Chapter 2 - What is it?
It had now been one full year to the day since the incident with her father at the power plant, and Miki was now nineteen years old and on her way to college. She had applied to numerous universities, but thus far she had been rejected by all of them for reasons which she could not understand. The letters she received in response to her application always said something along the lines of "We're very sorry, but we just don't have room for you" or something to that effect. It was maddening to her that she couldn't find a single college to take her in.
However, there were other things going on around her which she was slowly becoming aware of. As she would go on frequent walks around the city she began to notice that some people took an interest in her and looked away when she glanced in their direction. Was she being followed? Maybe she was just paranoid, but she could swear that she could feel a sense of foreboding coming from those who watched her. Something inside was warning her about them, but as she couldn't make anything clear out of this feeling she chose to disregard it.
She continued on her walk and came upon a park with some children playing and decided it would be nice to sit and rest for a few minutes. She sat down on a bench near to the children's play equipment and brought out her diary and a pencil to begin writing.
Today is February 12th, 2013. It's a cloudy day, but the sun is peeking through from time to time to share with us its warm smile. I've been seeing some strange people watching me lately, and I'm not exactly sure why. Have I said or done something to offend them? The only thing I can think of is that I finally revealed my ability to my parents and they called some friends. Maybe word got out and these people think I'm crazy?
Well, I can't say for sure.
I hope it's just my imagination.
No sooner had she finished writing that statement than she was suddenly approached by a man wearing a black tuxedo and sunglasses.
"Miki Saegusa?" He asked in a stern voice.
She looked up at him and slowly nodded.
"Please come with me." He said as he gestured to a black limousine parked nearby with an open door.
She was hesitant, but she couldn't feel any malice or ill intent from him so she complied. She put her diary away in her little backpack and walked to the car and got inside. She sat down close to the opposite door and put her pack in her lap as the man sat beside her and knocked on the tinted glass to let the driver know to get moving. The car whirred to life and began to move, to where she could only guess. The windows were tinted so she couldn't see outside, but the man next to her was keeping very quiet the whole time. It was eerie, and she began to have second thoughts about her decision to simply follow along with his request. However, after about thirty minutes of uncomfortable silence the car came to a stop.
The man opened the door and stepped out of the car, holding the door open for Miki a she crawled out and looked up at a large multistory building with a sign close by reading KOD, short for Kaiju Observation Division.
She blinked to herself as she looked at the man standing beside her.
"Kaiju?" She asked.
He looked down at her and nodded.
"Those reports about a monster were not untrue miss Saegusa. They are very real, and we have need of your special talent to keep track of them." He said.
As they approached the building a man in a white lab coat who almost looked like a doctor walked outside to greet them.
"Ah, miss Saegusa. Wonderful to make your acquaintance my dear. Please, follow me. We have much to discuss." He said with excitement.
He was enthusiastic, she had to give him that. He creeped her out a little, but she knew better than to judge a book by its cover so she once again decided to go along with it. He led her inside and it looked very much like any traditional office building at first. Cubicles with people working at computers, operators sitting by telephones at the front desk with a few other receptionists. Nothing too far out of the ordinary until they got on an elevator and headed to a level marked simply as "OD" on the button.
"Um, excuse me. What does "OD" stand for?" Miki asked.
"Oh, that stands for Observation Deck. It's an underground level where we monitor the movements of kaiju around the world. There have been reports coming in throughout multiple countries of their appearances, though many of them sound like a single entity based on eye witness descriptions. However, that's what makes it so exciting! Is it one monster, or many? Is it a new species or are they each one of a kind? So many questions with so few answers! It's exhilarating!" He proclaimed.
Miki just nodded as she looked away from him.
I think he might be a bit touched in the head. She thought to herself.
The elevator came to a stop and she was led through a dark hallway with only a few simple lights on the sides to guide them. Eventually they came to a single room which looked like something from NASA. A tremendous screen at least fifteen feet long hung on the far wall with dozens of people working computers and other kinds of monitors which she could not identify or understand. There were a few sonar monitors that she could see, but otherwise it was all just screens and strange writings. She was led towards the big screen where the doctor looking man asked her to wait for a moment while he brought up what he called a "most invigorating discovery." It took him a moment, but as she looked at the screen a satellite image of a large heat mass took shape.
"Now, look closely at this mass of heat miss Saegusa. Watch how it changes as we rotate the camera." He said.
The camera angle began to change, and the mass took on a more prominent form. There was a definite bipedal shape to be seen, but of what she could only speculate.
"Now, watch as we take it off of thermal imaging." He said with great excitement.
The camera flashed, and all went dark.
"Enhance!" The doctor called out.
The screen brightened, and the image horrified Miki.
Standing in the middle of the screen in a picture taken from the same night one year ago when her father's plant was attacked was a bipedal reptilian colossus with jagged spines along its back and a menacing snarl on its face. Its golden brown eyes flashed angrily at the world below as it trampled the plant, and she could only describe it as a living nightmare.
"Isn't it beautiful?!" The doctor exclaimed.
Miki was too stunned to respond. All she could do was stare at the image of the monster.
"At the moment we don't quite know what to call him, so we are using the moniker Godzilla for the time being."
Miki looked at him with confusion.
"God what?" She asked.
"Oh, Godzilla. "God" being used because his power is just so incredible, and "Zilla" because it's a fairly common suffix to describe something of extreme excess like Bridezilla. That and his body is constantly expelling radioactivity which further led to our choice of the suffix."
Miki nodded and looked back at the screen. She couldn't get over how terrifying it was. The deep cut mouth and the placement of the eyes made it look absolutely ferocious no matter what angle the camera moved to. The triangular shape of the body gave him a great feeling of mass and power, which was made all the more obvious when one paid close attention to the musculature of his legs and chest. The skin was rough and appeared very reptilian, but there was something that just didn't quite fit the usual reptile profile about it. It was a charcoal grey in coloration and looked almost deformed. It was as if he was once a reptile but now he was something altogether different. The spikes along his back were long and jagged, and Miki didn't dare guess what they were there for or what they used to be.
"Oh, I have to show you something truly amazing miss Saegusa!" The doctor suddenly told her.
She started for a moment as he brought her out of her thoughts, and as he fiddled with the keyboard once again a new picture was brought up on the screen. The monster's spikes were glowing now with an eerie blue with light beginning to build inside his mouth. The picture was a little unclear with all the dust and cloud vapor which was pooling around his head, but it was obvious that he was charging some kind of an attack.
"This picture was taken just off the American coastline in Oregon two months ago. See how the air around his mouth swirls in multiple small currents? Whatever he is doing is forcing a change in the air density around his head which is causing this light interference. Those spines of his are interesting too. Just look how they glow! It's almost as if they are being used as a filtration system or something to that effect for this blue light. Unfortunately our satellite camera began to malfunction after this so we don't know what became of this light, but we do know that this was the end result." He said sadly.
He brought up a new picture and it was pure and utter destruction. Entire sections of buildings were just gone as if vaporized, millions of tons of stone and debris littered the area, and there was not a single trace of life left behind.
"Whatever that blue light was, we are fairly certain that it was the major factor in this destructive horror show." The doctor said.
Miki stepped away from the screen and fought to hold back tears.
"Why are you showing me these pictures?" She asked.
"Because your gift may be the key to understanding this creature. If we can get you close enough to it without risking exposure to radiation, you may be able to communicate with it. As with any form of government, ours just wants him destroyed and they're willing to devote and divert whole sections of our country's budget to that cause. They want to kill him, but we want to understand him. Don't you see? It's the chance of a lifetime! If we can learn to understand this creature. If we can learn what makes him tick. Oh the possibilities are almost endless!" He cried out.
Miki shook her head as she looked back at the screen.
"You're crazy." She said quietly.
"Pardon?" He asked, as he was too wrapped up in his own thoughts to hear her.
"I said you're crazy!" She yelled.
"I'll never go near that thing! I don't care what you offer me!" She cried out as she lost her battle with her tears.
The doctor looked at her in shock.
"But, miss Saegusa. This is the chance of a lifetime. If we can learn to understand him then we won't have to worry about this kind of destruction again because we'll know how to prevent it. Don't you want that?" He asked, trying to redirect her fear into curiosity.
"No, I don't!" She continued.
"Get me out of here! I want out!" She screamed.
The doctor had no choice but to escort her out of the room as he helped walk her to the exit. The man who brought Miki here was still standing in the lobby as Miki and the doctor came around. When he caught sight of Miki, he looked at the doctor.
"Problems?" He asked.
The doctor nodded.
"You could say that. I guess she's still too young to understand." He said softly.
Miki shot the doctor a glare.
"I understand perfectly what's going on and what you're trying to do, but I can promise you that it won't work." She said angrily.
The doctor sighed and nodded to the man in the tuxedo who escorted Miki to the car and drove her back to the park where they first found her. She was set free and they drove away as Miki sat down on her bench and cried.