Chapter 19 - A Colossal Problem

The air was still and the night was quiet throughout the city of Saito. A young boy wandered through the streets taking in the night air as he walked along edge of the Omaru River. The water was clean and clear with a slight sparkle from the light of the moon above with a gently flowing breeze caressing his face. He watched the river flowing and listened to its calming harmony as it chimed in with the symphony of nature around him. The sounds of the animals joined in the chorus of the night to further instill a sense of security and serenity in the sleepy city as the child turned back and began his trek home.

Then, a tremor beneath his feet stopped him in his tracks. It was subtle, but the ground had indeed shaken under his feet. The child was still for several moments, but nothing happened again so he continued on his way. Another tremor shook the ground, this time worse, and he had to steady himself against it. He looked around but still he couldn't see anything. The ground shook again with even more force than last time and the child was finally knocked off his feet. Nearby a man and woman exited their house thinking it was the beginning of an earthquake and saw the child and called to him. However, the child was not paying attention and instead kept his eyes on the mountains behind him. There was a large wall of dust charging towards the city with great speed and the child was now frozen in fear as the adults yelled to him and tried to get him to get out of the way.

Unfortunately, it was too late. The wall of dust engulfed the child as the adults looked on helplessly as the dust cloud made its way towards their home. They ran to the side and out of the way before their house, along with all the others in the dust clouds path were engulfed and destroyed as the ground caved and the streets split under the sudden disappearance of the earth beneath them. As the dust storm moved away and the dust kicked up by its passing began to settle, the two adults looked around at the destruction caused by the passing of whatever was underground and saw the body of the child not far away. His lifeless form dangled limply on the edge of a caved in tunnel beneath what was once a street.

They thought about approaching to help him, but it was quite obvious by the red pool beneath his body and the limp form that he was beyond saving. They looked at the devastation done to their home and their hearts dropped. Their house was gone, literally just gone. The ground beneath was missing and the house itself had disappeared into the cavernous depths below.

"What have we done to deserve this?" The man asked.

His wife only shook her head as they stood together and watched the source of the flying dust and debris move away into the distance.

Meanwhile, in Tokyo, Ken was watching a news report on the incident with Keiichi sitting next to him while the girls all rested in the RV and Akiko in her room. The two of them looked at each other for a moment and looked back at the tv.

"The trail of dust continues to move along through the city of Satio towards Mt. Wanitsuka leaving a trail of destruction in its wake. We have no word on what could be causing this, but unconfirmed reports of a monster known as Burtannus have been flowing in. We are continuing our investigation into this matter as the military prepares for a full counterstrike against this creature."

Ken looked over at Keiichi.

"So what now?" He asked.

Keiichi scoffed.

"We get the girls up and go check this out of course. You know that Akiko will not shy away from this now that Miki and Sayuri are here again."

"True, but if we go then there's a chance the military will spot us and insist that Miki and Sayuri go with them. We can't let Akiko lose them like that again."

"Yeah… I guess I hadn't thought of that. We can't go by ourselves though, so what should we do?" He asked.

"Let me get Akiko's opinion and we'll figure this out from there." He said as he got up and walked to her room.

He opened the door and walked inside as he looked down at Akiko who was fast asleep. Ken gently shook her shoulder until she woke up, and she looked up at him angrily with a groggy face.

"You know that if this becomes commonplace you can kiss the marriage goodbye." She grumbled.

Ken chuckled.

"Burtannus just showed up in Saito and ran amok before going into the mountains nearby. Do you want to go check it out?"

Akiko rubbed her eyes.

"Burtannus… Oh!" She yelled as she snapped to attention.

Akiko leaped out of bed, still in her night clothes, and ran to her closet to put her normal clothes on.

"What are you doing just standing there?!" She yelled.

"Go wake up the girls and let's get going!" She ordered.

Ken blinked, but laughed right afterwards.

"That's the woman I proposed to all right." He said as he walked out the door to go wake up the girls.

Everyone piled into the RV and took off for Saito. The trip would be long, but from the news reports it didn't seem like Burtannus was going anywhere. The dust had settled in the nearby mountainside and had not been seen since which gave Akiko and the others the impression that it was either taking a pit stop or that it had chosen to settle there for the time being. In either case, it was bad news for the locals given the destruction to the city thus far. Something else which made things far more interesting was that it appeared as though Godzilla was once again on a collision course with Burtannus as he'd been sighted out to sea heading straight for Saito.

"How does he always seem to know what's going on?" Ken asked Akiko.

Akiko looked back at Miki, but the girl only shrugged and Akiko couldn't help but smile and shake her head.

"Who knows, but if he's going for a fight then we'd better find a safe place to set up shop unlike Hana did in the mountains when Burtannus first appeared against Mothra." She said.

As the long trip drew to a close and night began to descend the team finally arrived in Saito. A surprise traffic jam going towards Saito from commuters who were told to turn back was a bit of a problem, but they managed to talk their way past the road block and continued on into the city thanks to Keiichi's charms. Akiko called it his "lucky streak", but he liked to think that he was just charming as it irritated Akiko to no end. A guy's got to have some fun every now and then right?

As the team set up shop on a nearby parking garage, they had Keiichi and Sayuri keep an eye out for Godzilla by the sea as Ken, Akiko and Miki watched the mountains in the distance. There was no dust trail, and the rest of the city seemed completely deserted which was good because that meant fewer to no human casualties unlike some of Godzilla's more recent endeavors. Miki was still concerned about his shoulder from his fall, but if his healing after the fights with King Ghidorah were any indication his body would be back to normal in no time. Still, she worried about him.

"So, if he does show up what do you think he's going to do?" Ken asked.

"If I know Godzilla's behavioral patterns as well as I think I do, he'll blast the mountainside to try and force Burtannus out into the open for a fight. Godzilla may be smart, but he's also a fighter so I doubt he'll take the easy route and talk things over." Akiko remarked.

"Akiko, this is no time for jokes." Ken admonished.

"I'm not joking. Godzilla isn't one for a peaceful solution in case you hadn't noticed. He's a fighter, and if Burtannus is encroaching on his territory then I've no doubts that his first instinct is to protect it and drive Burtannus out of here. I doubt he'll try communication before confrontation Ken."

Ken sighed and nodded, admitting that she had a point. While Godzilla was proven to be intelligent and capable of complex thought and emotion, he was still an animal, and a very territorial one at that given how quickly and violently he'd attacked the other monsters who took refuge within Japan or its coastal waters. There were reports that some kind of giant marine octopus creature over seventy meters long had washed ashore with bad burns and numerous tentacles ripped off not long before Miki and Sayuri's capture. Akiko didn't quite know what to make of it at first, but after viewing the remains she had no doubt that it was Godzilla's handiwork.

As Ken, Akiko and Miki looked on there was a sudden chill which slithered down Miki's spine. She didn't know what caused it or why it happened at all, but she suddenly got the feeling that something was very wrong. She looked back at Sayuri who was looking at her with a knowing expression indicating she felt the same thing. They both looked to Akiko and told her what had just happened and how they were feeling, and no sooner had they finished than a familiar roar from the ocean echoed out across the city.

Godzilla had arrived.

He was waist deep in the bay not far from shore and lumbering purposefully towards the mountains that the team had been watching. Godzilla could obviously sense Burtannus' presence there, otherwise he'd not have bothered continuing his march onto shore. Godzilla made landfall a few moments later, trampling a few houses and apartments along the edge of the city before making his way through the rural districts towards the mountains. The team winced at his disregard for what he walked on, but at the same time they couldn't exactly blame him for placing priority on Burtannus as it was obviously the more immediate concern. Godzilla's approach seemed rather intent, more so than usual, and the team began to suspect that Miki and Sayuri's little feeling was more than just a feeling.

Godzilla made his way through the city with the team in hot pursuit en route to a new observational location as Godzilla stomped out into the forested region beyond the city limits as he made his way to the base of the nearby mountains. He stopped and looked at them, analyzing them for a few minutes which gave the team time to set up not far away and continue their own analysis of what was happening. Godzilla's eyes landed on a particular section of the mountain, and as he began rearing his head back his dorsal plates lit up and he let fly with his radioactive burst stream attack. The blast struck the mountainside with deadly force causing it to explode on contact which blew away nearly 35% of the entire base of the mountain along the path of his blast. Godzilla stopped his attack and roared our furiously at Burtannus whom he knew was somewhere inside, and a low bellowing noise responded to his challenge.

Slowly, the ground began to shake beneath their feet as the team looked on and Burtannus burst forth from the mountainside. Its eyes appeared almost bloodshot as a small amount of saliva dripped from its mouth as it continued bellowing at Godzilla who roared back at it in defiance as they prepared to fight. Miki and Sayuri could both sense something wrong with Burtannus, and as the fight began it was clear that there was much more going on than what met the eye. Godzilla stormed forwards and tried to lash out with his tail, but Burtannus turned its head and impaled Godzilla's tail on its horn as the monster roared out in pain. Burtannus pulled away and slowly removed its horn from Godzilla's tail as blood trickled down the length of it and poured out of Godzilla's fresh new wound. Burtannus shook its head and charged Godzilla, ramming him at full speed and knocking him to the ground before turning around and whipping its massive, muscular tail into Godzilla's side.

The small spikes on Burtannus's tail left small cuts along Godzilla's sides as it lashed out again and again before Godzilla rolled away and stood up again. He charged his breath attack, but Burtannus lunged him and knocked him to the ground again stopping his attack cold. Burtannus walked over to Godzilla and opened its mouth as it chomped down on his let shoulder sending a new stream of blood into the air as it tightened its jaws around Godzilla's flesh and bone and squeezed its mouth shut. Godzilla's cries of pain filled the night air as Miki began to tear up, turning her head away so she didn't have to see him suffering though nothing could stop her from hearing his agonizing calls. Godzilla looked at Burtannus and blasted it point blank in the face with his beam attack which forced it to back away and shake it off as Godzilla slowly stumbled to his feet.

The damage had been done, however, and Godzilla's left arm was now all but useless as it dangled limply at his side. Burtannus bellowed out at Godzilla as it shook off his previous attack and began to thrash its horn from side to side as it blasted Godzilla mercilessly with its lightning attack. Godzilla again cried out in pain as the attacks struck his body, particularly his wounds, and turned his body away to try and shield himself though there was truly little point as any attempt to turn only made things worse. Godzilla fell to the ground as Burtannus's attacks finally came to an end and it roared out in triumph as Godzilla stood up and walked away.

"… He's retreating?" Ken asked, mouth agape.

"He is…" Akiko said in equal shock.

Everyone's head followed Godzilla as he painfully limped away to the sea and disappeared beneath the waves.

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