than they’ve bargained for.”
“I just hope he doesn’t get us into trouble along with it,” Katsura said.
“Mosura desu ka?” Io asked, looking up at the Dragon in human form.
“Huh?” Manda asked. “Uh, no. I’m not Mothra. She’s my…boss, in a sense.”
Io shook her head again.
“Uh…watashi no taishou desu,” Manda scratched his head as he spoke. “Mosura wa watashi no taishou desu.”
“Mosura?” Io asked again, still slightly confused. Manda just sighed.
“It’s okay kid,” he said. “She needs to learn English badly, Katsura. The only other language I know of is Spanish. And that’s a requirement for the job I do in Miami Beach. The other is a dead language not spoken on this world for thousands of years. And Greek. Maybe I should confuse her even more and speak Spanish to her.”
“I wouldn’t,” Katsura said.
“I know,” Manda sighed again. “I’d peer into both your minds to teach myself Japanese, but I don’t like invading people’s privacy.”
“Good dragon,” Katsura chuckled, patting him on the shoulder. The elevator finally came to a halt at the floor Katsura wanted to be on. She stepped outside, leading Io down the hall. Io turned around again, seeing Manda wave after her.
“Tenna’ ento lye omenta, Io,” Manda said, smiling as he walked in the opposite direction. “Katsura, if you see Maria, tell her I have some other information about the connections of King Ghidorah with other Grecian myths. Especially about the myth of the hydra.”
I’m sure she’ll be interested,” Katsura smiled.
“I’d tell Kiryuu,” he began. “But right now he’s too busy to listen. He may not even listen at all. He didn’t listen to me the last time.”
“I think he’ll listen to you now,” she said. “After what’s been happening.”
Manda chuckled, walking away from them. Io glanced up at Katsura, holding a very confused look on her face.
“Who was that man?” she asked Katsura.
“Manda,” Katsura replied. “Mosura’s servant.”
“Mosura’s servant?” she asked. “The—the moth, the one that appeared when the doppelganger appeared? Did it help Kiryuu fight that monster?”
“Well, that doppelganger was in fact another Mekagojira,” Katsura said. “And that Mekagojira was controlled by aliens.”
“Aliens?” Io asked. “You’re joking right?”
“No,” Katsura replied. “I’m not. Welcome inside the Foundation, Io. I’m sure you’ll have lots to tell your father when we figure out how to get him out of there.”
“So, he serves Mosura?” Io asked.
“Hai,” Katsura replied. “He’s a Dragon, the Guardian of Atlantis.”
“Atlantis?” Io asked, even more confused. “He doesn’t look like a Dragon.”
“Well, he’s a shape-shifter,” she smiled. “You know those pictures of a blue-green dragon flying over Ft. Lauderdale? Someone caught that picture once. That’s Manda.”
“What is he doing here?” Io asked.
“Because of Kiryuu,” Katsura replied. “There are things in motion that not even I can explain. You just have to take my word for it.”
“Anything else I need to know about?” Io asked.
“That monster,” began Katsura. “Monster Zero—King Ghidorah…Kiryuu wants to exact revenge upon him.”
“Doushite?” Io asked.
“Because,” Katsura replied. “King Ghidorah killed Kiryuu’s family. Only Godzilla remained.”
“He remembers all of that?”
“He remembers a lot,” Katsura sighed. “The spirit of the original Gojira had long taken over the AI that was Mekagojira. Wouldn’t Shinoda find that interesting?”
“He would,” Io smiled. “He would a lot. All these theories that would pop into his head. You must know more about Gojira than papa does.”
“I suppose it’s because of Kiryuu,” sighed Katsura. “He answers all of our questions. He’s the one who knows his son best. And because he can talk to us, he can tell us about Gojira. I could write books on all the information Kiryuu has given me. But I know that might put Gojira in even more danger. His weakness would be exposed to people who want to destroy him. Sometimes, it’s best not to know everything about a creature like Gojira.”
She finally lead Io into the control room where Will and Gordon were monitoring Kiryuu’s battle against the hacker onslaught. Kiryuu’s eyes were closed, he was battling internally. Will assisted with his own skills, trying to keep up with the AI’s great speed. Gordon paced up and down, glancing back from Will and then to Kiryuu’s still form. Despite all these attacks that were happening, Gordon did not seem one bit upset. Even stranger, he was smiling and chuckling.
“Give them hell, Kiryuu!” Gordon smiled as he monitored the screen.
“What’s going on?” Katsura asked.
“Ah, Katsura,” Gordon said. “Come on in and join the fun. Kiryuu just sent another hacker spiraling into Saudi Arabia.”
“What?” Katsura asked, completely stupefied.
“These hackers that are attacking our base,” the wealthy man began. “We already tracked them down. They did come from the CCI. I suppose it was bound to happen, eventually, whether or not Kiryuu sent Alan after those files. It was a matter of time before Kiryuu’s little excursions would rub Katagiri too many times the wrong way. And now we’re paying for it. I think the CCI break in through our Shadowrunner was the straw that broke the camel’s back.”
“Okay,” she sighed. “So what’s this about Saudi Arabia?”
“Instead of fighting them off,” began Will, swiveling around in his chair to face Katsura and Io. “He’s redirecting them to other places—other governmental facilities, fooling them into thinking that these facilities are our own databanks. Once the world’s governments trace these hackers back to Japan, the CCI will be in more trouble than ever. Katagiri might get the boot after this.”
“Wouldn’t that start a war?” Katsura asked, her face twisted in a mixture of horror and confusion. “Wouldn’t places like Saudi Arabia think Japan’s trying to steal their government secrets? I don’t want my country to go to war. It can barely defend itself against Godzilla, let alone the rest of the world’s armies.”
“No,” said Gordon. “Now just hold on, Katsura. It won’t start a war. At the most part, the UN council will start an investigation of all these intrusions. No doubt they’ll find the CCI’s little dark secret in one of these investigations.”
“But there is a possibility that Katagiri could have those poor men killed and the data erased, Gordon,” said Will. “A nice little clean wipe of every server the CCI has and it’ll be the perfect cover-up.”
“There’s still one file out there,” Kiryuu’s deep voice broke through the speakers. “The one that Alan carries. We have to find him, bring him back here and make sure the CCI doesn’t get to him.”
“I hate to say this, Gordon,” began Will. “But Kiryuu’s right. We have to bring Alan here. He has the proof all over his body, besides those papers. And if the CCI get a hold of him, they may kill him too.”
“Bring that snot-nosed brat here?” Gordon’s face became flushed with red. “He already hates Kiryuu for what he’s done. Why should we help him?”
“Because it’s the right thing,” Katsura said. “I agree with Kiryuu, Gordon. He deserves that much. He deserves answers.”
“Answers that could get us in trouble!” Gordon yelled. “I won’t have it.”
His eyes gazed down, seeing Io standing there beside Katsura.
“Okay,” he began. “Who the hell is that?”
“Io Shinoda,” Kiryuu replied.
Gordon’s eyes bulged out and his mouth dropped. For several minutes, he did not even speak. Then, his brow began to tremble and his shoulders shook.
“What the hell is she doing here?!” he cried. “Katsura, are you insane?!”
“Yugi Shinoda was a friend of mine, Gordon!” Katsura protested. “And now because of Kiryuu—and you as well—Io’s father is facing treason charges and a prison sentence.”
“Me?” Gordon asked. “What the hell did I do?”
“You let Kiryuu hack into the CCI,” Katsura replied. “You let him set this whole thing up—bring Alan here to Utah, provided the helicopter to the rendezvous place, allowed Kiryuu to hack into the CCI again to allow Alan inside the building and steal the information on the Oxygen Destroyer! And because of that, because of Alan’s connections with him, Shinoda is now in trouble! His own daughter had to escape CCI agents and Katagiri. Who knows what that horrible man could have done to her? She ran, frightened, to my house in order to deliver this!”
Katsura reached into her pocket and took out the severed syntech flesh from her coat. She tossed it over to Gordon, who caught it.
“This is syntech,” Gordon said. “This is—Kiryuu’s syntech. KIRYUU!”
“Yes, Gordon?” Kiryuu asked.
“You gave Shinoda a piece of your syntech?” he asked, his face now bright red. “How could you do that?”
“Collateral damage,” Kiryuu replied. “Shinoda wouldn’t listen to me, so I had to get his attention. I figured why not give him a piece that would answer all his questions.”
Gordon growled, glancing back at Katsura.
“Did the CCI find this on Shinoda?” he asked.
“No,” Katsura replied. “They never knew he had the syntech.”
“So, Katagiri is hacking our base for no reason,” Gordon sighed.
“He has reason,” Kiryuu began. “I…”
“For no reason, Kiryuu,” Gordon corrected him. “He thinks we’re behind all of this. But he has no proof. Not even the syntech.” He glanced back at the enormous bio-mechanical mecha, his face now becoming calmer. “You covered your tracks well, my boy.”
“Thank you, Gordon,” Kiryuu smiled.
“Continue redirecting all CCI hackers from our base,” Gordon continued. “This time, have them pick on France, Russia, Cuba, Mexico, Britain, oh—hell and the US, why not. Make the one country they don’t want angry—get angry again. Perhaps this could redirect the FBI’s search for our new guest as well. If Katagiri is here, then once the FBI hears about what his CCI is doing to their servers and their databases, they’ll turn on him promptly.”
“What should I have them look for?” Kiryuu asked.
“Q’s old weapon,” Gordon replied. “The Dimension Tide. That’ll really steam the FBI. They see the CCI’s agents hacking into their weapons information and learn about the black hole gun, it’ll get Katagiri arrested for breaking treaty laws. Have Katagiri’s name written all over it too, while you’re at it.”
“Compliance, Gordon,” Kiryuu’s deep chuckle rumbled through the bay area.
“Now I know where Kiryuu gets his evilness from,” began Will. “Because that’s the most evil act I’ve heard you do, Gordon.”
Gordon turned back to Io speaking to her in Japanese: “Gordon desu. Hai?”
“Hai,” Io said, bowing respectfully to him. “Arigato.”
“I suppose this place is the safest place than any for her right now,” Gordon said to Katsura. “Maybe you should stay here too. They might connect you with Shinoda and come after you before Kiryuu can do his work on them.”
“I’ll use the south quarters then,” Katsura said. She turned to Io, speaking to her in Japanese. “We’re staying here until this is over. We’ll find a way to help your father and Alan, okay?”
“Okay,” Io said.
“Once I’m done with hackers,” Kiryuu began. “I’ll start my global search on every cell phone and LAN-line phone listed. Alan won’t escape my eyes. And I’ll work on getting Shinoda out as well. Once the FBI begins to turn on Katagiri, they might let Shinoda go—realizing he was some sort of distraction to avert their eyes from the real ‘threat’. I want to keep Katagiri here in this country where I can get to him. The FBI will help me in just doing that, keeping him here. They’ll find out.”
“Is Katagiri still here?” Katsura asked.
“From the FBI server,” Kiryuu began. “He hasn’t left the country. He’s about to though. But they’ll learn soon enough before he has a chance to leave.”
“Keep at it, Kiryuu,” Gordon said. He walked over to Io and patted her head. “Welcome to the Utah Foundation.”
“Don’t think of her as a potential client, Gordon,” Katsura said.
“Whatever made you say that?” Gordon asked. “Does she know English?”
“No,” Katsura replied.
“Well, luckily we have the big universal translator over here,” Will smiled. “And I know enough Japanese to at least have a small conversation with her.” He knelt down to Io and began to talk in Japanese. “Watashi wa Will desu.”
“Are you the one who programmed Kiryuu?” Io asked.
“That’s me,” Will replied. “Don’t worry; we’ll all take care of you. Even if some of us can’t speak the language.”
“Arigato,” Io bowed. “I understand. I’m a guest in this country. I should know English. But I don’t.”
“I guess we could teach you some words,” Will said. “Right Katsura?”
“It might help,” Katsura shrugged, speaking in English. “But I’ll be with her most of the time. I’ll be able to translate for her.”
“She’s your responsibility, Katsura,” Gordon said. “Don’t worry about your duties right now. Just keep her out of trouble.”
Katsura bowed slightly, leading Io out of the control room. Gordon sighed, glancing back at Will again. The computer programmer returned to his duties of helping Kiryuu redirect the hackers to other places.
“Sometimes I think I shouldn’t have let Kiryuu get into this mess,” Gordon said. “I shouldn’t have allowed him to find what killed him. We wouldn’t have gotten into this problem with the CCI and be left out of this battle.”
“I know,” said Will. “But no one should have files on something like that weapon that killed the first Godzilla, Gordon. In a way we did the right thing.”
“S***,” Gordon sighed. “I’m knee-deep in lies and deceit right now I can’t even tell what the ‘right thing’ is anymore. I just hope our little diversion will be what we need to get the CCI off our back and to finally put a way that psychopath once and for all. I never trusted him. I don’t know why I allowed him to talk me into all of this.”
“Kiryuu?” Will asked.
“No, Katagiri,” Gordon replied. “I wish I never had met that man.”
September 24th, 2005, 09:05 AM
Katagiri strode through the airport just outside Salt Lake City, amidst the crowds of people awaiting their next flights. He had decided to take Shinoda back to Japan first and foremost, get the information he needed, then come back here to finish the job. Shinoda himself wasn't far behind, handcuffed, flanked by the two agents - Katagiri's two most trusted agents - so he wasn't going anywhere. He knew Shinoda wouldn't be stupid enough to try anything, given that the FBI believed him to be a terrorist. No-one paid any attention to the quartet as they headed through the airport - to them, they would appear to be just a group of Japanese men heading towards their plane.
Everything was going just as planned. He now had Shinoda right where he wanted him, and soon he'd be behind bars, on trial for treason and posing a threat to national security. Under the right 'conditions' he'd soon have the information he needed to come back here and finish his job. He'd find Alan, and eliminate that little runaway experiment. He wasn't taking any chances. Ifume didn't have to know everything. Who knows... with everyone out looking for Shinoda's daughter, Alan might show himself if he really knew the scientist. He wasn't worried too much about Io - the FBI were bound to have her before too long, if everyone was out looking for her.
Everything was arranged. They all had seats on a private flight back to Tokyo. Katagiri didn't like dealing with Americans, he felt he'd be glad to be back on home soil, where he could operate without having to run everything through the American government. He approached the right information desk, Shinoda and the other agents close behind, where the smiling blonde receptionist addressed them.
"Can I help you, gentlemen?" she asked.
"I'm Mitsuo Katagiri, with the Japanese Crisis Control Intelligence Agency," Katagiri promptly replied, showing his ID card. "I have a private plane scheduled to leave for Tokyo."
"Of course sir," the receptionist replied, "Just a minute."
She took Katagiri's ID card, and typed on her computer, checking his credentials and the details of his booking. What she didn't expect to see was a screen come up, a notification from the FBI themselves. It seemed this Katagiri was wanted for ordering his agency to steal confidential files from the FBI's databases, as well as hacking into the databases of numerous other high-security networks in a number of countries. The notice stated that Katagiri was not to leave the country under any cost, that he was to be arrested for questioning. She looked back up at the men and smiled again, trying her best to not show her nerves.
"It will take just one moment," she said, trying to maintain her cheerful outlook. Katagiri's eyes narrowed slightly - they should have been able to go right through. What was with the delay? He immediately began to suspect something was wrong. If something served to hamper the schedule, then it was never good news...
Katagiri turned round, to see several suited men stood around him and the others. One of them, a young brown-haired man wearing sunglasses, approached him, flashing an FBI ID card.
"Agent Sellers, FBI," he promptly spoke. As it turned out, upon learning of what Katagiri was really up to, they'd stationed units in every airport and at every state border. Upon hearing notification that Katagiri was trying to leave the country, they were ready pounce.
"You're under arrest, Katagiri," he continued, pulling a file out from inside his trench coat.
Katagiri's eyes widened. Arrested by the FBI?! They were supposed to be co-operating with him and the CCI. Why that they suddenly decided that he be arrested? Several people at the airport had now stopped to watch the ensuing scene.
"Arrest me?!" Katagiri spluttered. "A few hours ago, you were quite willing to assist me in the search for the daughter of this terrorist!" He jerked his head over in Shinoda's direction as he spoke. "What can I possibly have done? What are the charges?" He wanted to believe that this was all some misunderstanding behind all this. He didn't know what was going on, and he didn't like not knowing things.
"Well, that's what you told us," Agent Sellers stated, almost sarcastically. "However, things have changed. We've discovered your little game. We have evidence that states you ordered your CCI to hack into a number of highly confidential servers belonging to other international intelligence agencies. MI6, the KGB, and the FBI are just a few of the names on the list, and all of those agencies corroborate with our findings. We now know that you ordered your hackers to gather information on Dr. Q. Terizawa's Dimension Tide project - highly confidential information for a highly dangerous weapon that was abandoned a year ago. You and your friends here are to be held for questioning. You will accompany us now."
Katagiri was mortified. His mouth hung open, trying to comprehend what had just happened. It was impossible... He knew for a fact that he had given no such order. He was willing to bet though that the file that Agent Sellers now carried was the 'evidence' of this spate of hacking on the part of the CCI, and that he would use that to counter any arguments Katagiri made. Prime Minister Ifume would no doubt have been informed, and it was doubtful he would even try to help Katagiri out of this one...
He glanced across at Shinoda, who had a smirk on his face. He could guess what had happened, and gradually the light of understanding dawned in Katagiri's eyes. There was only one being on this planet that could have pulled a stunt like this... He turned away from Shinoda as his eyes narrowed, his face contorted in a mask of silent fury as he understood what had happened...
Kiryuu... It had to have been him... No other creature could have caused so much mayhem amongst the world's servers and made it look like the CCI was responsible... His hackers had tried to see if the files were on the Utah Foundation's servers... He knew the risks he was taking with that decision, but he never expected Kiryuu to retaliate like this... Surely not if it meant he would risk triggering World War 3... There had to be more to it than simply shaking off hackers if he had gone so far to try to destroy the CCI... to destroy him...
In the end, Katagiri closed his eyes, trying to deny that this had happened... How did it come to this? For the first time, he didn't know...
Io awoke, shivering uncontrollably, feeling a since of dread about her. She awoke from another dream, the same dream over and over that she kept having. It was about the day where she saw her father being taken away by the CCI. That laugh that Katagiri had when he cuffed her father and dragged him away. She remembered her father screaming profanity at him, calling out for Io to escape. She began to feel that she would never hear from her father again. There was some sense of hope though when she heard Kiryuu state that Katagiri was now in the custody of the FBI. And her father was with him. Still, that did not help the feeling of some hopelessness. She could not sleep with the knowledge that her father was still in some danger. Kiryuu had made an attempt to contact Alan, but he was met many times by busy signals, phone clicks, and disconnections. Alan was still out there, her father was still out there and she was stuck here, completely in completely hopelessness. She got out of the bed that was made for her and silently walked out of the south quarters. The base was quiet now, not much was going on. She walked into the dark corridor, her way only lit by dim omni lights above. Io shivered again. Even with these nice people that have taken her in and cared for her, she had never felt so alone. These people were nice, they were never spiteful or rude, but she just could not connect with them as much. Mostly it was because of the language barriers. She liked what they were doing for her, she liked Katsura especially, but even then she could not connect wit them. She wished she had gone to Yuki and visited her instead, but her father insisted on that she remain with the Utah Foundation. She was safe here but she did not feel it. Io just felt alone.
Though there was a kitchen in her quarters, she did not feel much like getting anything from there. She needed a walk, no matter what they would say about it. She knew that she should not be wondering the halls of the Utah Foundation’s main base alone, but she had to. She just needed a walk to collect her thoughts. Io felt sad, too sad to even cry; to sad to even care if someone were to catch her walking around alone. She just wanted her father back. That was all that mattered to her now. She scurried down the hall, remembering the way to the lunchroom. It was on the same level as her quarters. She supposed the foundation built it like that so that people staying could go to the lunchroom without any problems. She glanced around as she entered the dark lunchroom. Only a few lights were on. It was empty. From the clock on the wall she could tell that it was only 3 o’clock in the morning. No one was in the lunchroom for snacks. In a way she thanked that.
Io glanced around, swallowing her sorrow as she headed for the refrigerator. She saw a tub of chocolate ice-cream in the freezer and she got it out. She needed something to make her feel better and she suspected that ice-cream was enough to do it. She got it out and got a spoon out from the drawer below and proceeded to eat the ice-cream. Io sniffled as she began to eat the frozen treat, trying to allow the sweet taste help her forget her woes.
“Shouldn’t you be in bed?” asked a deep, handsome voice behind her. She glanced around, seeing a glow come from behind her shoulder. And there he was, Kiryuu Mechagodzilla. He must have been watching her through the surveillance cameras. The light from the projector sparkled on his metallic green dreads, giving them an emerald sheen. Io sniffed again, sitting down in one of the comfortable, lounge chairs as she continued to eat the ice-cream. Kiryuu sighed, seeing what she had: “You know that’s not yours.”
“I know,” she said. “I can’t sleep. I had to eat something.”
“There are sandwiches and milk to help you calm yourself,” Kiryuu informed. “Why choose the sugary treat that will keep you up at night?”
“It makes me feel better,” Io sighed, rubbing her nose.
Kiryuu saw the pain in her eyes. He could sense the sorrow that she felt. She missed her father.
“I know you miss him,” he rumbled. “But I am working as hard…”
“I know you are,” she interrupted him. “But I can’t help to feel some sort of hopelessness. Katagiri’s been captured and I’m thankful. This will mean that my father won’t be facing any treason charges. But…”
“Things like this take time, Io,” said Kiryuu. “I can’t just snap my fingers and make everything better…”
“I know,” Io said. “I know. I just wish that sometimes you could, Kiryuu.”
“If I could do that,” began Kiryuu with a slight humored chuckle. “Then this world may be worse off than before…”
“Never mind,” Kiryuu sighed. Io’s head lowered again and she began to sniffle. Kiryuu turned around, seeing her begin to cry again. He did not know what to do right now about it. His mind began to drift as he watched her silently; another whimper came to his ears. His eyes turned away from Io seeing something else come into view. He saw a tiny reptilian creature kneeling down to the floor. He recognized the tiny reptile before him. It was a dinosaur. It was his son. Kiryuu glanced over seeing another form walk into the scene. The form was much larger, and rather familiar. It was another dinosaur. Kiryuu recognized the golden eyes of this new being. The much larger dinosaur knelt down to the smaller one and took the youth into his arms. The whimpering young one stopped and looked up at his father. They embraced each other. Kiryuu closed his eyes allowing this vision to fade from his mind. He turned back to Io and knelt down to her.
“I am not your father,” he began. “But I—was a father once. I understand that Shinoda is important to you. You want nothing more than for him to be with you.”
“You still—are a father, Kiryuu,” Io sniffed. “Just ask Gojira.”
“Until you are united with Shinoda,” Kiryuu sighed. “I want to take care of you.”
Io sniffed again, her face twisted into a sob. This was all she wanted right now, someone to keep her company. For the first time she felt like she belonged. Io dashed towards Kiryuu, wrapping her arms around his waist. Kiryuu rumbled folding his arms around her. He just held her, letting her get her frustrations and feelings out on his holographic shoulder. He just wanted to hold her right now, to comfort her just like he would comfort Godzilla. It was the father in him. It would be always the father in him.
“I’m not your father, Io,” Kiryuu rumbled. “But I’ll do what I can in his stead.”
“Arigato, Kiryuu-san,” Io sniffed, burring her face in his green dreadlocks. “Arigato.”
“Douitashimashite,” Kiryuu smiled.
September 24th, 2005, 09:09 AM
If You Would Only Listen…
Manda relaxed himself in the corner of the lounge room, his lengthy body uncoiled, light playing off his glistening scales, casting a kaleidoscope of deep sapphires and emeralds on the off-white walls. The glittering, fine, fish-like scales shifted their gleam as his muscle rippled in his body. His finned tail tapped lightly on the carpet floor. To anyone who came in, the Dragon appeared asleep, but in reality, his mind was more alert than ever. He was in deep thought, his mental prowess attuned to motions going on outside the room. Manda listened to the sound of his own breath as it carried through the air. He extended his mind out beyond the lounge and into the bay. He could sense the frustrations of the occupant inside the bay area. Kiryuu Mechagodzilla…
Kiryuu Knight, perhaps…Manda thought, hearing that from some of the workers sometimes refer to the bio-mecha as that. Mechagodzilla has taken on Gordon’s name now, nearing the time for him to take on the company. Gordon had said that when Kiryuu’s great challenge has been defeated, his mind will be free to take on the company. There will always be a Knight at the head of the Utah Foundation. And so, to keep a Knight in the Foundation, Kiryuu had begun to accept the name Knight. A last name for him, something to make him less of a commodity and more of a person—something to be respected.
Or to be feared…Manda admitted to himself. All empires must rise, and then fall. Gordon’s time is near, and then someday it will be Kiryuu’s time.
Kiryuu Knight buying out the company, secretly taking the Foundation away from Gordon piece by piece right under his nose. Mr. Knight a name now hardly distinguishable between Gordon and Kiryuu. Now Kiryuu was gaining the respect that he stated that he deserved and the empire that came with it. And it seemed Gordon was letting him as well. He was allowing Kiryuu to slowly take over, letting the company get used to being owned by a bio-mechanical, enormous creature.
Manda grunted when he sensed Kiryuu Knight’s frustrations growing. He heard the bio-mecha grunting every time something happened, something Kiryuu did not want. He could vision the first Godzilla in the center of the bay, his brow crossed in frustration, the emerald green, fleshy syntech locks brushing against his cheeks. Kiryuu grimaced again, not from sensing Manda’s prying mind, but from another dead-end he had met. Manda focused all his powers, delving deep into the machine’s CPU, searching for what he was up to. He merely skimmed across the surface, seeing what occupied Kiryuu’s mind.
Manda took in a gasp as that name whispered through his head. His ruby eyes opened up when he sensed another presence upon him.
It grows close with every breath…
From that Manda replied: And grows stronger.
You are bargaining with fate, Manda, I am concerned.
I have seen the storm, Mothra. It must take its course. Who am I to stand against it now? What I’ve done, what you’ve done. For the good of all, it must take its course.
You believe that he has the power to stop it?
That is a question you must answer yourself, Manda replied. For you are the one who brought him here in the first place.
He was just as manipulative then, Manda, Mothra warned. Young, naïve, animalistic, no ambition, but manipulative. But he was happy then.
And he’s not happy now? Manda asked.
You tell me. He has manipulated you as well, kept you here. For what?
Perhaps it is not me he is manipulating, it I who could be manipulating him, conditioning him for the battle to come.
Without his knowledge?
I have my ways…Manda said. Do not question my motives now. Question your own.
I must say, you are more sinister than Kraken was.
He was blinded by King Ghidorah, used as a slave. That dulled his mind. I will not let myself be come like he was—maddened by such frivolous lies and powers out of reach.
It is not you that I fear, Manda. It is Kiryuu that I fear. Something will happen…
This thing must take its course.
Then, this will be your head it shall fall upon.
Manda felt the presence leave him as his consciousness returned to the lounge. His eyes came in focus and he found two eyes staring at him. He saw Io staring at him with shocked eyes.
Don’t be afraid of me, Manda spoke to her. Do you understand me?
Io nodded, not sure how she could. Katsura said that he did not know how to speak Japanese.
I’m not speaking in words, Io, Manda said. Rather in thoughts and feelings. They are universal even if words are not. I can understand you if you speak to me, no matter the language.
“Katsura was right…” Io began. “You—you are a dragon.”
But that doesn’t make me any less of a person, Manda said, rising up off the floor. His reptilian form melted before her until all that was left was a blonde-haired man wearing a T-shirt, some raggedy jeans, and Converse shoes.
“What were you doing?” Io asked.
Meditating, Manda replied. It is what a Dragon does. It is called Shal-Mor. A Dragon’s ‘dream sleep’. It is when our minds are the most alert.
“Like the samurai, meditating to hone their minds,” Io said.
Something like that, Manda replied. It’s difficult to explain. Sometimes in order to explain it, you must be there to witness it yourself.
“Finally talking to her?” came a voice in the doorway. “Breaking the bonds of speech?”
“The only way I can talk to her, Katsura,” Manda said. “She finally saw me in my true form. I can’t hide myself from her when she’s seen a blue-green Dragon lying on the floor, sleeping…”
“You don’t sleep,” Katsura said. “That’s the last thing you do.”
“I’ve sensed Kiryuu’s frustrations,” Manda began. “What is he doing?”
“Being hung-up by Alan,” replied Katsura. “He won’t listen.”
“He will,” said the Dragon. “I know he will.”
“A three days,” Kiryuu growled, running his metallic claws through his dreads. “There have been times where he even shut off his phone. I’ve left messages, emails—nothing is working. He’s stubborn.”
“He’s you,” said Maria. “You cannot deny that.”
Kiryuu sighed, taking in a deep breath: “Bring Io in here, she is the only one who may be my door into Alan yet.” He closed his eyes and projected. Katsura, bring Io here.
What for? Katsura asked.
I need her to bring Alan to Utah, Kiryuu replied. Bring her in here, into me—my cockpit. Let Alan hear her voice. He will come if he hears her.
You’re going to use her, Katsura protested. A child…
Io wants me to rescue her father, Kiryuu said. I can’t. I’m cutting it too close. I have my own war I must fight. I can already feel him coming. Shinoda wants me to protect Alan. I can’t do any of those things. I can’t protect Alan, I can’t rescue Shinoda. It’s too late for that, but I can set something in motion. I already have begun the destruction of the CCI, now I must leave it in the hands of Alan to finish it off. My grandson will do well enough on his own now that Katagiri is blind to everything else. Bound by forces he cannot control, his true nature will come out and the world will see him for the madman he is. He will take Shinoda with him, try to prove that I did it, and there Alan will be waiting to finish what I have started. But I must bring him here.
He could tell that Katsura was frustrated; he could sense it through the link. This was not what Shinoda had in mind when he asked Kiryuu to protect Alan. He was going to use Alan again.
Alan would want no less, Kiryuu said. Katagiri had taken something away from him—his humanity. Now is the chance that Alan must take to get it back. My gift.
Maria turned around when she saw Katsura bring Io through the control room. There were people missing right now, Gordon was back at the Foundation’s headquarters and Will had his day off. For now, he was glad they were not here. Kiryuu’s golden eyes looked over to Katsura, then to Io. Maria stepped aside, allowing the two Japanese to ascend the catwalk. Katsura helped Io up onto Kiryuu’s shoulder. Kiryuu’s eyes turned back to Maria.
“I have to do this,” he said to her.
“I know,” Maria nodded, her eyes narrowing slightly as she watched Io and Katsura disappear into the hatch. A single cord of silvery syntech flowed down towards her and grazed her cheek.
“What do you see when you stare out like that, Maria?” Kiryuu asked.
“A future that might end tragically,” Maria sighed. “For us. I feel that we are reaching for something we can’t have. There are limitations…”
“Don’t see that, please,” Kiryuu caressed her face. “That is the last thing I wanted you to see for us. Don’t think I don’t know this might end tragically. That is a future I’ve forbidden myself to see.”
“You had better chance with Katsura,” Maria glanced up at him, pulling his tendril away from her face.
“I don’t,” Kiryuu protested. “It was forced. This isn’t.”
“I know,” Maria said.
Kiryuu closed his eyes, turning his mind now inward as Katsura settled herself down in the chair. He could still feel Maria holding onto the tendril he extended to her. It was like she was holding his hand. He could feel her. Kiryuu focused on Katsura and Io through the cameras inside the cockpit.
“I am going to dial up Alan’s phone,” Kiryuu said. “He hasn’t changed his number since I’ve been pestering him—yet. He doesn’t know that Shinoda is here. When Katagiri first started out searching for Alan with Shinoda, he didn’t want to cause a ruse. And he didn’t want me to be alerted to his presence. And the FBI is doing well to keep the CCI’s ‘attacks’ on their grids out of the eyes of the public. This hasn’t hit the news yet. Io, when I call Alan, I’m going to try and get him to listen long enough for you to talk to him. All you have to do is speak. There is a microphone above the monitor.”
“Hai,” Io nodded. She glanced around as she heard a dial tone sound off inside the cockpit. Then, a touchtone dialing sound came after that. The phone was ringing.
“Hello,” came an English-accented voice on the other line.
“Alan,” Kiryuu began. “Don’t hang up on me.”
“Kiryuu…” Alan growled through the phone. It was obvious that he did not want to speak to the bio-mecha.
“Before you think about disconnecting,” Kiryuu began. “I want you to hear the voice of someone that is here with me.”
Katsura nodded to Io.
“Alan-san desu ka?” Io asked. Then, there was silence.
“You hear that?” Kiryuu asked. “It’s Io, Alan. She’s here with me."
There was silence for a few minutes on the other end of the line. It seemed Alan comprehended what he had just heard. However, shortly afterwards, it seemed he had already made his mind up.
“How do I know that’s really Io there?” he snarled. Clearly, he was looking for any excuse to avoid speaking to Kiryuu. His speech was slightly slurred, as if he had been drinking. “After what I’ve seen you do, I don’t think copying someone’s voice would be a problem for you. You have a very sick sense of humor.”
“Alan…” Kiryuu sighed.
“I kept to my end of the deal!” Alan roared over the phone. “I spread the word about King f***ing Ghidorah. You told me you wouldn’t speak to me again after that, now why don’t you keep to your word and piss off?!”
“Alan!” Kiryuu growled. “You’re drunk. Shut up and listen to me.”
“No, f*** off,” Alan cried. “I’ve done what you asked, you heartless b*st*rd.”
“Alan, please,” Io called. “Don’t hang up. Remember what my father said? 'Gojira is apart of us.' In everyone’s mind. He’s in you as well. My father is in trouble, Alan. Katagiri’s captured him!”
There was silence on the other end of the line, punctuated only by Alan's ragged breathing. It seemed what Io had said had genuinely shocked him...
"Wha..." his voice could barely be heard, stammering, "... What did you say?"
Io knew she had gotten Alan's attention. That had been a very personal conversation, never recorded anywhere, not even on the G-Chaser Network or her father's notes... Not even Kiryuu could possibly know about it. She swallowed, as she prepared to speak again, determined to persuade Alan to listen.
"Do you remember papa saying that to you, Alan-san?" she began. "I was there, remember? It was not long after we all first met... You, me, papa... We were talking about Gojira after a G-Chase. You were fascinated by papa's research, you hoped you could understand Gojira better through talking to him... He was thrilled to meet someone else who cared about Gojira as a living being... even more so than him..." Io broke off slightly, as if she was finding bringing up these memories painful, given her longing to see her father again. However, on seeing an encouraging nod from Katsura, she tried her best to continue.
"That was when papa made that comment," she continued. "'Gojira is a part of us, in everyone's mind'. You asked him what he meant, and he replied... he replied by saying that Gojira should always be in humanity's collective conscience..." Io shook her head, unsure if she should be saying this in front of Kiryuu. "He... he felt humanity should share the blame for what they did to Gojira. He said he often felt that Gojira's attacks on us were justified...
"He said... he said 'Gojira should not be destroyed... Not only because he can't, but because he is needed... Humanity will always remain so reckless in their pursuit of technology and power, their pursuit of domination... He felt Gojira is needed to keep us in check, remind us that we cannot control everything in this world..." Io chuckled slightly. "I remember you cracking a joke about what papa had said... You said 'Yeah, I know Gojira's a part of me because-"
"'Because..." Alan interjected, sounding like he was trying not to laugh, "... because my bits 'n' pieces are covered in itchy grey scales'. I remember that."
Io chuckled - even at her young age she could figure out what Alan meant by that. She could hear Katsura struggling to stifle a laugh. Then there was another moment of silence before Alan spoke again.
"Gojira's a part of us...'" he repeated, in a more somber tone. "Yeah... he's definitely a part of me, Io... I'm his illegitimate son, in a way... Not something I can easily come to terms with." It sounded like Alan was now convinced he was talking to the real Io, for that same memory still resided within him.
"Alan-san..." Io said, pausing for a moment to organize her words. "Regardless of who's blood runs inside you, you're still my friend. Please, Alan... Right now, you need to listen to what Kiryuu has to say. If not for his sake, then for mine... for papa's. Please..."
A loud sigh from Alan could be heard on the other end of the line. It was clear he didn't want to talk to Kiryuu... but it seemed to be dawning on him that he would very much need to.
"Okay, Io..." Alan finally said after a pause, calmer than he had been before. "... Put Kiryuu back on."
“Alan,” Kiryuu began, taking his cue. “Do you believe me now?”
“Yes, I do,” Alan’s voice came out with some slight sarcasm. “What do you want?”
“Apparently I’ve made a mistake, Alan,” Kiryuu began. “A mistake that I’m afraid our dear friend Shinoda is paying for. I never meant for any of this to happen.”
“What happened?” Alan asked.
Kiryuu paused for a moment, an audible sigh breezed across the auditory speakers within the cockpit. This was something even he had a hard time explaining. He slowly gathered the words together and finally was able to speak.
“My involvement in this has placed all of us at risk,” Kiryuu began. “What’s worse about this is that the CCI now knows who was behind the raid on their facility. Worst of all, they know about you.”
“What?” Alan cried. “What do you mean?”
“They—Katagiri…” Kiryuu began. “Possibly through Miyasaka, and also through Shinoda…”
“I don’t f***ing believe this!” Alan cried, interrupting Kiryuu. “You told me they wouldn’t trace the theft back to us! You promised!”
“Alan,” Kiryuu began, sensing that his anger was starting to peak again.
“No, shut up!” Alan cried. “You told me I wouldn’t be getting in trouble, that you’d have everything under control. I even came to this God forsaken land because you said I would be…”
“They haven’t found you yet, have they?” Kiryuu asked. “Then, I’d shut up about it. This isn’t about you right now. It’s about Shinoda.”
“How did they find him?” Alan asked. “Through the syntech? Is that it? I knew giving that syntech to Shinoda would come back to bite me up the ***.”
“They never found the syntech on Shinoda,” Kiryuu replied. “They never knew he had it.”
“Then how the hell did they trace it back to you?” Alan asked.
“Because they knew that only I would have the power to do something like that to their grids, Alan,” Kiryuu replied. “Because I’ve done it before. They—recognized my style in hacking. They knew my style—since Yokohama. Only I could work that fast. Only I would know where to hit them, how to hit them, because I’ve done it. I’ve delved too deep into the CCI, Alan. I knew I did when I said I’d push it to 40 minutes. I’m not used to pushing it any longer than five.”
“So,” Alan began, with a slight chuckle in his voice. Kiryuu recognized that chuckle, it was his own. Alan was using Kiryuu’s famous, high and mighty chuckle against him. “So, they finally caught you.”
“Alan,” Kiryuu sighed, his sigh slowly turning into a growl when he heard Alan continue to chuckle. For once, Alan was laughing at him. “I’m not done.”
“Oh, I think you are,” Alan said. “I know exactly what this is. You used me, you’re using Io, you use everybody! Even your own son! It’s about time you went through some ‘karmic retribution’, maybe it’s made you realize just how full of s*** you are!”
“Alan!” Kiryuu roared back at him. Alan heard a buzzing sound coming from the phone, building up into a loud squeal. Then, he felt it, a shock through the ear piece of the phone.
“Ow!” Alan cried. “What the f*** was that?”
“Kiryuu!” Katsura cried. Kiryuu growled again, ignoring her.
“Now that I’ve gotten your attention, little human,” the bio-mechanical dinosaur growled once more. “There is something I wish to inform you of. I am not finished, for one. In away, all of this has fit into another plan of mine. Which I will inform you when you arrive.”
“What?” Alan asked.
“Who knows who could be listening in, right?” Kiryuu asked. “I’ll tell you everything that I did when you get here. But I’ll say this, because Katagiri has decided to make a move against me, I am now crushing him into oblivion.”
“What does that mean?” Alan asked.
“I told you when we met,” began Kiryuu. “That I had the power to crush the CCI. We I have. You don’t have to worry about Katagiri for now. Per Shinoda’s request though, I have been asked to take care of you and Io. I need you help, Alan. I can’t save Shinoda on my own. So, I need you to come back to Utah for me. But this time, no desert will be our reunion. No, this time, you’re coming to my base.”
“Huh?” Alan asked, stupefied.
“I want you to come to the base, Alan,” he continued. “Come as soon as you can. The sooner the better. For one, you’ll get to see Io. For another, you can read Shinoda’s note he’s left behind. Some instructions…”
“Alright…” Alan sighed. “Fine. I’ll come through to Utah, but just to check on Io. That’s all I have to say.”
“Excellent,” Kiryuu chuckled. “See you when you come. And when you get to Salt Lake, do check your inbox. I'll be leaving instructions for you.”
“Whatever,” he sighed again, clicking the phone off.
“Will he come, Kiryuu?” Io asked.
“I think he would,” Kiryuu said.
“Another one of your evil schemes?” Katsura asked.
“No,” Kiryuu replied. “Not this time.”
September 24th, 2005, 09:10 AM
Ever since his first face-to-face encounter with Kiryuu, Alan's life had taken a most unpleasant turn.
He still vividly remembered what happened a month ago, of how he had broken into the CCI's headquarters and obtained highly confidential files pertaining to the Oxygen Destroyer - the only weapon ever to kill Godzilla. That file was now destroyed, though that wasn't what had really bothered Alan... He still remembered seeing his friends connected to the ICUs, both of them not recognizable due to the horrifying mutations caused by Organizer G-1...
His reward for obtaining the files was the proof that he had been searching for two years, the evidence he needed to prove that the American and British governments had tried to cover up the truth about the invasion of King Ghidorah two years ago... At last, he had the information. Against his own bitter desire to see humanity punished for its mistakes, he had passed on the information to as many newspapers and TV studios as he could, not just in America, but elsewhere in the world. The news had instantly hit the airwaves. The truth was finally out... Much had happened since then, all stemming from a few pieces of paper...
He'd had half a mind to pass on the information about the Organizer G-1 experiments as well, but he had stopped himself, knowing he could be tracked down if he did that... He wasn't surprised nobody had been able to find him after the exposure of the cover-up - Kiryuu was good at covering up his tracks.
That was no reason to relax though. After he and Kiryuu had parted ways, Alan had traveled all across the States, staying in low-rent motels, places where the right amount of money could buy anonymity. He didn't want to be followed, didn't want to leave any signs that could be traced. Kiryuu had paid him $10,000 for taking the files from the CCI, but he'd barely touched it.
When Kiryuu had contacted him, Alan had been stopping off in Montana, on the point of heading further north, to Canada first, then onward to Alaska. He wanted to find somewhere quiet to spend his remaining days, even if he knew those remaining days were to last until doomsday. He'd found himself drinking a lot lately too - the presence of Organizer G-1 in his bloodstream stopped him from causing damage to his liver or kidneys, but it didn't stop him getting drunk.
He'd been drinking a lot to try and prevent the memories coming back... For, in order to get Alan to understand King Ghidorah's terrible power, Kiryuu had somehow implanted some of his memories into Alan's mind. They still haunted Alan every so often, usually while he was dreaming. Reliving bad memories was bad enough for him, but to find himself reliving someone else's memories had to be one of the scariest things he had ever witnessed... Not even the copious amounts of drink seemed to shift them. He figured he would have to stop drinking one of these days, even if there was no danger from death by overdrinking.
That had been a few days ago, when Kiryuu contacted him, and now finally Alan had managed the long journey back to the state of Utah, the last place on Earth he really wanted to be right now... well, aside from Japan, where he would have been caught for the CCI theft. He had rented another Landover for the journey - he didn't like public transport, and if what Kiryuu said was true then there was no danger of anyone trying to leap on any information they could get on him for the time being, so he'd paid for his own transport. He still missed his bike terribly - one of the few things he truly missed about Japan. He made a mental note to ask Io if her father had kept it in good condition.
On arrival in Salt Lake City, Alan had found himself a computer at an Internet café, and had checked his email. Sure enough, he found a message from Kiryuu;
“Alan, these are the coordinates that you’ll need in order to make it to the base. Again, like the Yokohama base, the building looks like an office building. Only it’s a bit bigger. This is not the headquarters of the Utah Foundation, that is a 100 storey sky scraper in Salt Lake City. This is the main base. When you get to the receptionist. Just ask for Mr. K. Knight. She’ll contact me and I’ll be there to meet you at the front desk.
Kiryuu Knight? Alan had thought disbelievingly. Dear gods... Gordon Knight's becoming too attached to him. How the hell's he going to speak to me at the front desk, anyway? Shrink himself?
He had checked the coordinates Kiryuu had supplied, and had pinpointed them to an isolated area between Salt Lake City and Provo. Well, Alan reasoned, it would be a bit much for Kiryuu to suddenly burst out of a busy city street, even if the main Utah Foundation headquarters was right in the middle of town.
So now he had arrived at the base. Kiryuu hadn't been kidding - the look of the base brought back vivid memories of the Foundation's 'branch office' in Yokohama. Alan had been there once, and had not been successful at finding any information on Kiryuu there. That wasn't why he was here though - he knew more than enough about what exactly made Kiryuu 'tick'.
He took in a deep breath, preparing himself for another encounter with one of the last people on Earth he wanted to see right now. Still, at least this meant he wouldn't be bound up in syntech again, that was one experience he was rather keen to avoid.
He walked up the front steps and through the sliding doors. Even the interior decor was similar to the Yokohama building, possibly even plainer. As Alan walked in, he approached the front desk. The receptionist on duty there looked surprised to see that somebody had come into this place. Alan figured that his appearance didn't help - he was wearing his usual black T-shirt and blue jeans combo, his hair still tied back in a long ponytail. To most people, he probably looked like a biker.
"Can I help you, sir?" the receptionist asked. Alan sighed, not believing he was going to say what he was about to;
"I'm here to speak to Mr. K. Knight," he said.
“Mr. K. Knight?” the receptionist asked, blinking in rather some shock and some minor confusion. “I’m sorry, sir, but no one sees that Mr. Knight…”
“Look, love,” Alan growled. “I’m here to see Mr. K. Knight. He bloody summoned me here, now let me see him.”
“But…” she shook her head again.
“It’s okay, Darla,” began a deep voice coming from behind the corner. “He has an appointment.”
Alan stepped back just as something new to the equation came into his eye range. There he was, Kiryuu, the Mechagodzilla himself, standing no less than eight feet tall right in front of him. Alan’s eyes felt like they were about to pop out of their own sockets after this one.
“Y—yes, Mr. Knight,” Darla nodded, rising up from her seat. “I’m sorry, sir.”
“No problem,” Kiryuu began, his lips curling in a half smile. “Mr. Tyler, I’ve been expecting you. Welcome to the Utah Foundation’s Site Alpha Base.” His head turned back to Darla. “Cancel all of my appointments, Darla. Reschedule the broker meeting to Thursday and tell our investors that my meeting with them has been reschedule to five this afternoon.”
Alan still remained as silent as he could, his eyes just passing from Darla to Kiryuu. Darla had already taken out a pad, notating what Kiryuu had said to her.
“Mr. Knight, there is that meeting in ten minutes with the company’s chairmen today,” she began. “Gordon Knight insisted that you attend…”
“Is he there now?” Kiryuu asked.
“Yes, sir,” she replied.
“Give my regards to Gordon,” Kiryuu sighed. “But I can’t possibly make it today. As you can see, I have more important things to handle right now.”
“Yes, sir,” Darla sighed, taking down the last of the notes.
“I’m terribly sorry, Alan,” Kiryuu began. “But you will not be meeting Gordon Knight today. Perhaps next time you visit. But I’m so glad you stopped by on such short notice. Now, follow me, I’ll show you where Io is.”
For a few moments Alan found himself unable to take his eyes off Kiryuu, as he straggled slightly behind the mecha, following him through the building. It dawned on him that this had to be some kind of hologram, but he had never seen one so convincing, so solid-looking. What kind of technology did they have here? At every security station they passed, the guards allowed them both through with no questions, saluting Kiryuu as they passed. Alan could not help shaking his head at this - Kiryuu seemed to be completely in control, everybody here answered to him...
As they rounded a corner, approaching what looked like a pair of elevator doors, an idea formed in Alan's head, something he'd wanted to do ever since he met Kiryuu. Ever since that day he'd wanted to hurt Kiryuu somehow, leave his own mark on the droid. Just one punch would really make his day. Alan smirked - even if it was just a hologram, this was too good an opportunity to pass up.
Checking around him to make sure no-one was looking, Alan crept up right behind Kiryuu, his fist clenched. Then, as quick as a flash, he swung his fist, aiming straight at Kiryuu's head.
However, just as his fist was about to make contact with the back of his head, Kiryuu suddenly side-stepped, the punch ending up well wide of the mark. Alan staggered forward, thrown forward by the force of his failed attempt. As he dodged the punch, Kiryuu suddenly stuck his foot out, tripping up Alan. A yelp of surprise escaped Alan's throat as he was sent crashing face-first onto the floor.
Alan slowly rolled over onto his back, until he was staring up at the lights on the ceiling. He groaned slightly - it didn't really hurt, but he still felt sore after taking a knock like that. Presently, Kiryuu came into his view, standing over him and looking down. Alan could see a half-smile on his snout - clearly he was enjoying every minute of this.
"Now what on Earth prompted you to do that, dear grandson?" he said, in mock surprise. "Hitting your loving grandfather. Not that it'll harm me anyways, you're looking at a hologram. A photonic projection of my person, if you will. The real me is somewhat in the lower levels. And you will see him when we go through that elevator."
Kiryuu jerked his head up, and Alan turned his head to see where he was pointing. The elevator was scant yards down the corridor. Alan pulled himself to his feet, wincing slightly, his dreams of at least a small form of payback against Kiryuu shattered. He dusted himself off, looking back at Kiryuu.
"Not bad, for an old-timer," Alan said. Well, if he couldn't jab Kiryuu physically, he could still do it verbally. After all, Kiryuu persisted in calling him his grandson, he felt he was entitled to use age quips.
September 24th, 2005, 09:12 AM
Kiryuu lead Alan into the elevator and punched for the correct floor he needed to be on. He closed his eyes as the door closed behind both of them. Kiryuu glanced down at Alan, sniffing at him slightly. This was a slight shock to him now as well. He could see those eyes of the human’s, the eyes that looked exactly like his. They did a good job in melding his son’s DNA with the human that stood beside him. Alan glanced up at him, his face bunched up in a curious and rather annoyed look.
“What the hell are you looking at?” he asked.
“This is the first time I have been able to see you face to face like this,” Kiryuu began. “Those eyes…”
“Yeah, well you told me why I have them,” Alan said.
“I know I did,” Kiryuu rumbled. His eyes narrowed slightly. “Don’t think that I am for one using Io for anything. I think you should read this for yourself before you meet her.”
Kiryuu pulled out a note and handed it to Alan. The human took it and read it.
“I suspect you can read Japanese,” Kiryuu began. “You’ve lived in Japan for a good while. Shinoda wrote that for an old friend of his, the creator of my syntech—Dr. Katsura Yugami. They’ve known each other since college.”
“Shinoda knew—someone inside the Foundation?” Alan’s eyes widened even more when he started reading the note. “He—he never told me that…”
“He knew one of the Foundation’s top scientists?” Kiryuu asked, chuckling. “Possibly not really necessary for you to know. Another piece of information during the time not really worth mentioning.”
“Now it is!” Alan cried. “I can’t believe this!”
“They haven’t seen each other in a long time, Alan,” Kiryuu said. “Not since college. He risked everything in even trusting her with the care of Io. He was probably not sure she remembered him. Don’t be so hard on Shinoda.”
Alan glanced away again, reading the note. All of this that has happened recently was a request from Shinoda. Kiryuu sighed again, as he glanced out the glass window. Alan followed his gaze, seeing what he was looking at. Before him was the enormous bay area housing the body of Kiryuu. The syntech green dreads grew out and attached themselves to the walls and the eyes of the great mecha were closed. Alan passed his eyes between the real machine and the holographic image that stood beside him. Once more, it was hard to believe what he was seeing. The bay was a sight to see. Balconies and catwalks wove every which way around the form of Mechagodzilla. There were people up on Kiryuu’s shoulders, doing some sort of odd job to maintain him. There were people wearing hard hats and carrying binders and clipboards, taking notes. Then, he saw her, Io, standing beside a woman with a long, black braid. Alan glanced over at Kiryuu, noticing that he had closed his eyes. For a moment, he thought he heard a voice in his mind, two voices. One he could recognize as Kiryuu, and the other, he also recognized. Still, he could not quite place it. They sounded muffled though. Alan put his hand on his head, shaking it. The elevator came to a stop.
“Alan!” Io cried when she saw the doors open. “Alan! I’ve missed you!”
She ran up to him, only pausing a pace from him. Io bowed respectfully, though her bright smile never slipped away from her face.
“It’s good to see you again,” Io continued.
Alan gave a similar bow to Io, a warm smile on his face. Clearly he was glad to see the first friendly face for a while.
"The feeling's mutual, Io-sama," he replied.
"There is so much to tell you, Alan!" Io said, breathlessly. "Come! Come on!" At that, she started run back out onto the catwalks in the immense hangar, towards the woman with the braid, clearly somebody she wanted Alan to meet.
Alan shrugged, and walked out onto the catwalk himself, towards Io. It was then that he started hearing the voices in his head again, Kiryuu's and that other voice... He stopped in his tracks, wincing slightly as he held his head. He used his other arm to lean against the railing. Io ran back over to him, looking concerned.
"Alan!" she asked, urgently, "Are you alright?"
Alan shook his head, as if trying to shake the voices out. He looked back at Io, trying to make himself look calm.
"Yeah, I'm fine," he said. "Just a headache. Didn't get much sleep last night."
Alan only wished he could believe his own words. He decided to take a moment to look around the hangar from his vantage point. It was an impressive sight, to say the least. Alan only wished he was seeing this under happier circumstances.
"How much did all this cost the taxpayers?" he wondered aloud, figuring Kiryuu could hear him.
Kiryuu chuckled at the remark stepping forwards towards Alan. An eyebrow cocked up slightly as he took in a breath, about to explain what all of this was about.
“We don’t use tax payers’ money,” Kiryuu began. “The Utah Foundation of Bio-Organic Research is a privately funded organization. We’re a foundation, meaning we accept donations from people with large wallets. The research that has gone into this was paid for partly by grateful customers and clients who use our products. And a few times we have fund raisers for such things as this base. But most of this is actually paid out of Gordon Knight’s pocket, as well as the pockets of various other companies. For instance, the Chrysler Company.”
“Gordon always said that a privately owned company can build anything ten times better than the government,” the lady beside Io began. “Because since it’s his money that’s going into research like this, he makes sure that every last penny is spent wisely.”
“Ah, Katsura,” Kiryuu began. “Alan, this is Dr. Katsura Yugami, the head of the bio-organic project and the construction of my muscle system.”
“Nice to meet you at last, Mr. Tyler,” Katsura smiled slightly.
Alan stepped forward as Katsura took out her hand. He shook it slightly.
“You’re the scientist who created Kiryuu’s muscle system?” he asked. “And you knew Shinoda…”
Her voice was familiar.
“I’m sure it came to shock for you,” Katsura began. “For as long as I have known him, I haven’t seen him in a long while. I’m surprised he even still remembered me. Which reminds me, Kiryuu, the fund raiser’s tomorrow night. And you promised to take Maria to it.”
“Did she go shopping with the money I gave her?” Kiryuu asked.
“She’s in the control room, right now,” Katsura said. “With the dress on.”
“Katsura, I don’t have any time…”
“I’ll handle Alan and Io,” she said. “You go in there make Maria happy. She’s your girlfriend after all.”
“And your assistant,” Kiryuu chuckled. “I’m sorry, Alan. It’s the first fund raiser Dr. Vasquez has ever been to. I’ll be right back.” Katsura…
You know I’m going to tell him, Katsura projected. No doubt he can already sense it.
Alan watched as Kiryuu’s image ran off, disappearing behind a door where the control room was. He tilted his head slightly to peek in, noticing a pair of arms reaching up and folding around Kiryuu’s neck.
“Alan,” began Katsura, drawing his attention back to her again. “I’m glad that you could come. From Shinoda’s note, he seemed rather worried about you. We all know what you have inside of you. No doubt it’s been more trouble than it’s worth.”
"You could say that," Alan replied. "Looking on the bright side though, like Kiryuu said, at least I don't have to worry about doctor's bills anymore."
"That's still no excuse for you to drink so much," Io added despondently, shaking her head. Alan sighed, knowing she had him there. He felt embarrassed that he'd spoken the way he had over the phone with Io listening in.
Kiryuu came out of the control room again, leading a very lovely, Hispanic woman with his arm. She was dressed in an evening gown, with golden sequins and sparkling jewelry around her neck. Alan’s eyes widened, finding that he could not keep his eyes off of her.
“Alan, this is Katsura’s assistant and also the project manager of the Utah Foundation’s branch office,” Kiryuu began. “Dr. Maria Vasquez. I believe you might have heard of that name from the news. Her programming allowed my syntech to function better underwater.”
“Excuse the way I’m dressed,” she began. “The big fund raiser’s tomorrow. And on my salary, I couldn’t…”
“But I could,” Kiryuu chuckled. “So, I did and now you look as sophisticated as a lot of the old fossils you’ll be meeting there.”
Maria leaned up and kissed Kiryuu on the cheek. He chuckled again as she let go of his arm. Alan arched an eyebrow—she actually kissed him? He decided he really didn't want to know how close these two were.
“Sorry, I have to get back dressed in my work clothes,” Maria gasped in some excitement. “Your photography is lovely, Mr. Tyler. I saved that picture you sent Gordon. Got it hanging up on my wall in my office. Hasta luego!”
Maria scampered off, picking up her dress as she headed for the elevator. Kiryuu shook his head as he chuckled again, watching her with pleased eyes as she disappeared into the elevator.
“Ay, mamasita,” he rumbled. “She’s very excited about this. Since Katsura has to take care of Io, Maria decided to go in her place.”
“Usually, I would go,” Katsura began. “But I’ve had it with those big parties Gordon has to raise more money for the company.”
“And…Kiryuu goes to these…” Alan broke off, not really sure what he was about to say next. He was starting to get a mental image of Kiryuu in a tuxedo, and couldn't imagine him pulling it off.
“If you think I go as I am, you are mistaken,” Kiryuu said. “Because this is a hologram, I can change my appearance. I often go under the aliases of other names, just as Gordon’s fanatical advisor, a Japanese man wearing a plain black tux. They don’t know who I am, and for now it will be kept that way. But the day when the world finds out…”
“Okay, this is all nice,” Alan sighed. “Now, about your call. And Io…and…what the hell is going on here?!”
“Follow me,” Kiryuu began. “I’ll have Will Penter aid me in explaining to you what has happened.”
Kiryuu lead Alan into the control room, Katsura and Io following them. Will was sitting down at the control panel, running some numbers. He turned around, smiling back at Kiryuu.
“Alright,” he began. “It’s about time you introduced me. Why am I always the last person on the list, Kiryuu?”
“Will,” Kiryuu sighed.
“I mean, I’m the guy who programmed your AI,” Will said, rising up out of his chair. “I should be at least the second on the list when you bring new people into the base. But here I am, the last person. No respect at all.”
“Will, Alan,” Kiryuu motioned. “Alan, Will. And what he said…the programmer of my AI.”
“Every line of code!” Will called. “Every line, every bit of hardware, software, wiring, smelting, programming, debugging, protocols that go into Kiryuu, I’m the guy who writes it. And he doesn’t take time out of his busy schedule to play at least one game of Halo 2 with me.”
“What about two hours ago?” Kiryuu asked, staring back at Will with a ‘what-the hell-are-you-talking-about’ expression.
“Oh, yeah, sure, two hours ago,” Will sighed. “You didn’t even give it your best that time. I kept sniping you and you did nothing!”
“Well, I’m sorry, I haven’t played it as long as you have, Will,” Kiryuu sighed. “I haven’t had the time.”
“I gave this guy life, and he doesn’t have the time!” Will threw up his hands in mock exasperation. “Do me a favor and run these numbers through your processor, Kiryuu.”
Will handed a piece of paper over to Kiryuu. The bio-mecha began to read it, and his eyes turned back to Will again, with an even more horrified expression. Alan had never seen Kiryuu give such an expression before.
“Will, these are roulette numbers!” Kiryuu breathed. “Gambling, Will? You want me to gamble for you? Q tried that. And you said…”
“I know what I said,” Will began. “But right now, I’m feeling lucky.”
“You’re cheating,” Kiryuu shook his head again. “You’re getting me to cheat for you.”
“Look, I got the weight, the height, and the size of the table,” began Will. “The weight of the ball, and the fact that the table leans slightly 2 degrees to the left. The same table.”
“And it’s a 6 percent chance of failure as well, Will,” Kiryuu growled back.
“A narrow margin,” Will continued. “Just do it once. I won’t ask again. Once, just once.”
“Fine,” he sighed. “I’ll do it, where’s the pencil?”
Will handed Kiryuu a pencil from the desk and the hologram began writing down percentile chances on whether or not the ball would land on each number. He slapped the paper back at Will, shaking his head again.
“It won’t be my fault that you go broke, Will,” Kiryuu said. “It’s your money. And you get caught…”
Alan remained silent. Gambling? Halo 2? Company parties? Sounded like Kiryuu had developed quite a life for himself outside of fighting monsters.
“I’ll deny everything,” Will smiled. “Don’t worry. Okay, now, Mr. Tyler. About the CCI. This will answer your questions. We suspected a bug. It was possible that Katagiri bugged a phone line somewhere and that’s how he knew about you and Kiryuu’s little theft.”
“So,” Kiryuu began. “While he came here, searching for you and Shinoda, he sent his hackers to break into the Foundation’s databases. In a way it was to keep us busy until he found Shinoda and Io. Which he did, but he only captured Shinoda. Io escaped and came to Katsura, bringing the syntech with her, as well as the note. But I grew tired of Shinoda and for what he did to you and to the others—as well as my son, I attacked back. How I did this was I sent the hackers from the CCI into other databases, government databases. They delved into places they weren’t supposed to go. And so now, Katagiri has been captured by the FBI for the theft of important, top secret information. One of the databases I had the CCI hack into was the database found in the US’s government grid. And now America is angry at Japan. Katagiri has been arrested by the FBI and Shinoda is being held for questioning. This was the best I could do in saving Shinoda for now. And as for Io, well, Katsura has been doing her best to take care of her until I figure out how to get Shinoda released from FBI custody. He’s not a prisoner, he’s just being held for questioning.”
“And well, because of what happened,” Will began, chuckling slightly. “They thought the hunt for the ‘traitor’ Shinoda was a ruse to distract the FBI’s attention away from the CCI’s break in of their databases. Katagiri’s in hot water now. And now, not even Japan can save him. Ifume has called off the search for you and Japan’s eyes are no longer looking at Kiryuu for aiding you in stealing that information.”
“In other words,” Kiryuu laughed. “In a way, all of this worked out perfectly. I have Katagiri where I want him, the CCI is now slowly being down for what they have done and an investigation of their databases and their files is being conducted by the UN. And the UN will find out about Organizer G-1, Alan. They will find out, and they will convict not only Katagiri, but Ifume for allowing these inhumane experiments to persist. But you see, you have the final files…”
“I see, you want me to give you the files so you can present them to the UN,” Alan began. “Like I…”
“No,” Kiryuu replied. “I don’t. I want them to find out about the two other subjects. But they will never find out about you. Ever. It won’t matter anyways. I’ve been monitoring outer space. King Ghidorah is coming close, very close. I’ve estimated about four months before he arrives. And this is only an estimate. A guess, Alan. I’m guessing here.”
Kiryuu sighed again, leaning up against the wall. Alan closed his eyes and hung his head. Kiryuu wasn't the only one with a score to settle with King Ghidorah...
“I don’t know if I have the power to stop him,” Kiryuu sighed, his voice nothing more than a frightened whisper. “I want to, but I don’t think I can.”
Katsura came over to Kiryuu’s side, laying a hand on his shoulder. She comforted him.
“You will,” she said. “We all will. This is our fight.”
September 24th, 2005, 09:13 AM
Alan sighed again, looking at the two. Then, that was when he saw a dark spot on Katsura’s neck. It looked like some sort of headphone jack sticking right out of her bare neck.
He found himself unable to look away from this mark for some reason... In the end, he thought it best to satisfy his curiosity now - he couldn't see how things could get weirder than they already were.
"Er... Dr. Yugami?" he started, "You... you've got something on your neck..."
Io and Will looked awkwardly between Alan, Katsura and Kiryuu. They knew Alan had seen the jack on Katsura's neck, and wondered what was going to happen next.
As Katsura looked between Alan and Kiryuu, Alan suddenly started to feel a strange buzzing in his head again. He held his hand up to his forehead, wincing slightly as the voices started to come again. He knew he could hear some sort of conversation, involving Kiryuu and...
His eyes widened as he now recognized who the other voice belonged to... It was Katsura's voice... no doubt about it. He looked between Katsura and Kiryuu, now visibly shaking.
What the hell's going on here?! he thought. Am I going insane?!
Kiryuu sighed, looking away from Katsura. There was no sense in hiding it, though he could not have the heart to tell him. He did not want to.
I’ll tell him, Kiryuu, Katsura projected. “Alan, how can I explain this? Like you are connected to Godzilla, I am connected to Kiryuu.”
“Huh?” Alan asked.
“It happened two years ago,” Katsura began. “Because Kiryuu attacked Tokyo, we shot him with an EM pulse, and it shut him down. But because of the pulse, Godzilla was drawn to Tokyo. We had to figure out a way to turn Kiryuu back on. Will was…”
“Kiryuu shot a bio-feedback through the control consol in the base and I got fried,” Will sighed. “I couldn’t turn Kiryuu back on. Katsura was the only one left who could.”
“So, I did,” Katsura said. “I—went inside the cockpit while Kiryuu laid there in the street, hoping to reactivate him. But he wouldn’t turn back on.”
“I refused,” Kiryuu rumbled. “I wanted to know what morality was. No one could tell me; all the time before my first battle as Mechagodzilla, no one could tell me. So I revolted against them. Humans, illogical creatures you are! Nothing could compare you to the cold logical computations of a machine. Your paradoxes, just being what I was then, trying to understand that paradox that you are, I would have self-destructed. There was no way I could understand, save one. So, while Katsura was trying to reactivate me, through what reserve power I had, I proposed an alternative. My syntech formed into an implant that I inserted into her neck. I shouldn’t have done it. I regret doing it. I regretted everything I had done to Katsura…”
“But if he had not, who knows what could really have happened,” Katsura began. “He could never understand human morality. Not even animals could understand that. Even if he was the reincarnation of Godzilla, Godzilla doesn’t know what moral values are. This was more than Kiryuu wanting to hurt us for enslaving him…this was the computer inside of him—the machine telling Godzilla that we humans were the cause of everything. Because that was logical and humanity wasn’t. The AI wanted to rid the world of the illogical, to purge it from this place. So, the implant I have inside of me now literally infests Kiryuu with the illogical to where he has no choice but to accept it. And for a while, it allowed us to—control him just a little bit longer. Thing is, it puts a price on him, makes him realize he’s more vulnerable. If his AI ceases to function all-together, I die.”
“And that’s the last thing I want to happen,” Kiryuu said.
Alan looked between Katsura and Kiryuu, this new information hitting him like a ton of bricks. He sat down on one of the chairs in the room, holding his head in his hands, trying to fathom what he had just heard. It was then that a vivid memory flashed before his eyes... a memory that wasn't even his own.
A nighttime sky...
The streets of modern Tokyo, covered in ice...
Kiryuu standing over the ruins, his open chest glowing with a brilliant blue light... Along with this visual memory, what Kiryuu had said that night still stuck with him...
“I was ordered to destroy the one thing that is threatening this world... You created Godzilla, the creature that I was built to destroy. Is it not logical to destroy your kind in the process? I had read in one of your sacred testimonies that there is a law… ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth’. So, how logical is that you would make a law like that and then turn around and say that I am in the wrong here?”
That was what Kiryuu must have been like before he implanted that plug into Katsura's neck... Now Alan was beginning to think Kiryuu was becoming more and more human - as far as Alan could tell, he was believing that he could have control over everything...
All he wanted to do was say something to Kiryuu, yell at him, tell him exactly what he had to endure practically every night ever since their last meeting. He wanted to tell them all what he had to experience whenever he linked with Godzilla, both in the past and present. He feared though that he would worry Io more than she probably already was. He got the feeling that even now they were all looking at him, expecting him to say something... anything...
He removed his hands from his head. Katsura's words had given him much to think about concerning the link between himself and Godzilla... If Kiryuu could learn to understand humans through the link, couldn't Godzilla do the same in theory?
It was then that a horrifying thought occurred to him. Just as Katsura's life was now directly connected to Kiryuu's, what would happen if either he or Godzilla died? He remembered vividly what that person... that thing... had told him in Nevada. He had tried to pass it off as a dream, but now he had the feeling he knew something about what had happened to him. He shook his head, remembering what she had said to him, and what Kiryuu had basically reiterated...
She was right about me all along, he thought, even though he didn't want to admit it.
Kiryuu stared for a moment at Alan, waiting for him to say something. There was nothing but silence. Nothing could break it. He was not sure he wanted to right now. He had other things to worry about. He could tell that Alan was struggling just to take in all that he heard he and Katsura told him.
Kiryuu, perhaps we should leave him be for a moment, Katsura suggested. He didn’t expect this.
After all that I put him through, I’m surprised that he hasn’t been desensitized by it yet, Kiryuu sighed. Very well. He finally spoke aloud. “Perhaps you need some time alone to figure all of this out. There is a conference room on this level that I can show you to.”
Alan did not even say a single word. Though, he did nod slightly. The hologram motioned for him to follow.
“Come with me,” Kiryuu rumbled.
“Alan?” Io asked.
“He needs some time to himself right now,” Katsura said. “I don’t think he would have suspected we literally tell him everything.”
Just when he thought he had me figured out, Katsura, Kiryuu rumbled into her mind with a slight cynical chuckle.
Kiryuu and Alan turned the corner to a door at the end of the hall. Alan’s eyes just grew slightly wide when he saw the hologram grip the doorknob with is claw and opened the door. That hologram was more real that he thought it was.
“There’s a phone in there,” Kiryuu said. “Just dial extension 2753 when you’re ready to talk some more.”
Alan watched as the holographic mecha closed the door, leaving him alone inside the conference room.
Alan sighed, and sat down on one of the chairs in the room. He knew there was a lot to say to Kiryuu, but not right now. Not at least for a few minutes...
He glanced all around him, at all of the walls and at the lights on the ceiling. He had the sneaking suspicion that Kiryuu could see him, but right now that didn't matter to him. He was turning over everything that he had found out, not just what Katsura had told him earlier, but everything that had happened to him ever since Kiryuu entered his life... Much had happened, and now this new information, not to mention everything that happened to the Shinodas, had thrown him into new doubts... He was amazed that he was acting the way he was - with everything he had witnessed, he would've thought he was desensitized to it all by now, that nothing would surprise him... Right now, he didn't know what he was supposed to think.
Perhaps a bit of music would help him process these thoughts better... it usually did. So he pulled a small minidisk player out of his pocket, plugged in his earphones and switched on. The soft piano that signaled the beginning of Radiohead's Karma Police kicked in. Alan gave a slight smile - this was one of his favorites.
It was then that he noticed he was starting to feel drowsy. His head nodded slightly. He knew he was tired, but he didn't feel that now was the time or the place to be sleeping. However, it seemed his body didn't want to obey his mind. He found himself closing his eyes as the slow, haunting vocals began...
Karma Police... arrest this man, he talks in math...
He found this tiredness overtaking him, his head drooped and rested on his shoulder. He felt his arms going slack.
He buzzes like a fridge...
His eyes shut, and almost as once he felt himself drifting off...
He's like a de-tuned radio...
The sound of the music faded, until there was nothing but silence... presently replaced by the sounds of waves crashing on rocks...
As he opened his eyes, he found himself looking upwards towards the heavens. Wherever he was, it was a beautiful night, the sky as clear as it seemed possible to be. He could feel himself taking a look at his surroundings. He noticed he was hundreds of feet above the ground, the exotic trees far below him rustling with the slight breeze blowing through the area. He could clearly see the shore from here, the moon's reflection sparkling on the surface of the calm ocean.
He had a strong feeling of deja vu, like he had seen this place so many times before... He felt like he was at peace, but at the same time felt a part of him was lost... a part that he missed terribly, like a gaping hole in his heart.
He felt an impulse to go down to the shore, and he did there, somehow making the journey in all of seven strides. The footfalls were loud and resounded through the area. He had a horrible feeling as to what this meant.
Presently, the ocean completely filled up his field of vision. He had always liked the ocean, but somehow he now felt a sense of unease about it... as if terrible things had happened to him there that he had tried to forget...
Without even thinking about it, he found himself glancing downward, until, perceptible by the moonlight, he saw his own reflection... only it wasn't his reflection at all...
It was Godzilla's...
The titanic reptile's face glared back at him, the image distorted slightly by the rippling water. The same grey scaly skin, those red-brown eyes, the sharp teeth poking out slightly from under the lips... A familiar sight... yet somehow unfamiliar to him at the same time.
It was then that his vision began to darken again, and he thought he could hear the sound of a rising crescendo of drums, piano, and guitar music...
As Alan opened his eyes again, he found himself back in the conference room. The song had almost ended, with the final lyrics being sung in their familiar uncertain tone;
For a minute there, I lost myself... I lost myself...
He switched off the disk player, and held his head in his hands. It gradually dawned on him what had just happened, for it had happened every so often whenever he fell asleep...
"Oh, God..." he groaned. "Not again..."
He was referring to the link that existed between him and Godzilla - a side-effect from the insertion of G-cells into his body. What he saw most often was that same view - a view from the place known as Ogasawara Island, the only safe place for Godzilla on this planet...
Alan could not explain how such a link was possible - not even the scientists who experimented on him knew the answer. It was this link that had prompted them to try and use him to control Godzilla... use both of them as weapons...
That was Alan's biggest fear... now compounded by what Katsura had told him of the link she had with Kiryuu...
At least she had a choice... he thought bitterly. She could've just left Kiryuu there to rot...
He sighed, removing his head from his hands. He knew the others would be wondering about him, but he still didn't want to say anything in front of Io... not yet, not with everything that was going on. He knew he had to talk to Kiryuu, as much as he didn't want to.
He knew he had to get this out of the way...
So he stood up, and walked over to the phone in the room. He picked up the receiver and dialed the number of the extension Kiryuu had mentioned.
September 24th, 2005, 09:15 AM
Manda’s eyes flew open and he took in a deep breath. He shook his head, leaning away from the table. A few moments ago, he found himself lying his draconic head on table, blacking out from something his mind picked up earlier. Originally, Manda was concentrating on Alan Tyler. Ever since Alan came to the base, he could sense the human’s thoughts, his fears, and his troubles. And now, he saw what Alan saw. He was Godzilla on the island, his mind locked inside the monster’s head. And Manda was linked along with it. He shook his head when he awoke from the dream, slightly disoriented. He knew that Alan was feeling something worse. Manda’s form shrank down until all that was lift was a blonde-haired man in a T-shirt and some blue jeans. He walked out to the bay area, silently thinking to himself. He saw Kiryuu’s hologram leaning against the wall with his claw pressing on a button in the control room.
“I’ll be there in a moment,” Kiryuu’s deep voice rolled. The bio-mecha’s head turned to Manda. “What is it?”
“Was that Alan?” Manda asked.
“Yes,” Kiryuu replied.
“He—had another spell again,” Manda said. “I could see it, through is eyes. I sense something. It happened again. His mind was linked with Godzilla. He can’t control it.”
“At least I can control my link with Kiryuu,” Katsura said. “There has to be something we can do for him. What if it happens when he’s driving? He could have a wreck.”
“I’m surprised that hasn’t happened yet,” said Kiryuu, crossing his arms.
“He doesn’t like it,” Manda said. “He doesn’t like it one bit. He loves Godzilla, but he doesn’t want to be Godzilla.”
“This isn’t his fault, Kiryuu,” Katsura glancing up at him. She placed a hand on his arm.
“I never said it was,” he replied.
“I can help him,” Manda began. “I helped you deal with Biollante stuck in your hard drive, Kiryuu. Perhaps I can help him control his spells.”
Kiryuu’s lips bunched up into snarl: “I don’t want him to control his spells, Manda. Then, someone could figure out how to control my son through him.”
“Then, perhaps to block it,” Manda said. “To stop these spells from happening. And maybe that could help him with coping what he has now.”
“I’ll see what he wants,” Kiryuu rumbled again, a slight growl was hinted in his voice. “Come with me.”
They came to door and Kiryuu opened it up. He turned back to Manda.
“Wait here for a moment,” he said to the dragon. Kiryuu entered the conference room where he found a distraught Alan running his hands through his brown hair. Kiryuu let loose a deep-throated rumble as he knelt down to the human. Kiryuu craned his head to look up at him. “Do you want to say what’s on your mind now? I’m here, Alan, here to let you vent everything upon me. I won’t take offense.”
“Aren’t you a charmer?” Alan snorted back at him.
“I know you’ve been dying to say something to me the moment you stepped through that door,” Kiryuu began. “So, what is it?”
"I didn't want to say anything in front of Io," he began. "I can tell she's worried enough as it is about her father. I don't want her to start worrying about me as well." He paused for a moment, shaking his head, trying to organize his words.
Kiryuu only nodded, getting up and sitting down on a chair. He leaned his head on his arm, resting his chin on his metallic claw.
"Somehow," Alan continued, "It never ceases to scare me, whenever I end up diving into his mind... As well as seeing what he sees, I find myself feeling what he feels, both mentally and physically..." He shook his head, scarcely believing he was saying this to the one creature who probably really didn't want to hear about it. "It's almost like... for those few brief moments... I am Godzilla..."
Alan turned away from Kiryuu for a moment. He didn't want to admit it, but now more than ever he felt like looking at Kiryuu was like looking at his own reflection. Kiryuu just continued to stare on, listening intently to the human’s words. This was not Alan’s fault, Kiryuu had to admit to himself. This was Katagiri’s fault. But that foolish man was getting his well enough. A slight sinister smirk curled up softly onto Kiryuu’s lips as he thought about what the FBI must be doing to Katagiri right now. He had to chuckle a bit, thinking of what sort of methods they must be using in order to get the head of the CCI to talk. His thought snapped back to Alan and the bio-mecha blinked, clearing his throat.
“It must be hard for you,” Kiryuu said. “To live inside a body that isn’t yours—if only for a short while.”
"I never cease to get scared by it..." he said, in a low, worried tone. "Especially when I think what Katagiri tried to use me for... He must have honestly felt he could use Godzilla as a weapon... with me as the controller..." He held his head in his hands, now hiding his face.
"Oh, God..." he muttered, slowly removing his hands, a look of genuine fear on his face. "I feel like, whatever it is between us, it's getting worse..." He slowly turned his head to look back at Kiryuu again. "When I became a G-Chaser, I swore that I wouldn't do anything to hurt Godzilla - an oath that I intend to keep... But if this link is getting stronger..."
He shook his head, the fear in his eyes evident.
"What if our very lives are connected?" he continued. "What if one of us can't live without the other? If that's true... If anything should happen to me, how am I supposed to explain, in whatever afterlife there is for guys like me, that I was responsible for Godzilla's death, breaking the promise I made?"
He held his head in his hands again. There it was. He had said everything that was on his mind to this relation of his, a relation in such a wrong way...
"God," he muttered, "This is all completely f***ed up..."
“No more than what I’ve become,” Kiryuu sighed. “All my existence as this mechanical beast, I’ve wondered constantly if I am Godzilla, or just something that has his bones inside of me. There is no real answer to it, I am and yet I am not. But, there is something even fowler inside of me that for a while, has sought control over me.”
Alan glanced up, completely confused about what Kiryuu said.
“I was made to realize everything that day when I fought Biollante,” said Kiryuu. “You know her as well as I do. You know what she is capable of. Even after I had killed her, something was left behind. Something of her. Only a few months ago, have I been able to suppress what she has done to me. But I couldn’t do it by myself. I had to have help. When I faced Titanosaurus—actually, his name is Kraken—he awoke something. He awoke the memories of Biollante in both me and my son. Once more, we were tormented by her through the powers of Kraken. So, I looked for help and I found it in a being called Manda.”
“Manda?” Alan asked.
“Kraken and Manda were once the Guardians of Atlantis,” Kiryuu replied. “Atlantis also was also attacked by King Ghidorah. Manda answers to Mothra, though I sense that he is more powerful than she is. He was able to fend off King Ghidorah, but—Kraken on the other hand was the creature that helped Atlantis fall after the attack. Kraken, under the control of King Ghidorah, wiped out the remaining forces as evil dragon monster left. Since then, the two Guardians have been warring with each other. And now, Biollante came and was killed by me. And Kraken awoke her inside me, and used her as an attempt at controlling me. Manda helped me in fending off Kraken’s control through that a fragment of Biollante held inside of me. No doubt you heard Biollante’s voice echo out from me a few times. She’s—locked up right now, unable to speak. But she wants to. She wants to dig her talons into your skin so very badly. To hear you scream in pain would be so much pleasure to her.”
Alan noticed that Kiryuu began to claw at the table. He could tell that the hologram was not as solid as he thought, for as the claws went through the table, they left no marks on it. But he could tell that Kiryuu was straining to fight back against something. Kiryuu let loose a sigh, closing his eyes.
“I hate her so much,” Kiryuu sighed, his breath becoming a deep growl. “But when I fought Kraken, before I blasted him with that plasma—I let Biollante take control over me. I had no choice in the matter. She’s not dead. She’s still alive. She still exists. But I have help in suppressing her, I have Katsura to help me, I have Manda as well. I’m not the pillar of strength you think me as. But right now I can’t even purge her from my CPU. Because she has a purpose—some sort of purpose in the fight with King Ghidorah.”
“Okay,” Alan blinked. “Why are you telling me this now?”
“I think Manda can help you in these episodes you’re having,” Kiryuu continued. “He says he wants to help you block these episodes, stop you from having them so you can just get on with your life—so you can focus. I want him to do it, because I need my son’s mind to be free from distractions when King Ghidorah comes. I’ll be needing his help. He was so young then—I wonder if he even remembers his mother’s death like I do. He knows that she is dead, he saw it happen—but still—he was so very young.”
Alan listened to Kiryuu’s words carefully. He remembered Biollante all too well. Back then, he’d passed her off as some delusion, but if Kiryuu had a run-in with her as well… He remembered all too vividly what she did to him in that prison… that dark place that he now realized was in Godzilla’s mind. She knew everything about Alan, but had not said anything. Alan felt that at last he knew what she meant, the answers to her riddles.
He looked away from Kiryuu again for a moment. Kiryuu’s last words had brought a painful memory into his mind.
”At least he still has his father,” he said, not really bitterly but still in a heavy tone. Alan still remembered that night… the night King Ghidorah had attacked, and taken so much away from Alan in the space of a day. That night in London in particular, Alan felt like he had fallen straight into the fires of Hell.
There was one thing he still didn’t understand from that night. Why had that dragon monster gone after him? Why Alan specifically? It was true that King Ghidorah had slaughtered millions of people, civilians and military alike. However, he had singled Alan out, toyed with him like how a cat might play with its prey, rather than just crushing Alan like stepping on an ant. If that bug monster hadn’t shown up Alan would now be dead, Organizer G-1 or not.
Alan rubbed his clenched fist. If truth be told, he wanted to take a shot at King Ghidorah himself, give some small measure of payback…
None of this he said to Kiryuu. It didn’t seem relevant right now. He turned back to face the mech, looking intently at him.
”Well, for once I hope you’re right,” Alan said. “I hope this ‘Manda’ can stop whatever’s happening.” His head tilted down slightly, his eyes almost closed, but Kiryuu could tell Alan was still looking at him. “I don’t want to keep doing this to your son… least of all if King Ghidorah’s coming back.”
Kiryuu glanced back at the door.
“You can come in, Manda,” he announced. “He’s ready.”
Manda came in, brushing back his blonde hair and straightening out his T-shirt. Alan could not quite understand what he saw. When Kiryuu spoke of Manda, he thought he was speaking of a monster. This ‘Kraken’—or Titanosaurus—was a monster of some sort. This Manda person appeared to be human. Though, there was an air of power about him that Alan could not quite place.
“Alan Tyler,” Manda began. “We meet at last. I want you to know that I’m going against what Mothra instructed me to do. I’m not supposed to interfere with your life like this. But time is short and we need Godzilla as well as Kiryuu. I—even told Kiryuu not to interfere with you either.”
“What did I tell you?” Kiryuu growled back. “I’m not going to let anyone pull my strings again, Dragon.”
“We wouldn’t be in this mess right now if you would have just let things be, Kiryuu,” Manda sighed. “But now, what’s done is done. Alan, this thing that has happened to you shouldn’t have happened. I will try my best to help you out.”
Manda knelt down to Alan, raising his hands up to the man’s head.
“Wait,” Alan hesitated. “What are you, some sort of psychic?”
“Those are my powers,” said Manda. “I’ve seen your visions, when your mind and Godzilla’s mind are one with another. I—am—a dragon, actually. Don’t be fooled by my appearance. I can shape-shift. Trust me, this won’t hurt.”
“That’s what the doctor always says before something sharp is about to pierce me,” Alan shook his head. He lifted his hand up to the Dragon.
“The more you hesitate, the harder it will be,” Manda began. “This won’t hurt you. Unlike what Kiryuu did…which I know about. I’m not going to stick you with anything. I’m just going to place my hands on your head.”
“Forget it,” Alan shook his head. “No. I’ve enough people messing with my mind.”
“You said you don’t want my son to be harmed,” Kiryuu growled. “You wanted to help me and him in this. This is a safe way of cutting it off. Or, I can do it. And it will be painful.”
Alan started to get up, his face bunching up in anger.
“Just try it, Chrome Crotch!” he snarled.
“Oh, for the love of…” Manda growled, his human form shifting again. A lengthy, sinuous, eastern-looking, blue scaled dragon replaced the form that was Officer Marx. Alan barely had time to register that there was now a dragon stood in front of him before Manda backhanded Alan in the head, knocking the human onto the floor—unconscious.
I can’t concentrate like this… Manda thought.
He glanced over at Kiryuu: You, get the hell out! You’re not helping me in this, so get out!
“Very well, call me when you need me,” Kiryuu bowed slightly leaving the room. Manda took the human into his claws and placed the palm of his claw onto Alan’s forehead.
I’m not going to mess with your mind, kid, Manda began. I’m going to fix it. This will stop.
September 24th, 2005, 09:17 AM
He closed his eyes and began to concentrate… He could feel Alan stirring fitfully as he proceeded to dive into the human’s mind. After a few moments however, he could no longer feel the physical sensations of the room around him…
Whatever this link between Alan and Godzilla was, it was proving highly elusive. At one point, Manda thought he had found it, but instead found himself in another place entirely…
It could only have been a small spare bedroom, complete with a single bed, a small TV in the corner of the room and various boxes filled with piles of old junk, old mementos, toys, books, that sort of thing. Looking bewilderingly around him at these environs, Manda spotted an old yellowing photograph on the top of one of the boxes. The photo showed a normal family – both parents, with a young boy with blue eyes and short brown hair between them, all happy and smiling. The boy could not have been much older than 8 or 9. As he looked up, he saw Alan on the bed, still dressed yet asleep. He tossed and turned, as if he was having trouble drifting off. From elsewhere in the house, sounds could be heard of others sleeping much more peacefully.
Manda looked between Alan and the child in the photo, and soon put two-and-two together. Somehow he was invading Alan’s memories, and the photo was almost certain to be Alan as a boy. Looking at the photo Manda found it hard to believe such a happy, innocent boy could become the surly, scarred adult now connected to one of the most dangerous creatures alive. Fate worked in strange, and often unpleasant ways.
Funny how life changes a person's attitude, Manda chuckled as he picked the picture up into his sapphire claws. "I was never this goofy in the head until I started mingling more with humans in this wild modern world. It is not the mind that makes the man, its the world he lives in."
It was then that a sound like a distant explosion could be heard coming from outside, along with the sounds of several people running about. The sounds of the explosions continued, as well as a sound like sudden blasts of distant thunder… a sound that was coming closer and closer…
Alan stirred, his reptilian eyes opening sleepily, clearly confused as to what the noise was. Slowly, he climbed off the bed and walked to the window, drawing back the curtains and looking out onto the street. Manda smoothly moved over to where Alan was standing and looked out too – since this was Alan’s memory, the human could neither see nor hear him.
A scene of utter chaos could be seen outside. Armed soldiers were running down the street, hammering on people’s doors, ringing doorbells and shouting for people to wake up, telling people to evacuate immediately. Indeed, half of the street had been awakened, and were now stood outside in their nightwear, wondering what all of the fuss was about. One of the soldiers ran up the garden path to the house Alan was staying in, and started pounding on the door, ringing the doorbell and making several panicked shouts. There were sounds of movement coming from elsewhere in the house, as the sounds of panic began to escalate outside.
It was then that a sudden rushing sound could be heard outside, like that of very large wings. Accompanying it was a loud bell-like sound… The sound of King Ghidorah’s call… Instantly the soldiers outside raised their assault rifles to the sky, some of them opened fire, other turned tail and ran, joining the townsfolk who now ran, panic-stricken, away from the horror approaching them. Manda watched the unfolding scene, almost with tears in his eyes – he knew that to hear the sound of King Ghidorah’s call was to hear the sound of death.
"Ah, s***!" Manda swore. "Every time I see that hideous demon, I flinch inside."
Next to him, Alan turned around to leave, when suddenly the house was suddenly struck with a blast of bright golden lightning, and the building shook on its foundations, instantly bursting into flame. Alan staggered, blinded by the sudden flash and the intense heat. He raised his arms to shield himself from the flames licking all over the walls and floor. Suddenly there was a loud crash, and the entire building collapsed. Alan was sent plummeting down, fire and rubble falling around him. It was immediately apparent that King Ghidorah had struck the house, and no doubt was doing the same to every other building outside.
No ordinary human would have survived… Manda knew only Godzilla’s cells could have saved Alan from getting killed in that attack. As the scene began to darken, Manda caught sight of the photo, floating about, even now being consumed in the flames…
Manda shook himself, trying to avoid becoming sentimental. He sympathized deeply with Alan for the horrors he had witnessed, but he could not afford to become distracted by it. He had a job to do in here. However, as he searched through Alan’s subconscious for the link to Godzilla, he found another of Alan’s memories fading into view, distracting him…
"You're not helping me in fixing your problem, kid," he called out to the air around him. "Come on, Alan, where's that link between you and Godzilla?"
The scene was now inside a large tent. From the amount of beds, blankets and bandages and other medical equipment that could be seen around the place, the tent had to serve as some kind of makeshift hospital. In the corner a radio system occasionally crackled, with the odd message coming through, the content of which was not very clear. The view outside the tent was very bleak – a town reduced to rubble, the grass scorched and blasted. Heath-fires were burning in the distance, standing out vividly against the grey sky. Manda could only conclude that this was the same town he had seen not a minute before in the previous memory. King Ghidorah had wiped it off the face of the earth, and no doubt was spreading carnage elsewhere.
There were only two people in the tent. One of them was Alan, his faced streaked with blood and dirt, his clothes covered in rips and very disheveled. With him was a young, black-skinned soldier, in full camouflage, his face equally blood-streaked. The soldier’s eyes were fearful, and Alan was clearly hanging on his every word. Manda idly wondered who this soldier was, but this memory was not giving any hints. Instead, all he could do was listen as the soldier recounted his
“This… this THING…” the soldier was saying, with a slight cockney accent, his voice shaking… “… this huge lizard came about… A massive, three-headed dragon, the size of a skyscraper. It was making these weird noises, like some kind of animal call… I can’t believe something like that is actually able to exist… And those eyes… Oh God…” The soldier’s voice went very faint, a voice of utter disbelief.
“It attacked us…” he finished, “Wiped us out.”
It was obvious that this man had been scarred by King Ghidorah too. No doubt the scar lasted with him if he was still alive, much as the scars evidently still lingered in Alan’s mind.
“Where did this thing come from?” Alan asked, after a moment to take this news in.
”God knows,” the soldier replied. “There was a lot of talk about a meteorite crashing in that area a few nights ago… I wouldn’t be surprised if the ******* came out of that thing…”
Manda could have told the soldier that he was dead-on with his theory. Arriving on Earth inside a meteorite would be the ideal means of doing so – tracking stations would not be able to register what was inside a meteorite until it was far too late. He wondered if it was an idea that King Ghidorah had acquired from his Liche…
“I still can’t get over the tactics it used,” the soldier continued. “We had retreated here to warn people to get out. That monster came at us with these lightning bolts shooting out its heads... I can't even begin to know where it got a trick like that. I only survived because I hid in the rubble as it swooped over. I heard the rest of my platoon get cut down like dolls..."
At this, Alan and the soldier stood up, and shakily walked over to the entrance to the tent, gazing outside at the ruined town. This time, Manda did not follow, for he could hear what the two of them were saying with perfect clarity.
“You know where it’s headed?” Alan asked, turning back to face the soldier.
“Last I heard," the soldier replied, "It was headed towards the south... but it diverted to the West coast, destroying Manchester and Liverpool... It's destroying everything in this country... Many of our platoons have been wiped out... It's just a massive animal, but it knows exactly what it's doing…."
If only you knew the whole story… Manda thought, as the scene around him faded again. King Ghidorah was the most evil intelligence Manda had ever known – that was something he could have told them both then. Having said that, he thought Kiryuu had an evil streak that could quite possibly rival King Ghidorah’s…
As he tried to find the link between Alan and Godzilla again, he groaned as he felt another memory get in his way. Now the view was from a rooftop, from an apartment block close to the river Thames in London. Manda could see sights such as Big Ben, the Houses of Parliament and the London Eye, but it was evident that this was no simple tourist’s memory. The view showed a night of pure terror, one that evidently had stuck out in Alan’s mind ever since that fateful night over two years ago…
The city was mostly deserted, yet as Manda looked over the edge of the roof he saw that the streets were still full of panicked crowds, who for one reason or another had not managed to evacuate the city in time. The crowds pushed each other, some stumbled and were crushed to death by the rampaging crowds. There were already several corpses of those unlucky enough to have been caught in the stampede. On the road, painted-on words were just perceptible;
REPENT. THE END IS EXTREMELY F***ING NIGH.
Manda frowned, shaking his head. These were scenes he had witnessed before, and the reactions of the humans never changed. He knew all too well that more in the crowds would be joining the dead soon, if what he feared was true.
The river itself was full of boats, many of which were crowded with people seeking passage out of the country. Some were even swimming out to the boats, while others were thrown off the boats back into the water. All of the bridges had been destroyed, torn apart like paper. Looking to his side, Manda saw Alan, kneeling slightly, his camera raised as he was taking pictures of the creature that had haunted his nightmares ever since…
For the hydra demon, King Ghidorah, was now hovering slightly above the city, using his enormous bat-like wings to keep afloat, illuminated by powerful searchlights. The three-headed, golden dragon recoiled slightly as it was hit by fire from tanks and field guns down below. The monster wasn’t even scratched though, and he immediately unleashed his terrible lightning on the defenders, the whole of Kensington bursting into flame and exploding violently. King Ghidorah proceeded to train his lightning over every part of the city those terrible rays could reach.
Piccadilly Circus, Trafalgar Square, Westminster… Within seconds, London, the great capital of England, was bathed in a sea of fire, the city gone in an instant. The scenes brought back many terrible memories in Manda’s own mind, of how King Ghidorah had wiped out entire civilizations in a similar way.
Afterwards, King Ghidorah proceeded to attack the escaping boats on the river. The demon wanted to ensure there were no survivors, as he claimed each victim’s soul as his own, further fuelling his own terrible power. In the midst of all this, Alan continued to take his photos, unperturbed, ever the professional. Manda could not decide whether Alan was incredibly brave or incredibly foolish for staying so long in the midst of such madness, especially since these were the photos that would be regarded as fakes by most of the world for more than two years…
Suddenly, all three of King Ghidorah’s heads turned to face the building Alan was on directly… Manda found himself looking into the eyes that he had hoped beyond hope that he would never see again, but it wasn’t Manda that King Ghidorah was looking at. All three pairs of eyes focused intently on Alan, and the great dragon flew over to the building, the lightning charging up within all three of his mouths. Manda watched in horror as Alan, realizing what was about to happen, ran across the length of the rooftop. As he jumped from the edge towards another rooftop, King Ghidorah unleashed his lightning, instantly destroying the building before continuing his pursuit of the human…
Manda actually yelled as the fire engulfed him – in the confusion of the moment he forgot that he could not actually be hurt by this memory. As the fires faded around him, he thought he could feel another presence. He could not determine if it was the link though, or something else entirely. As it was though, he pulled himself out of Alan’s mind for a moment, reflecting on what he had seen. That last memory in particular had unnerved him, for he thought he could begin to understand why Alan continued to be scarred by King Ghidorah’s attack on London, and of the implications of the demon’s actions…
King Ghidorah was hunting this human down! Manda shook his head as soon as the wave of memories vanished. And he stood again letting go of Alan’s head. There was no way he could get to where the link between Alan and Godzilla was. Each time he entered, another memory stood in his path. He did not want another attack to come on. He had a job to do. Godzilla could not be hindered right now.
Mothra’s gonna kill me…he sighed. Fine.
He placed his claws on Alan’s head and growled deeply, barring his serrated teeth. Manda forced his way deep into the human’s mind and began his rerouting. He found himself standing on a beach this time as he dove deeper into Alan’s head. He glanced around just as he heard a deep growling noise. Manda turned until his eyes met the ruby-brown eyes of Godzilla. Manda brought himself up to his full height. The great Sea Dragon towered hundreds of feet over the mutated dinosaur. Animals like this only understood authority and respect by a much larger threat. It either frightened them, or stunned them. It did not matter, he had the power to drive away the creature if he wanted. He just wanted himself to look imposing for now. He slammed one of his foot down, rearing back onto his hind legs and fanning his webbed frills on his face, neck, and tail. Manda growled and arched his neck down at the dinosaur. He was not really there with Godzilla. He could sense that. This was some sort of mental image that was locked deep within Alan’s mind, a portion of the mutation that the CCI did to Alan. In a way, this was not Godzilla, rather this was the representation of what Alan had become.
“Alan?” Manda asked. “Alan?”
The dinosaur bellowed his roar. Manda saw a glow on the monster’s back as the spines ignited. He heard their charged hum and saw a glowing nimbus form deep within the creature’s throat. The creature blasted his breath forth and the Dragon just allowed it to pass beyond his head, leaning away slightly. Manda’s claw came down and it raked across Godzilla’s head. The force itself was enough to send the monster spinning to the sand.
“What must I do, beat you senseless until you hear me?” Manda asked.
The monster glanced up at Manda and its form changed again. Manda stood back just as Godzilla’s body shifted. Green, metallic dreads grew out from the dinosaurs head and its body became metallic, the face grew slightly older.
“Kiryuu?” Manda asked.
Mechagodzilla rose up onto his feet and grabbed the plating on his forearm. Kiryuu grimaced as he ripped the plating off, exposing the biosyntech underneath. Then, he sent a trunk of blades flying towards the Sea Dragon. Manda moved only slightly, allowing the trunk to pass beyond him. But those tentacles were not meant for him at all. Manda glanced behind and saw Godzilla, the trunk of blades forcing their way down his throat. For a moment, Manda thought he was reliving a memory of Kiryuu’s instead, but he could tell that this place was not Tokyo. He glanced around and saw something rise up behind Kiryuu. It was a golden ball of glass sitting on a freestanding structure of blue. Behind Kiryuu was a ruined city burned in flames. He noticed one of the buildings behind, a modern looking high-rise of glass. Only, this high-rise barely came up to Kiryuu’s shoulder. There were skyscrapers, but none as grandiose as ones he had seen in New York, or Los Angeles. Even the inner city looked minuscule to what he is used to. Something flew up into his eyes, carried by a strange smelling wind. Manda reached up to grab it from his face and glanced down at it.
It was a red flag with a blue and white bar at one of its tip. In the center was a blue circle surrounded by a round boarder of white. And inside this blue circle were three white stars. He was looking at the flag of Tennessee. Then, Manda knew where he was. The golden ball was the Sun Sphere, monument that laid in the center of the World’s Fair Site in the city of Knoxville. Manda glanced up and saw two blades slice their way around Godzilla’s neck, decapitating his head.
“What the f***?!” Manda breathed. “Kiryuu…”
The great bio-mecha retracted his blades and glanced back at Manda. The Sea Dragon gasped when he saw Kiryuu’s eyes. They were not gold at all, they were red, a demonic fiery color. The same wind rose up and he smelled something foul in the air. Manda glanced up when he heard the sound of a hideous laughter echoing through that wind. His eyes narrowed when he saw the monster land. A great golden dragon with three heads and broad wings chuckled.
One down and one more to go, he heard the dragon chuckle.
“King Ghidorah…” gasped Manda.
He turned back towards Kiryuu, hearing a click come from him. Then, a bright flash came from the northwest. Manda glanced over, hearing a bellowing rumble as a fiery mushroom cloud rose up to the sky. Another bright flash followed directly north of the first one and another one followed in the east. He turned once more when he heard a hideous chuckle come from Kiryuu. Then, he knew that the bio-mecha was the one who caused this.
“Kiryuu!” cried Manda. “What are you doing?!”
Another flash followed and another mushroom cloud rose up. Mechagodzilla turned around and faced Manda again. A charge built up behind his back and he threw back his head. Kiryuu sucked in the air and charged it all around him. Manda could feel the heat come off and he took a step back. Kiryuu fired; his white-purple plasma spiraled towards the Sea Dragon.
“No!” Manda cried just as the heated jet of air impacted upon his scales, scorching his body. Then, everything went black…
Manda threw himself away from Alan, gripping his head tightly as he felt a painful, echoing ring inside his head. He let loose a painful bellow, coiling up into a tight ball. Alan gasped as he awoke, glancing down at the shivering blue mass of scales and fins before him. The door opened and Kiryuu stepped through, his eyes wide. He heard Manda’s cry through speakers he was listening with. And the surveillance camera caught the fall.
“What happened,” Kiryuu asked, glancing down at the fallen Dragon. “Marx! Marx!”
Manda rose his head up, shaking as he got up. He glanced back at Kiryuu’s holographic avatar.
“What’s in Knoxville?” he asked.
“Excuse me?” Kiryuu asked.
“Knoxville…” Manda began. “Knoxville, Tennessee. What does that sleepy, little city have for you, Kiryuu?”
“I’ve never been to Knoxville,” Kiryuu said. “Never.”
“You killed your son there,” gasped Manda.
“What?” Kiryuu’s eyes widened in confusion.
“You’re helping King Ghidorah,” Manda gasped. “Helping him destroy all life on this world.”
“What?” Alan cried, glancing back at Kiryuu. He shot an accusing glance at the hologram.
“Have you lost all of your marbles, Dragon?” Kiryuu’s lip lifted up in a snarl. “Why the hell would I do that? You’re not making any sense. Godzilla is alive, for one, I’ve never been to Knoxville nor do I plan to go, for another—and why the hell would I want help the very demon that killed my mate and my children?”
“Tell me, Kiryuu,” Manda began, leaning up against the table. “How long have you had the launch codes to every long-range nuclear missile?”
Kiryuu’s golden eyes began to shift slightly.
“You’ve lost your mind,” he began. “I have no such information.”
“How long have you’ve been feeding your sub-matrixes through every grid in the world?” Manda asked. “Making copies of yourself and seeding them in dark places within the Internet?”
Alan glanced back at Kiryuu, his eyes now even wider.
“If I were to do that,” began Kiryuu, giving Alan a reassuring expression. “Then, I would be cutting my processing power in half. The life of my AI’s subsystems would be shortened. My mind would grow less and less functional and my life would be greatly shortened. And I intend to live for a very long time. I can’t afford to make copies of myself and feed them into various places. You should know this better than anyone else that I’ve done other things to the grids around the world. Look what I’m doing to the CCI. You question what I do—but I assure you what I am doing—may seem wrong to you now—will be right thing in the end.”
“Make you some sort of mechanical overlord?” Manda asked.
Kiryuu’s eyebrows lifted up and he began to laugh at Manda’s question.
“What logic would come of that?” Kiryuu asked, continuing to laugh. “Me—a mechanical overlord? And I suppose King Ghidorah would use me as such. You know this better than anyone else that he would not do that.” He paused for a moment and stepped closer to the Dragon. “What happened when you were inside Alan’s mind?”
“You were in Knoxville, you killed your son,” said Manda. “King Ghidorah was there. And then, I saw nuclear blasts happen all around me. Your eyes were red. You were possessed. I must go to Mothra.”
“Manda, now wait a minute,” Kiryuu began. “Wait just a minute. What do you mean ‘possessed’?”
“I don’t know,” Manda shook his head. “I have to go.”
“Hold it!” Kiryuu cried. “Did you fix Alan’s problem…”
“I couldn’t,” Manda replied. “Something got in the way. Forgive me.”
“What?” Kiryuu asked.
Manda snapped his fingers and his form disappeared.
“Marx!” Kiryuu cried. “Get back here! Marx!” He turned back to Alan, but he really was not looking at him. “Why would I be in Knoxville? What’s in Knoxville?” Kiryuu’s eyes widened and his holographic form disappeared.
“Hey!” Alan cried as he got up off his chair. “What did you have that overgrown monitor lizard do to me? Kiryuu!” He raced towards the door when he found it was locked. “Hey! Hey! You b*st*rd! Open this door.”
“I’m sorry, Alan,” began Kiryuu’s deep voice through the speakers. “But I need you to stay put for a while. I shall return later. Now be a good grandson and mind your manners and your own business.”
Alan released a loud snarl from his throat, and swung his foot out and kicked the door. He knew it would be pointless to try to break the door down – he was willing to bet that the locks in this place were very strong – but he felt he had to break something, to release some of this anger that was welling up in him.
He stormed back over to the conference table and sat back down, slamming his fists into the table. He didn’t care if Kiryuu reprimanded him for trying to destroy Foundation property, he was now in such a foul temper that nothing seemed to matter.
What had that been all about? Knoxville? Kiryuu possessed? Godzilla dead? None of this made sense to Alan, and he was getting more frustrated that no-one seemed willing to explain to him. What had that Manda done to him? What had he seen that had got him so frightened? From the sounds of it, he didn’t – or perhaps couldn’t – get round to severing the link between Alan and Godzilla, which seriously complicated matters.
Even worse than this though was Kiryuu’s attitude. Alan felt he was being treated like a child, kept locked up in here with no information, no way of knowing what was happening, with no-one giving him any answers. Kiryuu persisted in leaving Alan in the dark, telling him to ‘mind his own business’…
Like it or not, Kiryuu, this is my business, Alan thought, bitterly. It became my business the minute King Ghidorah attacked my home country… the minute he tried to kill me… I’m in it as deep as you are, so stop telling me what is and isn’t my business!
Right now though, there was nothing he could do, so he sat with nothing but his own thoughts for company. Was he just imagining it, or could he hear a small voice inside his head… like the sound of low, mocking laughter?
September 24th, 2005, 09:18 AM
“He is really pissed,” Will sighed as he watched the security monitor. Alan picked up one of the chairs and threw it against the door. “Really pissed.
“Get me the hell out of here!” Alan cried. “Do you understand me, Kiryuu? I want out now! You can’t keep me in here against my will!”
Kiryuu crossed his arms and shook his head. He turned back to hear his ‘grandson’ banging his fists against the door again.
“He’s really mad at you,” Will shook his head. He turned back again when Alan threw the other chair. “You know Gordon’s taking that out of your account, right?”
“Someone has to pay for the damages,” Kiryuu sighed. “Might as well be me.”
His captive calmed down for a moment and sat down at the table again. Kiryuu leaned in, looking at the screen as he watched Alan tap his foot feverishly.
“What’s this about Knoxville, Kiryuu?” Will asked.
“I don’t know,” Kiryuu replied. “For a moment I thought it had to do with the nation’s only facility that still creates Enriched Uranium, but King Ghidorah isn’t about that. No, he wants something else in that area.”
“You thought this dragon would attack Oak Ridge?” Will asked. “Why would he need uranium? You said it yourself that he absorbs souls, not—radiation. I can see Godzilla attacking that city, but not King Ghidorah.”
“He wants life-force,” Kiryuu rumbled. “Tennessee is rich with a variety of life. Millions of species separated and collected in their own environments and their own little ecological, natural spheres, divided by the oldest mountains on this planet would provide King Ghidorah with such rich and flavor. No, he does not want Oak Ridge, though perhaps the city’s biological preserve around the nuclear weapons plants might be a subject of interest.”
“Hey!” Alan’s voice called their attention again. “Hey! Give me a break. I need to go!”
Kiryuu sighed as he felt his consciousness enter the room. Alan stepped back as the holographic image of the bio-mecha appeared before him.
“Do you need something, Alan?” he asked.
“I gotta go,” Alan began as he began to hop up and down.
“Go?” Kiryuu asked. “Go where?”
“Where do you flamin’ think?” Alan cried back, stretching himself until he was staring into the hologram’s eyes. “To the bloody bathroom! Unless you like me to take a wiz here.”
“Say no more,” Kiryuu sighed as the door itself unlocked. He opened the door allowing Alan to step outside. Kiryuu led him down the corridor and towards the restrooms.
“There you are,” he said. “Don’t be long.”
“Yeah, sure,” Alan sighed.
“I’m not going in with you,” Kiryuu began. “Besides, I know you can’t escape. I’ve got cameras everywhere.”
“Aren’t you a loving grandfather?” Alan snorted. “I won’t escape. There’s worse place than this.”
“Keep reminding yourself that, Alan,” Kiryuu rumbled. “I don’t think you need me to wipe your face off after you’re done. But be sure to wash your hands. Cleanliness is next to godliness.”
“Yeah,” he sighed as he walked into the restroom. Kiryuu’s image disappeared again.
September 24th, 2005, 09:20 AM
King Ghidorah’s Message
Alan stood up and stepped out of the cubicle, flushing as he left. He idly wondered if Kiryuu had ever actually had to help out with the everyday chores around the base when he wasn’t out fighting monsters or breaking into top-secret networks – in other words, whether he’d actually had what most would consider a ‘real’ job. Alan rolled his eyes has he figured Kiryuu would say that was below him, that he was worth more than that. He also knew that Alan would say the same thing if asked. He reasoned that both of them were indeed alike in that respect, always reckoning they wanted more than the normal.
He crossed over to one of the white sinks lining the equally white wall. There he let the cold tap run for a little while, washing his hands and then splashing some of the cool water onto his face. He looked into the mirror just above the sink, at the face that he knew hadn’t changed for the last five years, that would last until the end of time… or so he hoped.
Ah well, he thought. At least I’ll always be this good-looking.
It was then that the fluorescent lights in the bathroom started flickering. Alan narrowed his eyes as he looked around, as one by one the lights died.
“Kiryuu,” Alan called, sure that the mech could hear him, “I think the bulbs in here need changing.” As the last light went out, Alan could hear no reply from Kiryuu, nor see the holographic projection. Indeed, it was as if Alan’s statement had fallen on deaf ears.
“Kiryuu?” Alan called again, then again, louder this time, “Kiryuu?!”
Still no answer. Alan was now stood, alone, in total darkness. He thought he’d at least be able to make out some objects, or possibly more if Kiryuu was right about his eyes giving him improved night-vision… but nothing. It was completely dark, impossible to see anything…
Just then, there was a click, and a light behind him came on. Alan slowly turned, but as he did so, he heard a sound he’d hoped never to hear again… a sound like ever so many ringing bells of varying pitches… but as he listened, the sound faded, giving way to a low, cold chuckle…
As Alan faced the light completely, he saw it was the small strip light above the mirror… only he wasn’t the only person reflected in it. His eyes widened in terror as he saw who was stood behind him.
“It’s not possible…” Alan breathed, as he found himself staring at the figure that had haunted his nightmares for two years… the creature that had brought so much calamity to England… now standing only slightly taller than Alan himself…
The bright golden scales…
The enormous bat-like wings…
The three serpentine necks…
The three dragon heads, rocking back and forth on the necks, all with manes of golden hair, horns and blood-red eyes, which even now were looking at Alan so intently…
“Long time no see… Tyler…” the voice spoke again, a voice as deep, grand and handsome as Kiryuu’s, and with that same undeniable menace…
At this, Alan panicked. He spun round, seeing nothing but darkness where he expected King Ghidorah to be standing. Yet the demon could still be seen, as clear as day in the mirror. Alan shouted loudly for help, hoping to God that someone would hear him.
“Kiryuu!” he called, desperately. “KIRYUU!”
All he heard in reply was an evil-sounding laugh, and King Ghidorah’s heads tipped back, seemingly in exultation. It occurred to Alan that the voice he was hearing was actually King Ghidorah’s which only served to unnerve him even more.
“Your dear grandfather can’t hear you,” King Ghidorah said smugly. “I assure you, dear boy, we will be quite undisturbed.”
Realizing his shouting was proving unhelpful, Alan stared at King Ghidorah in the mirror, his fear gradually giving way to a murderous hate. He brought his hands down, and they found the edges of the sink, which Alan held in a vice-like grip, the tension searing through him.
“You don’t know when to give up, do you?” Alan said angrily. “What’s wrong? Didn’t learn your lesson first time after the beating we gave you?!”
King Ghidorah only laughed, that same rich, grand, high-and-mighty laugh that Kiryuu often used. If what Manda said was true, Alan could see how Kiryuu and King Ghidorah could become very good friends indeed. Both were power-mad.
“It takes more than worthless technology and Mothra to exterminate me,” he sneered. “I can assure that you that next time I will not hold back.”
“How the hell did you get in here?!” he snarled, his eyes burning. King Ghidorah only chuckled again.
“I am capable of many powers,” he responded. “However, shrinking myself is not one of them. What you are seeing is merely a psychic projection… not too dissimilar to your grandfather’s holographs.”
“How did you-?” Alan began, his eyes widening, only for King Ghidorah to interrupt him.
“Know?” he responded in that same smug tone. “You’d be amazed what can be gathered from peeking into one small mind. Your grandfather fascinates me, Tyler… though I sense you yourself do not like him. Surely that is no way to treat your family? After all…” he added, with an evil look in his eye, “They are the only family you now have.”
Alan narrowed his eyes. He could not believe he was hearing this, from the killer of his family… his real family. King Ghidorah chuckled again as Alan looked away from him for a moment, breathing hard.
“Murderer…” Alan muttered.
“I prefer to think of it as doing them a favor,” King Ghidorah replied coldly. “If I hadn’t taken their souls, they would have continued to suffer until the governments of your world decided to drop all of their bombs on each other.”
King Ghidorah narrowed his eyes, and Alan was sure he could see cruel smirks on each of the heads. “Humans are so weak…” the dragon continued. “They’re a foolish race who will only succeed in destroying themselves, and the world around you… I am only making sure that the balance is restored… that this pathetic world is punished and cleansed from the scourge that infests it.”
Alan snarled, all of his hatred towards King Ghidorah barely contained.
“Is that what you call it?!” Alan half-shouted. “You call such mass-murder to be a good thing?! You took my family from me and now you want to take everything else away from me too?!”
Alan looked away again. “You f***ing evil b*st*rd…” he muttered. At this, King Ghidorah only made a loud tutting noise.
“Humans are so naïve too,” he said. “Evil is merely a perspective, Tyler… one that no longer concerns me. I have traveled widely, Tyler, farther than you can possibly imagine. I have visited many worlds, claiming their power as my own, the very power of gods now runs through my veins.
“In my travels,” the dragon continued, “I learned that there is no such thing as ‘good’ or ‘evil’, or of ‘right’ or ‘wrong’. They are just words, pathetic excuses used to justify lost causes, as well as far greater ‘mass-murder’ than even I can envisage. No, Tyler… There is only power… and those too weak to seek it. The strong who survive in harsh times realize this. Every leader who has ever walked your earth understood this… even those your history has branded mass-murderers, and they were seen as saviors by many people. Humans celebrate destruction, conquest and murder… so in that respect I am the biggest savior of them all. Once I take their souls upon myself, they will see their folly… and by then it will be too late. By cleansing this small universe of the pathetic humans, I am really doing it a favor.”
Alan was now thoroughly sick of King Ghidorah’s words. He could not believe this monster was standing here, justifying the slaughter of tens of millions of people. He knew what Kiryuu had said, that King Ghidorah only wished to add to his own selfish powers through such slaughter… even if Alan still didn’t understand how. He turned his eyes away from the mirror, not wanting to look at the dragon anymore.
“Trying to deny what the humans truly are?” King Ghidorah said, nastily. “Just look no further than yourself…”
As Alan looked back at the mirror again, he saw that his reflection had changed… He was now looking at Godzilla, instead of himself. The only difference was the eyes, which were still Alan’s own golden color rather than Godzilla’s brown-red. This was a thought that had been plaguing Alan’s mind for the past month… and King Ghidorah had brought it to life.
“I knew what you were, what it was you carried inside you, the minute I smelt your soul,” the demon continued. “You cannot deny what you are… of the one your very soul is bound to. You are just one of the products of humanity’s own need to destroy itself, just like he is. Do you not resent them for what they have done to you? You carry a truly incredible talent within you… and yet you squander it, denying yourself the chance at retribution, to bring your wrath and complete your revenge against the beings who did this to you. You would deny this chance not only from yourself, but from Godzilla too?”
Alan knew instantly what King Ghidorah was implying – that Alan use his ability to completely take over Godzilla’s body, and wipe out the rest of humanity with him. Alan did remember considering it once… but if he did that, Katagiri would win, and that was one thing Alan would not allow. He cared about Godzilla more than most other things in this world, and he didn’t want to hurt him. That was why he had consented to have Manda block the link between them… even if that plan had failed.
So King Ghidorah was a user of people too… Another trait he and Kiryuu had in common.
”Shut up,” he said bluntly through gritted teeth, his Godzilla-like reflection’s lips moving in synch with his own. “We beat you once, you f***ing *******, and we’ll get you again. If Kiryuu doesn’t make mincemeat of you, I definitely will. That I can assure you.”
At this, King Ghidorah only laughed, a cold, cruel laugh that send shivers down Alan’s spine, even as his face remained contorted with fury.
“Ah yes…” King Ghidorah said, his reflection slowly approaching Alan’s own. “Your dear grandfather. He is powerful indeed… but like all living creatures he has his weak point. He will not be able to resist my power, and he will fall, and know true pain. Once every last member of your bloodline is destroyed, the planet will fall easily…”
King Ghidorah was now right behind Alan, the heads now moving so that they surrounded Alan, like some kind of bizarre embrace. The middle head moved closest to Alan’s head, almost like he was going to whisper in his ear. Alan was now uncomfortably aware that he could feel King Ghidorah’s body almost touching his own, and he could feel the monster’s hot breath on him. If Alan didn’t know better, he could have sworn the dragon was actually physically in the room.
“I do hope your Guardian friend enjoyed my little show earlier,” King Ghidorah hissed. “For it is what will happen. It is how all that boundless energy on this otherwise worthless planet will be mine. As it was then… is now… and forever shall be. You will be reunited with your family… both of your families… for I will harvest your souls and reunite them in eternal damnation, as I do to all. That I can guarantee you… you pathetic little mutant.”
Alan was now reaching breaking point. His right fist clenched, and he slowly raised his arm. The Godzilla reflection did the same, sharing Alan’s look of intense fury, his sharp teeth bared.
“Get… away…” he muttered, before finishing with a loud yell, “FROM ME!!!”
At this he swung his fist hard, and punched the mirror. The glass shattered into dozens of shards, and a loud smashing was heard as they smashed against the floor. Alan didn’t care though – he just wanted to be rid of that terrible reflection… of that foul demon that had tried to twist his mind…
The lights suddenly came back on in an instant, and Alan knew he was still in the bathroom… that he had been there all the time, that what had happened was all in his head…
Didn’t stop it from hurting though, both inside and outside.
He breathed hard, slowly calming down after being rid of King Ghidorah’s unwelcome presence. He slowly pulled his blood-covered fist away, several shards of glass embedded in it. He was faintly aware of the sounds of movement outside the door. This didn’t matter to him though, as he closed his eyes, wincing each time he pulled one of the sharp mirror pieces out.
September 24th, 2005, 09:22 AM
It was then that the door opened and two guards ran into the bathroom. Alan assumed that they were passing by outside and had heard the commotion.
”What’s going on in here?” the first guard asked, the confusion showing on his face. However, this confusion quickly turned to shock, and then to anger, as he saw the state of the bathroom, with Alan picking pieces of glass out of his fist, dropping the pieces onto the already glass-covered floor.
”The hell…” stammered the guard, glaring at Alan. “What the hell happened in here?! Are you insane?!”
Alan glared back at the soldier, his gaze made even more unnerving by his eyes, the slits of his pupils very thin. He evidently wasn’t in the mood for lectures.
”Gordon Knight can bill me for all I care,” he said coldly, wincing as he pulled the last of the glass out of his hand.
”Come on,” said the guard, clearly annoyed. “We’re not letting you out of our sight, so you can run off and damage more Foundation property.”
”I don’t need a bloody escort,” Alan muttered, as he walked out of the bathroom. However, the guards insisted on flanking him anyway, something which didn’t help Alan’s mood. One of them even grabbed Alan’s arm. It took every last ounce of Alan’s self-restraint to stop himself attacking the guard.
As they stepped out of the bathroom and into the corridor, Alan saw Kiryuu and Will stood outside, almost expectantly. Alan diverted his eyes away from them, knowing full well that Kiryuu would have seen at least one side of the argument with King Ghidorah.
“I see you are through,” Kiryuu simply stated. He then proceeded to address the guards.
“That’s enough, boys,” he said to them. “Let him go.”
“But sir,” the guard said, almost indignantly, “Look at him! Look at his hand!”
Kiryuu glanced briefly at Alan’s hand. By this time, the cuts had healed completely.
“I see nothing wrong with it,” Kiryuu said, looking at the guard as if he was an idiot. “You are dismissed.”
No doubt very confused, the guards left. With them gone, Kiryuu turned his attention back to Alan.
“I'm going leave you alone with Io, so you can say your good-byes,” Kiryuu said. “I can't handle Katagiri myself, I've got King Ghidorah to worry about. Katagiri is still at the FBI, Shinoda's with him. We'll take care of Io until we can find a way to free Shinoda. But for now, Katagiri isn't going anywhere, and Japan's prime minister isn't too happy about what just happened. For now, things are going our way.”
Before Alan could say anything, Kiryuu’s holographic avatar disappeared. Alan sighed – straight to the point, no waiting around for answers. Now he was left alone with Will in the corridor.
“Come on,” Will said, starting to walk away. “Io’s waiting in the conference room.”
“Wait a minute…” Alan said, walking down the corridor, following Will, “What did Kiryuu mean by ‘saying my goodbyes’? Are you guys kicking me out already?”
Will just sighed, as he continued to lead Alan to the conference room.
“Kiryuu said he’s got matters he needs to deal with,” he explained. “Besides, we all saw what you did in the conference room. We thought it best that you get out of here before Gordon shows up.”
“But what about Io?” Alan said, his anger rising. “What about Shinoda?! We can’t just leave him with the FBI!”
Will turned around sharply to face Alan, a look of pure annoyance on his face.
“Listen, Alan,” he said, trying to keep his voice level, “We’ve got our hands full as it is, with King Ghidorah about to call any day now! Kiryuu can’t just snap his fingers and make everything happen – God knows he’s tried. There’s nothing we can do for Shinoda right now, you’re just going to have to accept that! Just let us get on with our jobs and let us handle King Ghidorah.”
Alan snarled, his eyes turning away from Will. He hated being left out of everything. Especially after what had just happened to him, he wanted to stay and find out everything he could about any plans being created to fight King Ghidorah. He could not believe Kiryuu was shutting him out like this, knowing full well what Alan had been through. He didn’t speak to Will again as the two of them arrived back at the conference room.
Inside, Io was sat on one of the chairs that was still right way up. Alan only nodded at Will as he walked past him into the room. Will returned a nod, and closed the door behind Alan. Io perked up a little as she saw Alan, but her face fell again when she saw Alan’s expression.
“What’s wrong, Alan-san?” she asked. “You look like you’ve seen a ghost.”
Alan just moved over to Io, and sat at one of the chairs next to her. He had a lot on his mind, and some of it must have shown on his face.
“Oh, it’s nothing…” Alan said off-handedly, speaking in fluent Japanese. “Just thinking about everything that’s happened, about this place… Looks like you’re being treated right here anyway.”
“Yeah,” Io said. “Everyone’s being really nice. I hate not being able to speak English to them though… It just makes me feel awkward, like I’m just getting in the way.”
Alan knew that feeling, since it was how he was feeling right now. He felt decidedly left-out of proceedings, feeling that he wasn’t being told things he ought to know, constantly being left in the dark. To try and relieve some of this awkwardness, he tried to think of another topic to take his mind off it.
“How’s my bike doing?” he asked. His Kawasaki was one of the few things he missed about Japan, aside from visits by Godzilla, of course.”
“It’s fine,” Io said, smiling. “Papa knows a few things about motorcycles, he’s been keeping it working fine. Don’t worry,” she said, noticing Alan’s awkward look, “He’s not interfered with any of your ‘modifications’.”
“Thank God,” Alan said. “My bike’s the only thing capable of outrunning Gojira’s breath, I want it to remain that way.”
Io smiled briefly, then she looked awkwardly as Alan spoke again.
“Listen, I’ve done what I came here to do,” Alan said, looking awkwardly at Io, “and that was to check up on you. I’ve done that… I think I’d better get out of everyone’s hair.”
“You mean…” Io said, looking slightly upset, “… you’re running again?”
“I wouldn’t call it ‘running’,” Alan said. “Katagiri can’t get me now, can he? I just think I should go get out of the way.”
This was an outright lie. He wanted to stay and help them, but he knew that Kiryuu would never agree. This was what was getting him annoyed, but he didn’t want Io to think the Foundation was being unreasonable, for he knew they would keep her safe for as long as needed. It wasn’t safe for her to travel with him.
Io looked very disappointed. She had wanted Alan to stay, but if even he was saying he should go again… It still pained her, even if it was his decision.
“I see…” she said. It was then that tears started to form in her eyes.
“I missed you…” she said, trying to stop herself from crying. “I miss my papa… I just want him back. I don’t want you to go again…”
Alan looked awkward. He hated having to leave Io like this, but he had no choice in the matter. Kiryuu clearly wasn’t going to let him stay, no matter what he said.
“Hey, don’t worry about me,” Alan said, trying to look reassuringly at Io. “I’ll be fine. You’ve got my grandfather looking after you…” He said, with a sly smile, “He’ll have me to answer to me otherwise.”
Io chuckled. She knew Kiryuu and the others would never treat her badly, she just found it funny that Alan referred to Kiryuu as his ‘grandfather’, even if neither of them asked to be blood-related.
“You’re both a lot like each other,” she said. “It’s not just your blood that connects you both. It’s all of the little things – your mannerisms, how you deal with things. Neither of you let anything stop you.”
Alan was taken aback by this. He could not believe Io was talking so matter-of-factly about this. Io had grown up well before her time. Her eyes looked straight at Alan’s. Clearly she was not scared by those golden reptilian eyes.
“What do we do when King Ghidorah comes?” she asked. “What do we do?”
Alan really wasn’t sure how to answer that. He honestly didn’t know, especially not knowing what Kiryuu was doing right now about this…
“I don’t know…” he said, his own eyes looking straight into Io’s own. “All I know is, we’ll all make it. You, me, your dad… We all started this thing together, that’s how it’ll end.”
It was clear that Alan was trying to reassure Io any way he could. He had never wanted kids of his own, but he cared deeply for Io all the same, just as much as he cared for Godzilla, and he hated seeing her in distress. He wanted to find where Shinoda had been taken, and get him back.
Io then stood up and hugged Alan, fearing that it may be the last chance she may have. Alan returned the hug, holding Io close to her, as if she was his own daughter.
“I promise,” he said tenderly.
It was then that the door opened, and Will poked his head in. Alan turned and saw him, and figured that his time must be up.
“Er, sorry to interrupt,” he said, “but Kiryuu wanted to say a few things before you left, in private.”
Alan nodded. Giving one last hug to Io, he stood up and walked towards the door.
“Alan-san…” Io said, prompting Alan to turn and face her again. Io had a smile on her face, despite her fear-filled eyes. “Arigato,” she said simply.
“Douitashimashite,” Alan replied, with a warm smile. Afterwards, he followed Will back out into the corridor.
September 24th, 2005, 09:24 AM
Will led Allan back towards the hangar bay. Though, this time, he noticed that Will did not lead him back to the control room where he would see Kiryuu’s avatar form. Instead, he lead him towards the catwalk in front of the real mecha. Will nodded as he left Alan alone with Kiryuu again.
“I know what you want,” Kiryuu began. “But Will is right. I’m no gene. I can’t make everything be alright for Shinoda. I can tell you where the FBI is keeping him if you want to get him out. Will?”
Will appeared again, handing Alan a piece of paper.
“What you do with that address is your business,” Kiryuu continued, his eyebrow cocking up. “I will play no part in aiding you this time. I have a demonic dragon to watch for.”
Will once more returned to the control room.
“Do tell me what this is all about,” Alan grunted. “Why were you worried about Knoxville?”
“Have you been to Knoxville?” Kiryuu asked, tilting his head to one side in scrutiny.
“No,” he replied.
“It’s a small city located in the southeastern United States,” Kiryuu replied. “Very small—one of their tallest buildings come up to my chin.”
“Why is it important?” Alan asked. “I want to know before I leave.”
“What I thought I miss calculated,” Kiryuu replied. “Godzilla would be more interested in that area than King Ghidorah.”
“Godzilla?” Alan asked. “Why?”
“The US Navy’s supplier of enriched uranium for their nuclear subs is just 20 miles away from that city,” Kiryuu replied. “But, he’s never been that far north up the East Coast, let alone diving through limestone. But Manda’s little dream was of King Ghidorah. Why would King Ghidorah be interested in Knoxville? He doesn’t feed off of nuclear radiation. I can’t tell you anything because I don’t have any answers. I don’t want to tell you anything because I don’t want to give you any ideas. You worry about Shinoda. Let me handle King Ghidorah.”
Alan kept silent, his mind muddling over whether or not he should tell Kiryuu about what really happened in the bathroom.
“I must say that was a nice job you did on the men’s restroom mirror,” Kiryuu continued. “Care to tell me why you broke it?”
Alan looked away as he put the scrap of paper in his pocket. Of course Kiryuu would have seen that side of the story...
However, he was frustrated about Kiryuu leaving him out of this matter, and didn't see why he had to say anything. If Kiryuu persisted on leaving him in the dark, Alan would do the same.
"You wouldn't believe me if I told you," he said, simply.
Kiryuu leaned back slightly chuckling even more at Alan’s obvious defiance. But he knew already. Those damned cells Alan had not only connected him to Godzilla, but in some similar ways to Kiryuu. He had other ways of making the human talk, but he was not interested in exerting those strategies at the time. Instead, he just wanted to rattle Alan’s chains even more. The bio-mecha leaned down towards his ‘grandson’ and grinned a very vicious, toothy grin.
“King Ghidorah must have had some fun with you,” he began, his deep voice picking at pieces of Alan’s consciousness. “To have made you tremble so. You haven’t been this breathless since our first meeting.”
Alan snarled, his eyes narrowing as he looked back at Kiryuu. He felt his fist clenching. Indeed, it looked like it was taking all of his self-restraint to stop himself launching himself at Kiryuu. The rational part of him knew full well that that would be a very stupid idea though.
“Watch your mouth, granddad,” Alan said, through gritted teeth.
He lowered his fist, releasing a snarl. He supposed he had to tell his snotty relative something… He’d already pretty much figured it out just from that one comment.
“I don’t know why I should tell you this, considering you never tell me anything,” Alan said first of all, for it was something he wanted to make clear with Kiryuu before he said anything else. He sighed as he told Kiryuu what had happened to him in the bathroom – about King Ghidorah’s unexpected, unwanted visit in his mind… of what the monster had said and done, of what he had tried to do… and of what had led up to Alan’s eventual smashing of the mirror.
“Whatever Manda saw in my head,” he continued, “King Ghidorah put it there. He told me himself. Don’t ask me how he did what he did, because I don’t get it myself. I think I know what he wanted me to do though…”
At this, he closed his eyes, hanging his head slightly.
“I wouldn’t, though…” he said, “I’m not doing any favors for that b*st*rd.”
At this, he looked back up at Kiryuu again, looking straight into the large gold eyes.
“Like it or not, Kiryuu,” he finished, “King Ghidorah is my business. He became my business the second he attacked my home… and no-one has any right to tell me otherwise, not even you.”
He didn’t care what Kiryuu said or did next. It was what Alan had wanted to say to Kiryuu for this past month, and now he had said it.
“I have already told you what I know,” Kiryuu continued. “I know nothing about King Ghidorah’s plans on attacking Knoxville.”
“This isn’t about Knoxville,” Alan continued. “I want to know what the hell this is all about. King Ghidorah knows something about you and the world’s nuclear weapons.”
“The launch codes,” Kiryuu said. “I already told you what I told him, I do not have that information.”
“You’re lying,” Alan growled.
“Would you like to spend about 5 years finding out if I’m lying or not?” Kiryuu asked. “Because that’s how long it would take to go through my lines of code one by one to find these launch codes you speak of. Do you think I’m that computer from the Terminator? Why would I want to do something as irrational as that? The EMP would be enough to fry me as well…” He broke off and turned away, his eyes showed just how horrified he was. “My God, and that is what King Ghidorah wants to do. He uses me to kill my son, then uses me to set off every nuclear weapon in hopes of not only frying my circuits but killing off everyone on this planet to feed his hunger. But, again, I—don’t have that information and there would be no way for King Ghidorah to get it unless he uses me to get it…”
Like how I got you to hack into government files, my lovely Kiryuu? Came a sinister voice from inside of him. If he’s as powerful as I’ve heard, then he can do exactly what I did.
“I don’t want to be put through that again,” Kiryuu shook his head as he felt Biollante’s tentacles wrap themselves around his processors, caressing him in many wrong ways. Kiryuu grimaced, shutting his eyes tightly as her touch began to entice him.
Oh, yes, you remembered, Biollante said. And you loved what I did to you.
Kiryuu lifted his claw up to his head and ran his metallic talons through his green dreadlocks. His vocal breath began to lag a bit as Biollante moved in once more, tickling him in the receptive areas of his processors. Kiryuu’s eye opened wide and he began to clench his teeth, lifting the other claw to his head.
Stop it,” Kiryuu growled. “Get your hands off of me!”
“Kiryuu…” Alan said, thoroughly confused by Kiryuu’s words. “What the hell?”
King Ghidorah won’t do it as softly and sweetly as I did, Biollante purred. He won’t pleasure you as he forces you deeply into those grids to get what he wants. He’ll torture you.
“Don’t think what you’re doing to me right now, Erika,” began Kiryuu, panting. “Doesn’t count as torture.”
I can touch you in ways that not even Katsura, or Maria could ever dream of, Biollante chuckled. And just the way you like it. You may deny it, but you love it. You may not love me the way you love Maria, but you love me in so many different ways.
Kiryuu jerked back, leaning his head over the catwalk.
“Alan!” he called. “I think it’s best that you—should leave. Now. Please, go.”
Tears actually began to trickle down Kiryuu’s grey cheeks. His claw came up to his face as he wiped them free from his eyes. Alan was starting to get scared by Kiryuu’s behavior, the tears in particular disturbed him. What could be causing him to actually cry like that?
Oh, but I want him to stay, Biollante said. Stay and watch.
“No!” Kiryuu roared, feeling those tentacles wrap tighter around his processors. He reached up to his throat, feeling something burning rush up towards his mouth. Alan’s eyes widened he noticed something glow behind Kiryuu. His spines were lit up.
“No f***ing way…” Alan breathed, eyes still widened in horror. He knew all too well what the glowing spines meant. He started to back away towards the door back to the control room, but he knew he’d never be able to get out of here in time, and shouting for help would be downright pointless…
“I really think you should go, Alan,” Kiryuu growled. Smoke, glowing whips of smoke actually coming out of his mouth as he spoke. He saw that Kiryuu’s mouth was glowing a bright white. Kiryuu tried to force the burning sensation down this throat and towards his stomach, lifting his head up as he swallowed. He let loose a sigh as a whiff of glowing white, puff of heated air escaped his mouth. He turned wearily back to Alan. “Please, go. No—no more questions. I’m tired. I’ve got my own problems to deal with, and you have Shinoda. Io is safe with me. I’ll—I’ll watch over her as if she was my own daughter.”
Alan breathed hard, barely registering Kiryuu’s words, and for once he didn’t argue. Whatever was going on here, it had creeped him out to no end, and he felt he had to get away from here. He turned around, making his way along the catwalk, walking quickly as if he was trouble trying to decide whether he would run or not. He walked back to the control room, and finally headed into the elevator heading back up to the main building. He felt glad not to run into anybody else as he headed out, for he didn’t want to face any questions. As he looked out of the window in the elevator looking out over the bay, he saw Kiryuu’s eyes following the elevator. His expression was difficult to read… weary and seemingly battling inner demons…
Aww… Alan suddenly heard a cold, mocking female voice, a voice he recognized and had hoped never to hear again. Did I scare you then? A pity… It would have been a hell of a show.
The voice gave a cold laugh after that. Alan recognized the voice as belonging to Biollante. That psycho had tortured him in Nevada… he now understood that he had been linked with Godzilla then, and she had held him prisoner in the monster’s mind. He’d heard she died though…
Surprised to hear me? Biollante said, mockingly. Your grandfather certainly was when he found I was still alive inside him. She finished with another cold chuckle. Shinoda’s daughter is right - there definitely is a resemblance between you both, don’t you think, little brother? Or should it be big brother? I’m not sure.
Alan snarled. His eyes narrowed. If Biollante was still alive in Kiryuu… It would explain his actions earlier…
I saw everything that happened between you and King Ghidorah… Biollante sneered. He definitely has an interest in both of you… He does seem even more powerful than I… and he will get you…
She then proceeded to mock Alan, in a horrible mock singing voice, like how a child might mock one who was chasing them.
He’s going to get you, she sang. He’s going to get you…
“Shut up!” Alan shouted, covering his ears with his hands, trying to drown out the horrible mocking singing. “Shut up! Shut up! SHUT THE F*** UP!”
But Biollante didn’t shut up. She continued singing in Alan’s mind, even after he reached the ground floor and stormed out of the building. Alan was so full of hate towards that voice and it must have shown, for the guards and receptionist looked too scared to go near him.
Finally, Biollante’s singing ended as he stepped outside the building, into the afternoon sun. Alan heard her give one last, low, mocking chuckle before her voice was finally gone. Alan climbed back into his rented vehicle, and pounded the steering wheel with his fists. He now had half a mind to go back in there, climb inside Kiryuu and pull out the piece of syntech that had Biollante in it. He hated her for what she had done to him in Nevada, and had hoped she had died then.
As Alan’s anger began to die away though, he began to feel something else… Fear.
His visit to the base had not been a pleasant one, all things considered. He’d seen a vision of apocalypse planted in his mind by that demon King Ghidorah, the monster himself had assaulted him in his mind, and now an old enemy had resurfaced…
Worst of all, despite Manda’s attempts, he was still linked to Godzilla… a fact that King Ghidorah knew… He knew King Ghidorah wanted Alan dead, just as he wanted all life exterminated. Yet… he also wanted to use Kiryuu - that much was apparent. Did he want to use Alan at one point for a similar purpose, but had found a weapon better suited to his needs?
Whatever the case… Alan was now sure he was at the top of King Ghidorah’s ‘hit list’, with the rest of his ‘family’…
Alan closed his eyes, shaking, holding his head in his hands. Things were now happening that seemed to be beyond even Kiryuu’s control… How could they fight against an enemy such as King Ghidorah… who seemed to be very much Kiryuu’s equal in so many respects?
Alan shook his head, trying to get a hold of himself. As he started the engine, he looked at the scrap of paper in his hand, the address that Kiryuu said Shinoda could be found. His nerves were still shot by the events in the base… He decided he’d go tomorrow, let himself process everything that had happened. It wasn’t like Shinoda was going anywhere, so that seemed viable.
Finally, Alan pulled back out on the road back to Salt Lake City. For some reason, he could not get Biollante’s mocking singing out of his head.
September 24th, 2005, 09:25 AM
They Think it’s All Over
An hour later, Alan finally arrived back in Salt Lake City, his mind at last clear from that awful singing. By now it was late afternoon, still light, but with signs of the day coming to a close. The end of a day that had been eventful, but yielding so few favorable results… Alan’s one consolation was that Kiryuu seemed to be treating Io right.
Speaking of which… as he pulled up outside the motel where was staying, he paused and wondered what to do next. He pulled out the scrap of paper with the address where Shinoda was staying, and looked at it. Earlier he had told himself that he would go the next day, let him clear his head before anything else happened. Now he wasn’t so sure though. He didn’t feel tired, and perhaps talking to Shinoda about these events would help him more than letting it stew in the back of his mind…
In the end, he thought it for the best to get this over and done with. He turned the car around, pulling out of the small parking area, his mind made up. He would go and pick up Shinoda, and then he and Io could get back to Japan and be safe… well, as safe as you could be when King Ghidorah came to call.
How difficult could it be? He could have this done by the end of the day.
As it turned out, the building Shinoda was staying was virtually next door to the local police station. As Alan pulled into the station car park, a prison van left the area, the windows blacked out so that photographers could not take pictures of prisoners. Alan never understood this himself – as far as he was concerned, lawbreakers deserved to be unmasked. He then began to understand that such thoughts were a bit hypocritical, given that he wasn’t very popular with the JSDF for breaking their barricades during his G-Chases.
The note explained that he would have to clear things with the police before Shinoda could have visitors. If Shinoda was in secure accommodation, Alan reasoned he would probably have to clear it officially before he could even visit Shinoda. Even so, he suspected that the police were being slightly paranoid – what could the CCI do to Shinoda while he was in FBI custody? Still, no sense in arguing. So he walked into the police station, which seemed strangely quiet, the occasional officer walking past carrying criminal records and other files. He approached the receptionist, a young officer with her hair long and not tied back.
“Er, good afternoon,” Alan asked – he knew this politeness was not like him, but he figured it would make a better impression. “I’m here to visit Dr. Yuji Shinoda. I heard he was staying near here.
The receptionist gave him a look of close scrutiny. “Dr. Shinoda?” she asked cautiously. “Sir, what is your relationship to him?”
“I’m a friend of his,” Alan explained truthfully. “We go way back.”
The young officer – Officer Rigden, judging by the ID card pinned to her shirt – nodded slowly, not sure of what to make of the man stood before her with strange contact lenses. She picked up the phone and made a few enquiries to her superiors, for apparently that little Japanese oddball was a key witness of some kind, if the FBI themselves were interested. In the end, she hung up, with her answer for this supposed friend.
“I’m sorry, sir,” she said truthfully, “but Dr. Shinoda cannot see anybody now. He has agreed to travel to a secure facility to testify in a high-profile case. He is being transported to the facility where the hearing is due to take place.” She leaned in a little closer, so only Alan could hear. “Just between us, they’re taking the backroads south, past Provo. Other than that, I’m sorry, but you’ll just have to wait. Now I’ll have to ask you to leave – I’m afraid we can’t say anymore.”
Alan suspected things would be like this – he was glad that Shinoda was standing up to Katagiri and making sure he was going down, but this did complicate things slightly for him. He then recalled that secure van that had left as he arrived… could he have just missed Shinoda? Giving his thanks to Officer Rigden, he left the police building and headed back to his car. They were heading south of Provo… If he was quick he could catch up to them. He wanted to at least speak to Shinoda himself, know that he was safe. He wondered why Officer Rigden had told them the road they were heading on… Perhaps she had understood he was being truthful, though he wasn’t sure of that. Maybe she just wasn’t very bright.
So he started the engine, and headed onto the road that he had just left, leaving the city and heading back towards Provo. He then turned off onto a small backroad, which was all but deserted. He had a gut feeling about this road, and knew that if he was wrong on his first guess he’d never get a chance to catch Shinoda. He looked at his watch. The day was wearing on, but he was sure he could catch up to the van before nightfall. He would have to be careful when he met them – he didn’t want to look like he was an accomplice of Katagiri’s…
As he was driving along the road though, he spotted something on the side of the road that made his heart skip a beat. He slammed on the brakes and skidded to a halt at the scene in front of him…
The prison van – he felt sure it was the same one he had seen earlier – was laying on the side of the road, on its side, steam billowing from under the bonnet. The crash could not have occurred more than quarter of an hour ago. His heart racing, Alan stepped out of the car for a closer look. He noticed the back door was open. Carefully, Alan approached the wreckage, half-afraid of what he would find.
“Hello?” he called. When he received no reply, he simply assumed the people inside were knocked insensible. However, as he opened the door far enough to step inside, a sharp tang filled his nostrils… a smell which he was later to find out was blood…
And then he saw it. A body, a police officer, lying prostrate on the wall of the van. A hole could be clearly seen in the temple, the exit wound also visible, blood still pouring out of both holes. It was a clean kill… definitely a professional… As Alan held his nose, trying to keep the awful smell at bay, he searched the unfortunate officer’s pockets. He noticed that his gun was gone. Close to the body lay a set of keys, which Alan reasoned belonged to the unfriendly-looking handcuffs placed at intervals along the benches inside the van.
As Alan moved up to the front of the van, he found the bodies of the two drivers, both shot dead, clean hits to the vitals. As Alan looked out the shattered windscreen, he noticed tire tracks on the road, weaving erratically all over the road. He pulled himself out of the van and surveyed the road. Sure enough, further down there were more tire tracks, two sets. One of them he reasoned must belong to the van, but the other… Maybe it was drunk drivers?
Gradually, Alan began to piece together what had happened. Someone must have swerved out onto the road in front of the van; the van had swerved to avoid them and had crashed. If the officer in the back had been knocked out, the perpetrator could easily have stolen the keys and the gun. The officer must have come to… the killer must have held him as a hostage, ordered the drivers to open the rear door… then he must have killed them all once his demands were met…
A sudden thought occurred to Alan. If Shinoda had been riding in that van, he certainly wasn’t among the dead. Shinoda definitely would not have committed such an atrocity, if he was going willingly…
This just left one other possibility…
Returning to the rear of the van, Alan spotted a trail in the sand, now scuffed and fragmented both by the winds and Alan’s own feet. It was as if something – or someone – had been dragged out of the back… Looking around, Alan saw that the only nearby building was still under construction, a ten-storey building, perhaps a hotel or an office building. There were no sounds of construction, the workers must have left on their break. Perhaps the killer went there, taking another hostage…
Alan’s blood boiled as he understood who the killer could be, who his hostage was, and what he was doing now…
The sun was now beginning to set, bringing with it a cold wind. Alan wondered how long it would be before someone else found the wreckage and notified the authorities. Alan didn’t pick up his phone though – he wanted to see if his theory was true, and if it was, he knew what he wanted to do… He knew he had to beat the authorities to the killer, if he was who Alan believed he was…
First of all though, he jumped back into his car and sped off back to Salt Lake. He had to get some things from his motel room before he carried out his grim task tonight…
September 24th, 2005, 09:28 AM
An hour later, the sun had set. The sky was clear that night, but there was no moon to light up the darkness. Alan wondered if this was a bad omen, as he drove back towards the construction sight as fast as the law would permit. He was now wearing his black trench coat, concealing the holsters that held his leather bullwhip and his Desert Eagle pistol. If his ‘target’ was indeed inside, he had to be prepared, for he knew his opponent would not hesitate to kill him if given the chance. Not that he had much hope of killing someone fused with Godzilla’s very DNA, but Alan knew he couldn’t afford to be cocky – one bullet to the brain and he’d be going to whatever place there was for mutants like him in the afterlife.
He finally skidded to a halt as he reached the site of the crash. The van and its dead occupants were still there, the place still completely deserted. Alan thanked his lucky stars that no-one seemed to have passed by this area and called the police. It had bought him some more time to do what he needed to do…
He stepped out of his car, and ran as fast as he could across the sands to the building under construction. Alan didn’t let himself get tired or break a sweat. He had a job to do, and he knew he couldn’t afford to let himself tire. As he approached the wire-link fence that surrounded the sight though, he felt his heart beat faster, more out of nerves rather than exhaustion though.
Keep your s*** together, Alan thought. Io still needs her father… You can’t let her down.
As he approached the gate leading inside the site, he noticed that it was open. On the ground, he saw a large, sturdy-looking padlock, now heavily broken. The killer must have blasted it off with the gun he stole. Slowly, Alan opened the gate. It squeaked slightly as he moved it, but not enough for anybody to hear. With care, he stepped inside the site.
The large 50-calibre pistol felt comforting as he held it in front of him, using both hands. He worked his way through the maze of diggers, bulldozers and cement mixers, being careful to check around every pile of wood, brick and cinder blocks. Every pile of bricks and every steel girder forced horrid thoughts into Alan’s mind, as he feared his target could jump out from behind them at any second and gun him down. The area wasn’t very well-lit, which only served to add to his fear, despite the improved night-vision that his reptilian eyes blessed him with.
Alan worked hard to keep his breathing steady as he crept inside the building itself. The building was surrounded by scaffolding, with small worker’s platforms built just below some of the windows. Inside the building wasn’t much different to the outside. From the look of things, the basic construction of the building was almost finished, but far from being inhabitable. Construction tools, such as spades and rock drills, were temporarily being stored in here, and plastic sheets hung here and there, serving as indicators for where walls still had to be built. The sheets rustled slightly in the wind, which Alan hoped would help to cover the sounds of his own footsteps. He noticed the floor itself was covered with loose mortar; he reasoned it must have fallen during construction work on the upper floors. A closer inspection revealed tracks in the floor, like something had been dragged through here.
By now, Alan’s eyes were used to the gloom, and he followed the trail towards the stairs. The trail continued up the stairs, and Alan followed, counting the floors as he went. He was used to counting the ground floor as a separate floor, so his 1st floor was the American 2nd floor. By the time the trail finally stopped going upstairs and the tracks led into one of the rooms, by Alan’s counting he was on the 9th floor, which also happened to be the top floor.
Holding his gun close, his heart racing so loud he was sure someone would hear it beating, he worked his way along the floor. Fortunately, it seemed today had been the day the builders had picked to lay the floor here, but there were still gaps that he had to be careful to sidestep. This floor was still largely incomplete, with several walls missing and no glass in the squares where the windows should be. It also seemed the ceiling wasn’t finished, with only rickety floorboards and plastic sheets providing any sort of protection from bad weather.
Alan slowly followed the trail as it lead to the most complete-looking room on the floor. As he got closer, he knew he could begin to make out quiet, furious voices, broken up with the occasional angry shout. Alan also heard a loud crack, like somebody getting punched, and he knew his target and his captive had to be here, no possible doubt.
Suddenly, there was a loud creaking sound, as Alan stepped on a loose floorboard. Throwing a number of curses through his mind, he knew the voices in the room had gone silent. He could hear furious movement from the room, and a clicking sound, like the cocking of the hammer on a gun…
Alan only just registered the man coming out of the room, barely had time to register the revolver that was being raised. Instinctively, Alan dived to the side behind one of the walls, as the gun’s loud blast resounded. The bullet chipped the wall, taking a chunk out of the mortar, barely missing Alan.
Alan raised his gun, breathing hard as he heard the footsteps of his attacker approaching his hiding place. He sprung out from behind the wall, and squeezed the trigger. Such a powerful weapon almost flew out of Alan’s hands with each shot fired, and he could see his attacker being forced to run for cover. Knowing that this spot was a foolish place to remain much longer, he took a chance and ran back towards a low wall. He could hear the gunman loose off a couple of rounds, and Alan felt a sudden searing pain in his ankle as he dived behind the wall. He landed roughly, quickly rolling over and noticing a blood-soaked hole in his ankle.
He could not sit still and watch it heal though. Gritting his teeth, seething with pain, he poked his head up behind the wall and fired two more shots, as his attacker hid again to avoid the shots. As he ducked to avoid two more shots, he saw the wound in his ankle instantly begin to heal. Another few seconds and it would be like he hadn’t had a wound. A look of utmost fury on his face, he fired off more covering shots, and as he ducked again and reloaded, as well as seeing that his ankle had healed, he heard another shot go off… followed by a dull click.
He heard the attacker snarling in fury as he saw his weapon was empty. Knowing those old Colt pistols like the one the assassin was using took forever to reload, Alan seized the chance and jumped out from behind the wall. His enemy, a Japanese man dressed in what might have once been a respectable suit, but now damaged heavily, was struggling to put the bullets in the chamber in this darkness. He looked up, wide-eyed, to see Alan charging straight at him.
The attacker didn’t raise the gun in time, and Alan tackled him to the floor, sending the gun flying out of his hand. The attacker’s face contorted with fury as he kicked Alan off him, and made a dash for his gun. However, Alan was just too fast, pulling out his leather bullwhip and cracking it. It wrapped smoothly around the ankle, and one sharp tug sent the attacker crashing to the floor, just short of the gun. As he desperately reached his arm out to grab it, he froze as he felt the large barrel of Alan’s weapon pressing against the back of his head. Alan’s left hand held the gun firm, while the right hand kept a tight hold of the whip. Alan’s eyes narrowed as he addressed his attacker in Japanese, in a voice as smooth and as dangerous as Kiryuu’s.
“Good evening, Mitsuo Katagiri… Long time no see.”
Katagiri’s face turned to look at Alan’s own, a mask of pure hate. His eyes and gun never leaving Katagiri’s head, Alan moved over to the Colt pistol and threw it out of one of the open windows. Now unarmed, all Katagiri could do was scowl at Alan as the escaped experiment ordered him to his feet. The former head of the CCI reluctantly stood up slowly.
“I should have known you were in that prison van,” Alan said coldly. “What’s wrong? Not happy you didn’t catch your criminal, and this is your way of throwing your toys out of the pram?”
Katagiri only spat on the ground in front of Alan. “The Americans are as clumsy as they are stupid,” he snorted. “I would never have allowed a prisoner to travel with a witness. They must honestly have believed they had everything under control… Deluded fools.”
Katagiri’s words confirmed what Alan had suspected. “So Shinoda was with you, huh? Where is he?”
Katagiri smirked. “Since I am clearly in no position to make deals, I suppose I must bow to the way of the gun this once.”
“No f***ing kidding,” Alan said. “Move it.”
With that, Katagiri slowly walked around Alan, towards the door he had just come out of. Alan’s gun never left him as he followed the madman Katagiri into the almost-complete room. Just as he though, lying on the floor, moaning slightly, was Yuji Shinoda. Poor Shinoda looked like he had been through the wars, his face was covered in blood, since his nose had been bleeding profusely, and he had a large black eye. Other bruises could be seen on his arms, his clothes were in tatters, and he was clearly too sore from his injuries to move very far. He gasped as he saw Alan enter the room. To Shinoda, at that moment Alan did seem every inch as fearsome as Godzilla, the reptilian eyes flashing dangerously.
“Alan…” he muttered… “Thank God…”
“We’ll catch up with the reunion stuff later,” Alan said smoothly, but with a murderous look at Katagiri. “Right now… time to settle a score…”
Katagiri gave a cold chuckle, still with a smug expression on his face. “Ah, yes…” he said, “I see the American effect has rubbed off on you… ever the overconfident macho-fool. You were no different during the five years before you became an outcast.”
At this, Alan froze. Five years… all this time Katagiri had known about him?
“Five years?” he blinked, though his gun remained pointed at Katagiri. “You knew I was still around all this time?!”
“Of course I did, you pillock,” Katagiri said simply, as if he was talking to a child. “I have contacts everywhere, even amongst your precious G-Chasers. I must say I am very impressed by how you have survived this long… It is a pity you let that skill of yours go to waste. If only you had stayed around when you awakened… the offers we could have made for you.”
At this point, Alan was imagining that Katagiri and King Ghidorah would get along very well indeed. Both of them… they knew what was inside Alan and they wanted it.
“I would’ve turned you down anyway,” Alan stated bluntly, his temper rising. “You had no f***ing right to rape Gojira’s cells like you did!”
Katagiri only gave a self-satisfied smirk. “What’s wrong with trying to kill your kind to keep the humans safe?”
Alan snarled when Katagiri said ‘your kind’. It was clear from his tone that he didn’t consider Alan to be human at all. Alan’s eyes narrowed as he kept his gun trained on Katagiri.
“Frankly,” Katagiri continued, “I’m amazed you didn’t rejoin your family on Ogasawara Island. It would have been a rather fitting place for someone who is not human, despite what their appearance suggests.”
“Shut it!” Alan shouted. “I’m more human than you are, you piece of s***!”
Katagiri only laughed at this. “Listen to yourself, mutant. Why continue to deny what you are? Why continue to believe you can ever be accepted amongst humans, if they ever found out what you are?” As he said this, he gestured at Shinoda, who was trying to pull himself to his feet, but he was so sore he soon fell back to the floor.
“You have no past and no future. Even if you did, it wouldn’t be truly yours!” Katagiri continued. He narrowed his eyes evilly as he spoke. “Alan Tyler died the instant Organizer G-1 entered his bloodstream. You’re just another Gojira, with Tyler’s face and memories… and even then you won’t have those forever.”
He smirked nastily as he finished his sentence. Alan bared his teeth, his blood boiling with each word Katagiri spoke. Right now, he hated Katagiri… more than Kiryuu, even more so than King Ghidorah, if that was possible. Yet in the back of his mind, a small voice told him that there was some truth to Katagiri’s words. He tried to keep that voice quiet.
“I…” a muttering voice heard, coming from Shinoda, who had made another attempt to stand up. “I don’t…”
Katagiri looked at Shinoda as if the scientist was a particularly large rat. “Did you say something, you treacherous little vermin?!” he said angrily.
“I said…” Shinoda said, his voice bolder, looking at Katagiri with pure venom, “…I said I don’t care! So what if Alan is a Gojira?! He’s more human than you ever were or ever will be, you b*st*rd!”
At this, Katagiri’s expression became quite mad. He was clearly disgusted by Shinoda’s words. “How dare you…” he snarled, but Shinoda cut in.
“I do dare!” he continued, his voice rising. Alan could not help admiring the scientist’s sheer gall, but right now Katagiri was no position to be treated like a civilized human being. “Gojira isn’t the monster! You are!”
“SILENCE!” Katagiri roared. He lashed out with his foot, kicking Shinoda in the face. There was a loud crack as Shinoda’s nose was broken, blood spurting everywhere. “I will not be spoken to like that!” He then kicked Shinoda in the midsection, sending him sprawling onto his back, coughing up more of his own blood.
At this, Alan’s anger finally peaked. With a loud roar, he charged straight at the madman. Katagiri suddenly turned, grabbing Alan’s arms, trying to wrestle the gun out of Alan’s hands. The two of them grappled each other for a moment, before Katagiri sent Alan’s arm jerking violently upwards, throwing the gun out of his hand. It landed close to the window hole.
Now caught off-guard, Alan felt Katagiri land sharp, vicious punches to his face and chest. He felt blood start to pour out of his nose as he staggered backwards. Unlike Katagiri, Alan had had no formal training in hand-to-hand combat, so he was at a disadvantage. Not that this mattered to Alan as he charged at Katagiri again. Training or not, all he wanted to do was hurt every part of that lunatic that he could reach.
The two of them traded blows, both of them bruising and bloodying each other’s faces with their punches. For a moment, it seemed they were both at a stalemate, until suddenly Katagiri attempted a kick, only to find his foot caught in Alan’s hands. Alan swung his foot out, tripping up Katagiri and sending him crashing to the floor. Katagiri was forced to quickly roll out of the way as the heel of Alan’s boot came crashing down where his head would have been.
Katagiri’s roll took him dangerously close to the window hole. His eyes widened as he saw Alan’s gun, lying on the floor. He lunged for it and grabbed it, but as he raised it to fire he was tackled by Alan, and the gun was sent flying out of his hand.
The force of Alan’s tackle sent both of them through the window hole, the plastic sheets flying apart as both fell outside, beginning their long descent to the ground below. There was a loud crashing sound. Pulling himself to his feet, Shinoda staggered over to the window hole, dripping blood onto the floor. He kneeled down at the hole and looked down towards the ground.
“Alan!” he yelled, and he soon saw them both. For the fall had sent both Alan and Katagiri falling onto a small platform, one floor down, just outside one of the windows. Both were dazed, but coming to their feet. Katagiri was taking longer to recover than Alan, while the G-Chaser heard Shinoda’s shout.
“Shinoda!” Alan called, unfurling his whip and cracking it straight upwards. “Grab it!”
Shinoda obliged, grabbing the tip of the whip and wrapping it around his arm. He held on tight as Alan prepared to climb.
However, the platform’s supports were clearly not built to withstand a knock like the one it received from the two men falling onto it, for the whole right side of the platform gave way, causing it to tilt dangerously. Katagiri yelled as he was sent sliding off. He barely managed to grab onto the edge of the platform, but it was clear his grip would soon fail.
Here, Alan was torn. This was his chance… his chance to take his revenge on Katagiri, for what the madman had done, for taking his humanity away from him. This was the chance he had to reclaim it…
Yet… was it really right that he just let him die? It would mean he as good as killed Katagiri… but in the end, Alan’s morals got the better of him. He wanted to see Katagiri suffer for what he did. Death was too easy for him – Alan knew he wouldn’t be satisfied if Katagiri escaped justice again.
So he lowered himself slightly, reaching out his arm to grab Katagiri. Just as Katagiri’s grip failed, Alan lunged forward and grabbed his hand. Up above, he could hear Shinoda groaning as he struggled to hold on to the whip.
“Katagiri!” Alan called, feeling Katagiri’s grip slipping away. “Give me your other hand! I can’t hold on!”
Katagiri continued to dangle there, holding on by just one hand. He slowly turned his face up to look at Alan. His breathing was shallower, but he still managed a low chuckle and a smirk as he looked at his experiment – the project was evaluated a failure, yet this man was the only one who succeeded as a human Godzilla. He didn’t know whether to be proud or disgusted.
“Still…” he muttered, that nasty sneer still on his face, “… still denying what you are, Gojira?”
“Shut up!” Alan yelled impatiently. Why was Katagiri doing this? Did he want to get them both killed?! “Katagiri, GIVE ME YOUR OTHER HAND!”
Alan felt Katagiri’s grip slipping. He was barely holding on by the fingers. Yet Katagiri just continued to smirk, as if every last ounce of whatever sanity he had left was flying away. All of his cunning strategies and brilliant tactical mind had been a failure. His enemy had beaten him, but he refused to let the mutant truly win.
There was only one honorable way out now… and he took it.
Alan lost his grip on Katagiri… the madman fell, his eyes never leaving Alan’s as he fell… Alan’s eyes widened as he saw Katagiri hitting the ground so far below. He felt sure he heard every bone in Katagiri’s body shatter as he landed on the ground with a sickening crunch. He was dead instantly.
Alan looked away, tearing himself away from the sight of the body, the dead eyes continuing to look up at him… Katagiri had escaped… he had evaded justice in the worst way possible… Alan felt sure he was laughing at him from beyond the grave.
Shinoda gave a low moan that brought Alan back to his senses. It was clear his strength was failing him from his tortured expression.
“Alan, hurry!” he called. “I can’t hold on much longer!”
Brought back to his senses, Alan climbed as fast as he could back up to the window hole. When he was at the top, Shinoda pulled him inside, until he was safely back in the room. As Alan furled his whip and holstered it, he looked back down at Katagiri’s prostrate body, and released a low snarl.
“F***ing idiot…” Alan snarled, as he picked himself up to pick up his pistol. Shinoda froze as he looked down at the body of the man who had brought so much calamity to so many lives.
“He…” he said, loud enough for Alan to hear. “He hated Gojira. I don’t believe there was any creature alive he hated more. That lunatic would not want to find himself in the debt of a Gojira… to a mind as warped as his, death was the favorable alternative.”
Alan only snarled as he retrieved his pistol and holstered it. “‘Lunatic’ was putting it mildly,” he said. “Now he can’t even go down for what he did…”
With that, he closed his eyes, turning away from Shinoda. His enemy was now dead… but somehow this felt far worse than he would have felt if Katagiri was still alive to face justice. Shinoda sighed. He picked himself up and walked over to Alan. His face was still covered in blood, but his expression was resolute.
“He tried to get me to confess…” he said. “He wanted me to admit that Kiryuu was responsible for the CCI theft, to tell him where you were hiding… I didn’t say anything though, which explains my present condition.”
To Alan’s astonishment, considering everything they had been through, Shinoda was actually smiling as he continued. “I meant what I said earlier though. I don’t care what you are. You may have Gojira’s DNA, but to me you’re still Alan Tyler, that G-Chaser with a certain disregard for the law.” With that, he put his hand on Alan’s shoulder. “You did a noble thing, trying to save Katagiri’s life, even if it was just to see him pay for what he has done. That alone proves him wrong – that you’re human. So Katagiri hasn’t won, not even after taking his own life.
“Don’t even think about running off when King Ghidorah comes,” he continued. “I’m with you to the end in this. You’re not getting rid of me so easily.”
Alan didn’t say it, but Shinoda’s words meant a lot to him. He remembered something Kiryuu had said when they first met… that it wasn’t our blood that defined what we were, it was our actions… With this thought in mind, he managed to smile.
“Thanks…” he said appreciatively. Shinoda held his hand up to his face, wiping away more blood that was leaking out. Alan looked at his own watch. It was now after midnight.
“It’s a bit late,” he said, “but maybe the Utah Foundation can patch you up. There’s someone there who wants to meet you… We’d better not keep her waiting.”
Shinoda’s eyes lit up, as he understood what Alan meant. Their ordeal over, the two of them left the construction sight and returned to Alan’s car. As they drove away from the area, Alan wondered what would happen when the workers arrived in a few hours time and saw the signs of chaos from this night. That hurdle, he felt sure, could be crossed when they came to it.
Right now… he wanted to see the expression on Io’s face when she saw her father was safe and sound.
September 24th, 2005, 09:29 AM
This does worry me, Manda, Mothra began. That King Ghidorah would use Kiryuu in such a way.
It shouldn’t be surprising though, Manda snorted. He’s done it before.
I am sorry about Kraken, the great moth replied. But it was necessary. He was too dangerous.
Manda glanced away: He was like a brother to me, Mothra. But there was no other alternative. King Ghidorah used him and he’ll use Kiryuu as well.
But why Knoxville? Mothra asked. What could that city hold for the demon?
Energy, Manda replied. It’s not Knoxville he’s after, it’s the Smoky Mountains.
And the bombs? Mothra asked.
Manda glanced back at him, his neck frill fully extended.
You know King Ghidorah better than I do, the Dragon said. Why would he use Kiryuu to bomb Earth with their own nuclear weapons?
Such destruction would release a great deal of energy for him to feed off of, said Mothra. And Kiryuu has the power to fire them?
He was telling the truth, Manda said. He does not, but he does have the power to get them. Which will be a convenience to King Ghidorah. Kiryuu would make a powerful slave.
You must return, Manda, said Mothra. You must return and protect him.
What of Alan? Manda asked.
He has his own destiny to contend with, Mothra replied. We must focus our power now on King Ghidorah.
September 24th, 2005, 09:30 AM
And that's it. That's the end of this story. So what did you all think? Constructive feedback, much appreciated!
September 30th, 2005, 10:35 AM
All because I was too lazy to post it up. *sniff* Glad AS stepped in. Eh, I wasn't too lazy, I've just been working a lot.
September 30th, 2005, 08:39 PM
Awsomeness! So, when CAN we expect the next one CII?
October 5th, 2005, 11:08 PM
When can we expect Mechagodzilla XIV Past Present and Future? Possibly some time nearing Christmas, like when I usually post my stories here anyways.
Anyways. I'm glad you liked our little ditty.
October 18th, 2005, 08:36 PM
Sorry it took me so long to respond to this baby, I stumbled onto it a little late I guess! I especially enjoyed the part about the visions of Kiryuu being possesed and helping to destroy the Earth, it sent chills down my spine! I love your usage of other language as well keep up the good work!
October 20th, 2005, 08:32 PM
Other language? You mean Japanese? Well, I had a hand in all that. Good ole English to Japanese dictionary.
Glad you liked it. KG using Kiryuu to destroy the world just seemed to fit so well. And of course SA's hand in making the hopelessness feeling feel worse to the characters. He and I have a way of screwing people up so much.
It's what makes life fun.
June 23rd, 2006, 07:04 PM
*takes a deep breath* And the plot twists even further. I feel like I'm so deep into a labrynth that the only way out is to go forward, and what lies ahead are scary things I'm not sure I want to face.
I like it when stories scare me. It means the writer is playing with my mind and doing a good job. :)
I can't help but wonder what will become of everyone when this is all over.
July 1st, 2006, 12:39 AM
*takes a deep breath* And the plot twists even further. I feel like I'm so deep into a labrynth that the only way out is to go forward, and what lies ahead are scary things I'm not sure I want to face.
I like it when stories scare me. It means the writer is playing with my mind and doing a good job. :)
I can't help but wonder what will become of everyone when this is all over.
He does a well job of doing so, dont' he?
July 1st, 2006, 12:45 AM
^Yeah, especially when Disneyland is shooting off their fireworks(I live near Anaheim, California) and it sounds like two monsters are slamming into things O.O
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