Chapter 14: Prisoner
Manda woke up to a throbbing pain in the back of her head. At first she did not know where she was but as her head cleared she was able to take in her surroundings. She was laying on hard, rocky ground that felt absent of any life whatsoever. It rumbled with occasional tremors from the volcano not too far away. As she picked herself up, Manda soon noticed the ring of crystals that surrounded her. Their imposing figures towered over her and she knew that there was no way for her to escape. Even if she were strong enough to shatter them, there was still the problem of the guards that lurked outside her prison. Sitting there, constantly vigilant, were two very intimidating figures, Krystalak and Muto.
As she stirred, Muto turned at the sound and, seeing she was awake, took off into the air. Krystalak kept his gaze beyond the cage but instead of standing there, he began to patrol the circle. Before Manda could wonder where Muto had gone, he returned with Space Godzilla. The brother of her beloved Godzilla slowly walked up to her cage and towered over her through the bars. She felt really uncomfortable by the look that was etched on his face. It resembled a cat that has caught a tasty mouse.
"You are finally awake my dear Manda," he said. Manda never liked how silky smooth his voice could get. He had always had a silver tongue and could easily sway anyone to his beliefs. She vowed to never give up anything to him, no matter how tempting the offer.
"I had feared that Orga had hit you too hard," Space Godzilla continued. "If he had I would never have forgiven myself, let alone him. You are too valuable a piece to just kill off like that." He smiled his most charming smile.
"Do you honestly think that I would betray your brother's secrets to you?" she asked. As she did, she winced with the effort. Pain stabbed her as she made any movement with it, including talking. She tried to remain upright but the pain caused her to stagger. There was no doubt that she was still dizzy.
"Oh, I know," Space Godzilla said. "Which is why I have no intention of interrogation. No, what I have in store for you is much better, much more useful. How do you think my brother would react when he finds out that I have you as my guest?" As he voiced the question, a wicked crocodile grin spread across his face.
"What any good male would do," Manda responded. "He'll come, beat you into a heaping pile of goo and free me. Then the two of us will return to Monster Island and live out our lives as king and queen of the kaiju." To her dismay, not only did Space Godzilla's grin not go away but Muto and Krystalak laughed.
"True, he may do that," the large kaiju answered, "but you won't be able to return to Monster Island. It's under our control now and were my dear, heroic brother to so much as set foot on that island, he would be blown out of the water."
"You...you're lying!" Manda exclaimed. Her three captors laughed loudly at her dismay.
"Oh really my dear Manda?" asked Space Godzilla. "If you are so sure of yourself, why do you think you've woken up here on Baas Island, an island you had planned to take from me? Would it be because Godzilla failed? It sure isn't because he beat me. And while your little attack here was going on, I sent my three most powerful kaiju to storm Monster Island. Your precious home is now under my control Manda and there is nothing you can do about it! Just let that sink in."
Manda hung her head. It made sense. If Godzilla had won the fight, she would have woken up on the Stone, with either Mothra or Gamera staring down at her, easing her back into wakefulness. She definitely wouldn't have been lying on this uneven ground and in a cage of crystals. She hung her head in defeat.
"What do you plan to do with me?" she said, her voice breaking.
"I plan to use you as leverage," Space Godzilla said. "When my brother hears that I have his mate as a hostage, he will answer any of my demands. I intend to use you to convince Godzilla to surrender. I know that he will give himself up willingly."
"He will never concede to your demands," Manda retorted but her voice sounded hollow, even to herself.
"What choice will he have? He either has to lose his crown, something that means very little to him and something that, once lost, can be won back or you his mate. If he doesn't surrender Manda, be assured that I will kill you. That is something that I believe he will not want to risk. If you were to die this time, there is no shobijin magic to save you and you would never come back. Think on that."
"However, there is a way for you to escape that fate," Space Godzilla continued. "You could become my queen. Think about it. Sitting at my side, having all the power you could ever dream of. Bringing the humans to their knees. Having me as a mate. It could all be yours Manda." However, the female kaiju balked at his words.
"Become your mate!" she exclaimed in disgust. "Do you really think that I am like Megaguirus, seeking the most powerful kaiju as a mate for protection? I did not choose Godzilla because he is powerful but because I love him. Now you ask me to abandon him and take you as a mate? I am not a kaiju that jumps from mate to mate. I stay with who I choose for life. Plus, I would rather choose a whale than you." Space Godzilla's face, so calm and collected before, now became contorted with rage.
"You will keep a civil tongue with me Manda," he said calmly despite his anger. "Don't forget that you are at my mercy and though I would rather not harm you I can make your stay here torture and make you beg for death before it's all said and done."
With that, the giant kaiju took off back to the skies and flew away. As he left, Manda's defiant face broke and she hung her head, full of dismay. She realized that what Space Godzilla said was true. If he were to play that card Godzilla would no doubt forsake everything else for her. That thought should have made her happy, but instead it made her distraught. Godzilla could not make that mistake, she couldn't let him. With that thought in mind she determined that no matter what, she had to escape.
As the day wore on and the sun came close to setting, Manda's guard changed. Each one left separately so that she was never left without a guard. First to leave was Krystalak, off to find his relief. Once the spiked kaiju left, Manda saw an opportunity to try and gain an ally, she and Muto had been friends when they were young kaiju. She slithered to the edge of her cage and got his attention.
"Why would you work for a kaiju like that?" she asked through the crystal bars. Muto turned to her and glared.
"You know very well why," he responded and Manda indeed did. Years ago, Muto and his mate had been expecting a clutch. The female, despite Godzilla's orders and the pleas of her mate had traveled to a human city, San Francisco Manda remembered, and made the nest in the heart of the city. Godzilla and Jet Jaguar had gone to apprehend her and the eggs.
To say the least, it did not go well. Muto's mate had been killed in the fight with Godzilla and Jet had destroyed the eggs. In a rage, Muto had left the island and vowed revenge on the two kaiju. It was this rage that had enabled Space Godzilla to manipulate him to join his cause. Muto had seen this as his big chance to avenge his mate.
"You know that your mate had gone into a fury," she said. "Godzilla killed her in self defense." And Jet had been told to save the eggs, not destroy them."
"But to breath radioactive fire down her throat?" he said, fury entering his voice at the memory. "Was that necessary? And why was Jet not punished? Why was he allowed to walk away from that."
In reality, Jet had been. Originally he was in charge of the island's security. Once he defied Godzilla's orders and destroyed the nest, he had been demoted permanently and Kiryu had taken his place. Manda had secretly believed that Kiryu should have been the initial choice for the position in the first place. Though both had a reputation to defy orders, Kiryu did it only when absolutely necessary and he usually thought it through. Jet on the other hand was more impulsive and reckless.
"He was," Manda continued, trying to get Muto to see reason. "He no longer even sits in the councils. His spot was taken by Kiryu. Now he's just a soldier." Muto did start at these words and his face did seem to soften a bit. However, the anger he felt toward Godzilla over the death of his mate still remained.
"That doesn't change the fact that Godzilla killed her," he said quietly. "You mark my words Manda, I will see Godzilla dead. Even if it kills me." He turned his back to her. Manda was not about to give up though.
"Please Muto," she begged. "Think back to our younger days. We were such good friends. Does that mean nothing to you? Would you really want to see me used as bait or even worse, dead?" She could see she was getting to him. His head hung a bit and from what she could see of his eyes, he looked like he might be breaking. His response however dashed her hopes.
"You should have chosen your mates more carefully Manda," he said, his voice cold and emotionless. "I don't care how it happens, I will not rest until Godzilla is dead." Manda tried to say more but before she could, Titanosaurus arrived and Muto took off to find his replacement. Manda had lost her opportunity to find an ally. Or had she. Not far away, a kaiju looked at her cell, a deep turmoil going through his mind.