Chapter 22 - Freedom Comes With A Price

The wait was tantalizing and agonizing at the same time. Everyone who watched the world through Mothra's eyes as she slowly made her way towards Godzilla's position was wondering the same thing... "Would her knowledge of the device be enough?"

Soon it became clear that she was approaching Godzilla by how she slowed her speed and began to ascend to a higher altitude. Finally, Godzilla came into view just on the edge of Mothra's field of view before she began to descend closer to his position.

"Here we go…" Ken said quietly.

Mothra slowly approached Godzilla who turned his head to look at her. As Mothra drew yet closer so that Godzilla's features were visible to those watching, the sight of the once proud monster broke everyone's heart. His mouth was hanging slightly open with drool and blood dripping from the gums at the base of his teeth, his eyes rolled halfway back into his head and bloodshot, his stance ever so slightly off balance and what was once his roar was reduced to nothing but a pitiful growl. With Godzilla now a shadow of his former self, most of the team thought that Mothra would have an easy time getting rid of the device, but there was one who knew differently.

Mothra came in for her first assault as Godzilla followed her movements and waited patiently for her to make a move. Mothra circled once around trying to find a weak point. No such luck. Godzilla's body was armored from head to toe and front to back with a dense hide which thus far only King Ghidorah and Burtannus had pierced with claws and teeth. Mothra was powerful, but there was no way she'd be able to break through his hide with what attacks she had at her disposal. With Mothra still trying to locate a good way to attack, Godzilla then made one for her by firing his atomic ray at her. Mothra was caught off guard by the attack and knocked backwards into the side of a building bringing it to the ground. Mothra managed to get back in the air shortly thereafter, but her right wing had been singed by his attack though she was still airworthy.

Mothra circled around and back towards Godzilla as she took aim with her antennae and let fire at his head. The beams struck him dead on in the face just missing his eyes, but he didn't flinch. In every other known attack on his face he had turned away and protected himself until he'd recovered, but this time he didn't even blink. Right away the team knew that the brainwave inhibitor did more than just tamper with his brainwaves, but allowed some level of control by whoever employed it. Godzilla no longer even behaved as an animal, but rather a robot. It was clear as day that there was some kind of control going on which meant danger of an unprecedented level for Mothra. Godzilla was powerful as it was, but with humans now controlling him, he was even more so as they could recognize and react to attacks and issues much faster and more precisely than he could naturally.

Mothra began to charge at Godzilla while firing her antennae beams at him, but Godzilla's spines began to glow as he started to rear his head back. He let fly with his atomic ray, but Mothra flung her right wing towards the ground and rolled off to the side narrowly avoiding the attack. In her haste to escape him, however, her left wing struck a building which interfered with her flight path causing her to lose altitude and skim across the roof of another building just ahead. She managed to stay in the air, but only just as Godzilla fired another blast at her back. Mothra managed to once again evade the attack, but this time at a higher price. Godzilla's attack was aimed slightly above her head and dragged downward, so she had no choice but to remain low and dodge to the side with the shortest buildings. Unfortunately for her, even the lower buildings were right in her path and she crashed directly into one of them.

Mothra's crash brought he building down around and on top of her as she cried out in pain with Godzilla lumbering over to her position.

"Get up… Get up!" Akiko yelled.

Mothra shook her head and looked up just before seeing Godzilla's foot land in front of her, and she used her left wing as a pivot to launch her body onto its side as Godzilla's other foot crashed down where she used to be. As she flipped onto her back, she let loose with a mighty blast on energy from her stomach which struck Godzilla in the face once again and this time he did react. He stumbled away and shook his head as Mothra once again flipped herself over with her wings and took to the air while Godzilla reeled from the shock of the blast.

Mothra distanced herself and circled back around to attack again, but Godzilla whipped his head around and fired a blast directly at her. With desperate times calling for desperate measures, Mothra used her wings to bring a sudden stop to her momentum by flapping them forward and exposing her underside to the blast as she flapped her wings again releasing several hundred spores into the air. The blast struck just in front of her and separated into numerous smaller beams which bounced around as if they were inside an invisible sphere before being deflected out into the surrounding area.

Godzilla roared as Mothra righted herself and continued flying towards him before she arched out and around to circle him again.

"Come on, just give us one clear shot at his right ear!" Keiichi said.

Godzilla however, or rather those controlling Godzilla, were no fools. Godzilla kept his head facing Mothra at all times no matter how fast she circled around even when he had to force himself around which was likely injuring him in the process as his body was not meant to spin and turn as quickly as it was being made to. Mothra continued to circle around, hoping that Godzilla would falter and that her speed would force him to make a mistake and fall so that she'd have a clear shot at the side of his head, but it seemed that it was a fruitless effort as Godzilla kept pace with her at every turn.

Then, a hight pitched noise began to echo through the night air.

Before anyone knew what was happening, that giant bird Godzilla had fought several weeks ago screamed across the sky and rammed the back of Godzilla's head with his armored underbelly knocking the giant reptile to the ground. Mothra was thankfully out of the way of his charge, and managed to move around to the side of Godzilla's body to see his right ear, but the team and Mothra both were met with a disappointing sight. Godzilla's ear canal was clear of the device which meant that now there was something else going on. Mothra fired at the side of Godzilla's head for good measure, but as was expected there was little response except to anger him as he slowly made it to his feet.

"… How?" Sayuri asked.

"I… Wish I knew." Akiko replied.

This new development was most unwelcome in the eyes of all. Mothra was furious, and the rest of the team whose hearts had already been broken were now even more so. Their spirit and their will to fight had begun to disappear, but thankfully Mothra's resolve was now stronger than ever. The larger device was nowhere to be found, but that didn't mean that there wasn't a source somewhere. For humans to go this far was unforgivable and completely upset the balance of nature and power which the Kaiju of the world represented.

This will not stand friends. Mothra will finish this one way or another. Came the voices of the Shobijin.

They too sounded furious as the rest of the team continued to observe the fight. Miki, however, was done watching. She broke off from the group and sat down in a chair in the corner as silent tears of anger and sorrow flowed down her cheeks. She, like Mothra and the Shobijin, was furious at what these people, whoever they were, had done to Godzilla. While he may have been a Kaiju and had caused destruction, he didn't deserve this. She closed her eyes and laid her head on the table as she let her tears flow while the others continued watching and praying for a positive outcome.

That bird circled back around at high speeds and rammed into Godzilla as he tried to stand which knocked him to the ground again while Mothra hovered over him and began to release lightning from her wings which continually struck Godzilla as he tried to stand. The bird creature flew overhead and watched, waiting to strike again while Mothra blasted Godzilla a d at the same time beginning to release that powder from her wings again which proved to be an effective strategy. Godzilla got to his feet and whirled around to face her and fired a blast at point blank range, but it again diffused and rebounded around an invisible sphere before being redirected back at Godzilla himself. To add to this, Mothra was now firing her antennae beams at Godzilla's face since he was right there trying to attack her.

All of this culminated in a single instant of hope for Miki as her eyes shot open and she stood up throwing her chair back to the ground.

"I felt him!" She cried.

The rest of the team was still fixated on the fight, but Miki closed her eyes and tried to reach out to Godzilla. As before, she only felt static and emptiness from his mind, but that single brief instant of connection sparked a new fire inside her and renewed her resolve to hope for a positive outcome.

She began to connect with Godzilla, listening to the static and feeling the emptiness as once again there was a brief instant which left as quickly as it came where Godzilla was back in control of his senses. This led Miki to believe that the problem now no longer lay within his ear, but his very brain. She took in a deep breath, and exhaled quietly as she extended her telepathic abilities to search his body for the source of his agony. Using those brief instances of control, she was able to slowly realize that the problem was indeed inside his head and not his ear which confirmed her suspicions that the once enormous device was now much, much smaller and located where human hands could not reach it without taking life-threatening measures.

One final instant of control as Mothra continued her assault confirmed for Miki that the device was located in the of Godzilla's brain. She stopped focusing on the monster and began to focus on his brain itself as she searched for the device, and her search was soon rewarded. She located the device on the outer edge of his frontal lobe which was why he had trouble controlling his own body and making use of voluntary motion. Miki didn't know much about the brain, but she knew enough to understand why its position was causing so many problems. Miki concentrated hard on the device, analyzing it and finally focusing on it so hard that she managed to physically remove it using telekinesis. The device fell to the base of his skull, but as it was still emitting a signal it was still interfering with his brainwaves and his ability to function.

Miki tried to remove it, but she was growing more exhausted by the second. She walked over to Sayuri and shook her arm which forced the girl to stop thinking about the fight and look at Miki.

"I need your help Sayuri. I found it, but I can't move it on my own anymore."

Sayuri nodded, not needing any further encouragement or reasoning to do so. She held Miki's hand and the two of them concentrated hard on the device as they began to slowly lift it up and to the side of his skull where the located a tiny hole in the bone. Judging by the fact that it was still healing, the device had been placed there very recently, otherwise there'd be no hole at all and it would be impossible to remove it. Thankfully, that was not the case as the girls moved it out of the hole in his skull and through his ear canal and outside where they released their control of it and let it fall to the ground at Godzilla's feet. Mothra sensed the change, as did the bird. The bird flew away and Mothra backed off, hovering nearby as she waited to see what Godzilla would do next.

Miki was absolutely exhausted and sweating profusely from her exerted effort, but she was happy that she could remove the device from Godzilla's brain. However, Godzilla was not moving and was lying face down in the ground without the slightest trace of life in him. Miki and the others all concentrated on him to try and see what was wrong, but they could not see anything beyond Godzilla's limp form.

Friends… We are sorry. It would appear we are too late. The damage is done.

"But he has to recover!" Akiko cried out.

"Yeah! What was the point of all this if he doesn't get better?!" Keiichi added.

"He's come to far to die now!" Ken yelled.

We are sorry. The Shobijin said sadly.

Mothra too seemed to be in pain about what happened as she began to cry out over the city and hovered above Godzilla's crippled form.

"Is there nothing we can do?" Sayuri asked.

We do not know. The Shobijin responded.

Miki dropped to her knees as she once again concentrated on Godzilla. She probed his brain for signs of life, but she only got that same feeling of emptiness which had accompanied the static the device was causing. This time though, without the static, there was only emptiness. There were no coherent thoughts or ideas in his mind, no memories or dreams… Only silence. Miki's tears of anger had since given way to sadness as she continued to focus on him as he lay there on the ground, and she began to suspect that there may be something she could do. It was a long shot, as it was only an idea and not something that anyone had ever attempted before. Even the Shobijin likely didn't ever think to do this, but Miki was determined to do whatever she had to in order to help Godzilla.

She closed her eyes, and for Miki, time now stood still.

She locked onto Godzilla and took in a deep breath as she searched his heart and found it to be still. Gathering what strength she had left, Miki focused on his heart and began using telekinesis to force it to beat. Each time she did, it felt like she was being struck in the head with a metal baseball bat as the strain of trying to force such an enormous object, let alone a Kaiju heart, to do what she wanted was proving more than she could handle safely. Never the less, she continued her struggle.

Miki… The shobijin said quietly at first, not yet certain of what she was doing.

Miki! They cried, upon realizing the point of her efforts.

The team gathered around Miki and tried to shake her to get her out of it, but she would not lose her focus. She continued her struggle pulse by pulse until at last Godzilla's heart beat on its own without her assistance. As Miki released her control, she collapsed to the ground at her friends feet.

"Miki!" Everyone screamed.

Godzilla's heart beat once… Twice… Three times… Four…

A single wave of air escaped his mouth as he released a breath before the sound of his growl echoed out into the skies. Godzilla's mouth closed as he shook his head and slowly stood up. Mothra flew back to give him some space as he made it to his feet, and as Godzilla stood up he threw his head back and roared up at the skies above.

"Miki! Miki!" Akiko yelled as she shook the unconscious girl in her arms.

"Keiichi, call the hospital right now!" Ken ordered.

"I'm on it!" Keiichi replied as Akiko and Sayuri kept a watch on Miki.

Godzilla looked around to get his bearings before his eyes landed on Mothra who hovered nearby. For a moment it looked as though he was going to attack her, but he then turned away and walked away towards the coast. Mothra called out to him, but he did not reply. Instead, he remained silent as he continued his trek to the ocean.

"Miki! Please for the love of God open your eyes!" Akiko cried.

"Come on Miki. You're stronger than this." Ken added.

Miki is in a coma… Came the voices of the Shobijin.

"What do you mean a coma?" Akiko yelled.

The strain on her own heart and mind have forced her into a coma. We warned her about connecting too deeply with Godzilla, as this is exactly the outcome we feared, though we didn't know it would happen quite like this. We are sorry.

"So what do we do now?" Ken asked.

Together with Mothra, we will work on a solution as well and do what we can to help her. In the meantime you must continue your current course of action and get her to a hospital.

"Right…" Ken said quietly.

"Just hold on Miki… We're right here and we won't leave you. You hear me? We won't leave you." Akiko said softly as she gently stroked the girl's cheek while wiping away what remained of Miki's now drying tears.

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