A Short Story
Off the coast of Japan, not too far out into the Pacific Ocean, the calm waters gently rocked the fishing boat while its crew wandered about the deck and waited for a catch they thought would never come.
“Why do they even send us out here when there’s nothing to catch? The scientists already told the company that even after a year, the fish have barely returned!” Junji complained as he leaned against the trawl and smoked his cigarette.
“Maybe they’re just doing it because they’re desperate or they just refuse to believe their livelihood is gone. Have you seen how bad the market has gotten?” Ishiro said as he leaned on the opposite side of the trawl.
“I guess you’re right, on the bright side, at least we’re getting paid to do nothing,” Junji said as he and Ishiro chuckled before there was a hard tug on the trawl which caused them both to jump.
Suddenly they felt the boat jerk and rock, causing them to stumble and fall onto their backs before Junji managed to crawl up and retract the net. The trawl groaned as it was met with heavy resistance, the boat’s rear tipping towards the water before there was a loud snap. The boat rocked back as the net came back in completely torn and most of it missing.
“What the hell was that?” Ishiro exclaimed as he and Junji panted, trying to recollect themselves after the ordeal.
“I don’t know but,” Junji stopped and sniffed the air before recoiling. “Ugh, what is that smell?” he cried. A pungent odor filled the air, Ishiro also catching a whiff.
“I don’t know, it smells like a dead fish and it’s making me sick,” Ishiro said as the rest of the crew came onto the deck before immediately gagging and complaining about the awful smell. Just then, Junji noticed something caught on the remains of the net.
“What is that?” he asked, bringing everyone’s attention to the object which he brought in. The object in question was a dead fish hooked up via tubes to what looked like a machine with four sharp insect-like legs. Junji held it up by one of its “legs” and allowed everyone to examine it.
“Well that explains the smell, but what is that machine?” Ishiro asked before poking the dead fish, causing it to move its “legs” and startling Junji into dropping it. The whole crew jumped as the machine carried the dead fish around the deck, scurrying like a rat. In the midst of the panic, one of the crew members crushed it.
“We need to report this to the mainland,” Junji said before he noticed the water on the side of the ship bubbling and, upon looking over the side with everyone else, saw a bright light coming up from below.
Hagiwara, a rather plain man, sat in his office at the newspaper headquarters, his work going along slowly. He thought about how even after a year, people were still shaken by Godzilla’s fury and how devastated Tokyo still was. Most of the news he wrote nowadays was either about the progress of the reconstruction or how many more people were either found to be alive or dead. The news he constantly had to report only made him more depressed, and he hoped for something to pull him out of this depressing monotony.
His slightly burly boss then burst into his office carrying a piece of paper. “Hagiwara, I want you to go down to this hospital and get the scoop on this fishing boat,” his boss ordered before slamming the piece of paper onto his desk. Hagiwara looked down at the paper then back to his boss, looking a little befuddled.
“Why? What’s there to report about a token fishing boat?” Hagiwara asked in a confused tone.
“Because they found something very weird and they claimed they saw Godzilla,” his boss explained before Hagiwara jumped up in surprise.
“But sir, Godzilla is dead, everyone on that boat saw him die that day! How do you know they’re not just making this up?” Hagiwara argued, secretly hoping that this was indeed a hoax or some mistake.
“Because most of the crew is gone and the ones that were found have radiation poisoning,” his boss said before exiting and leaving Hagiwara standing and looking down at the paper with an expression of dread.
Hagiwara arrived at the hospital two hours later after taking a train. His mood wasn’t exactly the brightest due to the still-ruined sections of Tokyo the train passed by on his way to the hospital. Upon entering, he walked up to the desk clerk and asked where the survivors of the boat were being taken care of and she gave him the room number. Once he got there, he found the three survivors were being swarmed by other journalists and photographers, all of whom were asking the same questions. Mysteriously though, one of the fishermen seemed to be covered in odd bumps. All Hagiwara could do was merge with the crowd and stand by with his notepad.
“What was so unusual about the dead fish?” one of the journalists asked Junji.
“It was hooked up to this…machine; it had tubes inserted into its gills and these ribs that…held it in place. The machine had four legs that looked like spider legs and it could move fast…really fast…it smelled so horrible,” he replied, looking like he was going to throw up as the journalists scribbled on their notepads.
“Are you sure you saw Godzilla? Are you sure it wasn’t a whale or something?” another reporter asked Ishiro, who nodded.
“Yes, it was indeed Godzilla, he had the fins and everything…but he was on one of those machines…” Ishiro replied before another journalist burst into the room.
“Everyone, come downstairs, quick!” he shouted, panting slightly as the swarm of journalists and photographers, including Hagiwara, rushed downstairs to a radio.
All across and near Tokyo Bay and through the Tama River, they emerged. Thousands upon thousands of fish, sharks, and various other aquatic animals all of which were hooked up to the four-legged machines while the stench of death and decay followed them. People ran in terror from the rotting monstrosities as they swarmed Tokyo within minutes of reaching the shore. Many were either trampled or impaled by the machines' sharp pointed legs. The air was choked with the death stench as a state of emergency was declared and the military mobilized in an attempt to contain the massive swarm of rotting marine life.
As the soldiers were sent into the city, all of whom were wearing gas masks, they started shooting and setting the creatures ablaze with their flamethrowers. It seemed to work as the machines stopped once they were able to halt the machines and rip their hosts off. But unbeknownst to the soldiers, people were getting sick. Many of those who were exposed to the horrible smell began growing bumps all over their bodies before they became bloated and began emitting the death stench on their own. By that time, the infected people would seemingly be carried by the stench into vacant machines, the tubes inserting themselves into available orifices before continuing their march.
Hagiwara, along with everyone else at the hospital, then began to panic as the death-stench fish and infected people began to swarm into the hospital by breaking down the doors and shattering the windows. The journalists and photographers scrambled and ran in all directions as they tried to get away from the mechanically-infused nightmares, their sickening smell starting to fill the hospital. Hagiwara managed to burst into one of the rooms and find a window before slipping into an alleyway. As soon as he was outside, the putrid smell which smothered the air hit him like a ton of bricks, causing him to collapse to his knees and vomit near a dumpster.
Upon regaining his composure, he was spotted by one of the death-stench sharks, which caused him to get up and run while the shark gave chase. He soon came upon a large chain link fence which he hurriedly climbed up as the shark approached, snapping its jaws all the while. Hagiwara managed to clear to clear the gate before shark reached it. He sighed with relief before turning to see the shark starting to climb the gate. He gasped before turning and running down a series of alleyways, hoping to lose the shark and stay out of the path of the death-stench swarm.
After a few hours of running and hiding, Hagiwara made it to an open area where the swarm seemed to have passed, but the horrible smell still lingered. He looked around and made sure none of the abominations were coming before he ran across the street and towards the edge near the bay. He took a moment to sit down in front of the bay, taking in one of the few untainted views left in this hellish city.
It was then that he noticed a faint glow and some bubbling near the surface moving throughout the bay, causing him to quickly stand up and rub his eyes to make sure that he was not seeing things. The light in the bay seemed to move like an eerie phantasm through the bay, getting brighter and brighter as it approached shore a mile away from where Hagiwara was standing. Once it neared the shore, the water began to disperse, revealing an all too familiar set of fins followed by two colossal mechanical limbs which rose out of the water and slammed into the shore, causing a small tremor which knocked Hagiwara to the ground.
The gigantic legs let out a groan as they lifted and revealed the massive, almost glowing corpse of the towering behemoth known as Godzilla. Hagiwara watched, frozen in fear as the leviathan was pulled out of the sea by six gigantic legs which were attached to large pod similar to the machines carrying the fish and the infected people. Godzilla was held much the same way as the other death-stench corpses, with rib-like bars holding him in place while various tubes were inserted into his back and neck. Godzilla himself seemed to have decayed very little since his death, his body still seemed to be in almost perfect condition save for lacerations under his eyes, on his neck and on the front of his thighs. His eyes and fins were glowing brightly along with two “eyes” on the pod carrying him.
Hagiwara shook as the massive beast made its way onto dry land before it started its march towards Tokyo. Each step it took was like a miniature earthquake, shaking the ground around it and creating large holes where the pointed ends of the legs dug in. Any cars in its path were immediately crushed and buildings destroyed either by ramming into them or simply using its passenger’s massive weight to knock them over.
It was not long before Godzilla caught up to the swarm which was already halfway through Tokyo. Upon seeing the colossus, the military immediately retreated as fast as they could, knowing they could never fight such a beast with their current weaponry. The soldiers quickly retreated into their jeeps and drove off, leaving the remaining civilians to flee and try to hide from both the swarm and their new behemoth of destruction. The behemoth’s presence also seemed to amplify the death stench as the air seemed to become even more choked with the smell where ever he went.
People and death-stench creatures alike were crushed beneath Godzilla’s towering legs, along with small buildings and anything else that happened to be in his path. People who were not crushed by the massive leviathan simply fell to the ground and died of what appeared to be radiation poisoning. For those who were going through the stages of infection, this only served to speed up the process while nearby creatures would themselves become irradiated by Godzilla’s presence.
Many of the reconstructed buildings or construction sites were destroyed and fell to Godzilla’s massive corpse while the bodies of the dead continued to pile up. People fleeing from the colossal decaying monster could only watch in horror as their limbs quickly gave way and last thing they would see would be Godzilla marching on with the swarm before being left to die or being claimed by the machines.
The military set up a perimeter of tanks, cannons, and turrets 20 miles outside of western Tokyo, as it seemed like the swarm along with Godzilla were making their way out of the city and towards the rest of Japan with the seeming intent of infecting the rest of the world. The Japanese military decided that they would make their stand here. They theorized that since Godzilla was still a corpse that he would be weaker than when he was alive.
The soldiers waited in anticipation, all of them wearing gas masks and yet still holding their breath as their hearts pounded as they watched for the swarm and the beast that would follow. The sun began to set as the colossal swarm of death-stench infected began to march out of the city and towards the perimeter. The turrets began to fire upon them while the tanks and cannons awaited the behemoth that would follow.
Many of the machines fell to the gunfire, but continued limping along on any of their undamaged limbs, seemingly unfazed by their injuries. Their numbers were completely overwhelming as the smaller fish managed to bypass them, much to their horror. Then, when it seemed the swarm was about to break the blockade, Godzilla appeared in all of his massive, decaying hideousness. The tanks and cannons then began to fire upon Godzilla, blasting small chunks of his flesh away but not damaging the machine nor impeding its progress.
Suddenly, Godzilla’s mouth opened up wide before a loud hiss echoed throughout the battlefield and he shot a huge stream of fire which blanketed the barricade and annihilated the military’s forces. The tanks and cannons melted beneath the intense heat while the turrets exploded. Most of the soldiers were either vaporized or burned to death in the atomic hell fire.
After decimating the Japanese military, the death-stench swarm moved south to spread their plague further. They eventually reached Osaka where they continued to spread fear and disease. Godzilla’s size and radiation allowed the death stench to spread much more rapidly than it would have on its own. The more people died due to Godzilla’s destruction, the more were added to the swarm. Soon single bodies were no longer relegated to a carrier, but were stacked on top of one another on a single carrier in order to keep up with the deaths created by Godzilla.
Upon gaining numbers in Osaka, the swarm then turned its attention to the Sea of Japan and the rest of the world. A third of the swarm stayed behind to infect the rest of Japan while the rest, including Godzilla, crossed the sea and into mainland China where they would continue to spread their wretched disease.
The death stench would then continue to spread almost unopposed, country after country were overwhelmed by the death stench’s swelling numbers and nigh-invulnerable behemoth. Soldiers, planes and tanks all fell before the mighty juggernaut that was Godzilla and soon the entire world was covered in the vile fumes of the death stench.