Chapter 9 - Recovered Already?!
Godzilla's fight with the three headed dragon played on the screen over and over again as Akiko's eyes remained glued to it while she analyzed his movements, vocalizations, posture and more. Every facet of Godzilla's behavior was very carefully examined by Akiko for several hours while the others went about trying to gather data from the rest of the equipment.
"Hey Ken, check this out." Keiichi said.
Ken walked over and leaned over Keiichi's shoulder to see what he was talking about.
"See here?"Keiichi asked as he pointed towards the screen playing the images of the fight.
"When Godzilla charges his attack, the thermal camera goes nuts along those spines and around his mouth. Whatever that beam is, it's generating a lot of heat." He remarked.
"That would explain the incendiary properties it had when it made contact with buildings and such when he attacked the military." Ken added.
"Yeah, and also I managed to find out from a friend that the areas where Godzilla used his beam attack averaged nearly 25% more radioactivity than areas where he didn't use it."
"So that means… What?" Ken asked.
"I thought that it was blue fire at first, but I think that it's more like concentrated radiation. It would explain the excess radiation in the areas where he's used the attack, but it also explains the incendiary properties as well because to be "radioactive" means that the atoms are unstable and giving off excess energy in an attempt to balance themselves. If this is the case with Godzilla, then I believe what he's doing is forcing the energy he's gathering in his mouth to become unstable while he focuses it into a tight beam which he can use as a weapon. I still don't know what the source of this ability is, but if we can get him on film doing it a few more times I might get an idea."
Ken was a bit confused, but impressed.
"That's quite the weapon." He said quietly.
"Yeah, it is." He agreed.
Miki sat nearby in a chair as she rested her head in her hands. She hadn't gotten much sleep since Godzilla's fight with the dragon a few days ago and was worried about his eye and any potential side effects that dragon's attack may have had on him. Sayuri was similarly worried about Godzilla, but she had managed to focus forward and was helping clean up the RV outside while everyone else worked on something inside their main base of operations. It was a portable building which they'd purchased a few years back before Miki joined up, but they removed the wheels to make sure it stayed put.
As Akiko poured over the footage from the fight she took notice of a strange detail which she hadn't noticed before while watching Godzilla and the dragon tussle just before the dust surrounded them when the dragon fell down. When the dragon first appeared it was struck by two missiles and it barely flinched, but when it was jumping on Godzilla it was struck by two or three missiles and it was knocked to the ground and seemed to actually be hurt.
"… So what changed?" She asked.
Akiko rewound the film to the dragon's initial appearance when it was hit in the sky and watched it very carefully as it was struck by the missiles and brushed them off to continue flying circles about Godzilla. She rewound and watched it again, and again, and again. As she watched it for the fourth or fifth time she noticed something very subtle, but never the less very important. The dragon knew the missiles were coming and she saw its musculature flex just before the missiles struck its body.
When it did so, the all three heads were watching the missiles approach. Having three, she thought that they all held the same intelligence and controlled the body in unison, but as she went forward and watched it jump on Godzilla and get struck in the back, the only head which knew the missiles were coming was the one on the right. There was no flexing of its musculature when the missiles hit, and she noticed a fairly good amount of pain present in its faces as it went down.
"So that's it." She said quietly.
"What?" Ken asked as he walked over.
"Look here." She said.
She rewound the picture to the first missile impact against the dragon in the sky and then went to the impact against its back when it was jumping on Godzilla.
"Notice the difference?" She asked.
Ken shook his head.
"Not really." He said.
"Ugh, you're supposed to be an animal behavior expert and biology specialist. Take a good look at the dragon's heads and the details of the body between the first and second impacts." She said as she got out of the chair and let him sit down to watch.
He watched the footage a few times through and took note of the flexing in the first one, but didn't really see what else Akiko apparently did.
"I still don't see anything of significance Akiko. What's your point?" He asked.
"Ken, the dragon's heads don't work in unison. They're individuals." She said.
Ken shrugged his shoulders.
"And that means what to us?" He asked.
Akiko sighed in frustration and took over the controls of the film.
"Ken, if the dragons heads don't work in unison then that means that one head is not enough for the dragon to properly protect itself. It's why the missiles in the first impact didn't hurt it, because all three heads knew they were coming. When they hit the second time, only the one head saw them while the other two were focused on Godzilla. Split its focus and you split its defenses."
Ken's eyes lit up as he suddenly realized what that could mean.
"Now do you see Ken? If that dragon has a priority target like Godzilla to worry about then it'll be much easier for the military to successfully attack it."
"Wait a minute, you want to tell the military about this?" Ken asked.
"Why shouldn't we?"
"Akiko, I know that dragon isn't exactly on our good side after what it did to Godzilla but we can't just tell the government what its weakness is. How will we study it?" He asked.
"Ken, that dragon is much too dangerous to be left alive. I know you want to study it, but what point is there in studying something that will attack anything it sees? Godzilla at least seems to be content to leave humanity alone when they leave him alone, but this dragon is an entirely different beast."
"Akiko, what do we know about the dragon? We can't confirm that it attacks everything in sight indiscriminately just because it attacked Godzilla. It flew in from the distance and landed to wait for Godzilla to get out of the water before they started fighting. It clearly is a creature of intelligence, so we should wait for now until we know more about it. Where did it come from? What has it done since it arrived? Where has it been? We need more information Akiko, and you know it."
Akiko groaned in frustration and put her hands on her hips and she walked away to sit down.
Ken shook his head.
"Are you two really engaged?" Keiichi asked.
Akiko shot him a glare and growled at him while Ken chuckled to himself.
Miki, in the meantime, had fallen asleep. Sayuri entered the building a few moments later and walked over to Miki while putting her jacket over her like a blanket.
"Hey, the RV's all fixed up. We can load the equipment whenever you're ready." She told Akiko.
"First sensible thing I've heard all night." Akiko remarked.
Ken shook his head again as he shut off the cameras and got to work helping load the RV. The rest of the crew pitched in as well while doing so quietly to let Miki sleep. Once the RV was loaded up Keiichi picked up Miki and carried her inside and placed her on the closest thing to a bed they had which was a small couch. Once everything and everyone was ready to go, Ken fired up the RV and they got rolling along. They had heard from one of Ken's friends recently about a collaborative effort to locate Godzilla. Now that he was injured, his behavior was sure to change and that was what they were after.
After spending most of the day on the road the crew arrived in the city of Nagoya where they stopped to fill up on gas and rest their eyes until Ken's friend arrived. His name was Akio Shiragami, and he was a freelance investigator who had claimed he knew where Godzilla had lumbered off to after his fight with the three headed dragon. While Akiko was skeptical, she welcomed the chance to find out where he was so that they could check on Godzilla's eye and document his behavior.
The next morning the crew moved southward into Tokai where they finally met up with Akio. He was young, and despite his Japanese name he was actually caucasian born and raised in the United States of America. He was perfectly fluent in Japanese and American English, so he and Keiichi enjoyed a few minutes of jabbering in english before he spoke to Ken and the others. He gave Ken a flash drive which held his findings and took his leave. Akiko was a bit suspicious of the sudden arrival and departure, but when they looked at Akio's data they found it quite convincing.
The only problem… He was on the bottom of the ocean.
"Of course he is." Ken muttered.
"At least we have the general location. I have a friend who does undersea research and I think I can convince him to lend us a sub to use for a day." Keiichi said.
"Well what are you waiting for?" Akiko asked.
"Uhh." Keiichi responded.
"Never mind, here. Just call him and get us that sub." Akiko said as she held out her cell phone to him.
Keiichi took the phone and called his friend who agreed to lend the crew a sub on the condition that he also accompany them which meant that only two members of the crew could go down. When Keiichi told everyone the news, they all agreed that Ken and Miki would go as they needed at least one of their psychics to try and connect with Godzilla to make sure he didn't attack the sub. The crew spent the next day on the road going back to Tokyo to meet up with Keiichi's friend. When they did, they spent the night at the docks on his private boat and loaded up the sub the next morning. Ken and Miki crawled into the sub with only a camera and Miki's abilities as they set off to the coordinates given in Akio's data.
The sub traveled under the water for several hours before reaching their destination, and when they arrived, Ken was delighted to see that the information was accurate. Godzilla was laying down on the ocean floor on his stomach with his front arms tucked at his sides. His chin was resting on the ground and both eyes were closed. Godzilla's tail was straight out behind him save for a small curve near the end.
"Alright, take us in a bit closer. I need a closer look at his left eye." Ken said quietly.
"Got it." Keiichi's friend Ueda responded.
The sub moved in a bit closer as per Ken's request and slid around to the side to get a better frontal view of Godzilla's face. The sub turned on its lights and shone them across the ground first to avoid shining them into his eyes and risking waking him up. As the lights got closer, Miki and Ken looked very carefully at Godzilla's face and found it clear. His left eye looked completely normal when they compared it to his right eye, and both of them were amazed that there wasn't even any swelling. The camera rolled and Ken documented an entire circle around Godzilla's body from head to toe before coming back to his face and shining the lights across his eyes.
Godzilla stirred, his eye ridges dropping a little as he shifted his head away from the light. The lights went across his eyes one more time, and again he shifted away from them.
"Okay, once more." Ken said.
The lights went across Godzilla's eyes one more time and finally they slid open. As they opened, Ken and Miki cold see that they were both clear and devoid of even the slightest traces of damage. However, Godzilla was none too pleased about being woken up. He let out a roar which shook the sub. Godzilla made no effort to get up or chase the sub, but he had made his point and the sub turned off its lights and backed away as he laid his head back down and closed his eyes once more. The whole thing was caught on tape and Ken was ecstatic.
"Alright, I think I've seen enough now. Let's get back to the surface." Ken said.
"You don't have to tell me twice." Ueda said.
The sub returned to the surface and Ken showed everyone the footage they had gotten. Akiko practically jumped out of her skin from excitement and jumped onto Ken's back while praising his work with the camera. Everyone got a good laugh out of it, but they had a job to do and so they all got back in the RV and headed back to Tokyo. When they got back, they all watched the footage together as a group. Everyone was amazed that Godzilla's eye was clear and healed despite it being only a few days since his fight. Godzilla's resilience and his healing ability were jotted down and Akiko was absolutely elated to the point where she literally jumped for joy around the portable.
Akiko's joyous celebration was shared more silently by the others who smiled and watched as she excitedly moved about the portable talking to herself about the possibilities the new footage presented their team and about how happy she was with Ken's work. Ken and Keiichi watched the footage and both of them took interest in the fact that Godzilla gave a warning first and didn't just blast the sub. While Ken was not questioning Godzilla's actions by any means, he was curious as to why such a beast as Godzilla, who's primary experience with humans was negative, would spare the sub for disturbing him. It would have been easy enough to destroy it, so why didn't he?
Ken had no answers yet, but he felt that they were getting closer to finding out what made him tick as he looked over at Miki.