Chapter 18: The Sage
Water rushed passed Godzilla as he made his way through the ocean. He sliced through the waves at a speed that not even the fastest motor boat could match. As he did, different emotions flooded his brain. He felt anger, sadness and fear wash over him exactly like the water he now was swimming through. Loneliness soon followed. There was no one for him to share his feelings with, to talk to and ease his mind. Nobody cared anymore.
Slowly he surfaced until his head emerged from the waves. A small, green island rested on the horizon. From this distance, Godzilla could just barely make out the many wooden huts that dotted the landscape. He didn't realize that he had been swimming toward Odo Island, the place where his father and uncle had been born. Here the humans had worshiped all the members of the Godzilla family like gods. His father had tried to put a stop to it while his uncle reveled in it. Though he had never been born on the island himself he guessed that his instincts had led him here. After all, these humans had always loved his family and were renowned for their kindness. Maybe he could finally find someone who wanted him.
As he neared the island he reached back into his mind and allowed Will to take control, he did not want the humans to know he was here just yet. Will, exhausted, swam the rest of the way to the shore in mere minutes, though to him it felt like hours. He crawled onto the beach slowly and once completely free of the water attempted to catch his breath.
He remained there on all fours for several minutes. His breath came in ragged gasps, water dripped from his hair and his favorite Batman shirt was soaked. Soon the tears started to come. He had failed everyone. How could he have even thought he had what it took to be king. He was only twenty-five years old and barely out of college. He had no clue what it took to lead anyone and then suddenly everyone expected him to do it. Now he had lost the woman he loved, his friends didn't want him and now all of humanity was doomed to die at the hands of his brother. Despite all this he tried to stop the tears but they just kept coming. Fortunately no one was around to see him. Or so he thought.
Not far down the beach two men in their twenties were making their way toward him. Each wore a black leather jacket with a white t-shirt and their hair was all messed up but in a way that looked cool. They were laughing and having a good time and each had a bottle in his hand. It was clear they were drunk. At first they had not noticed the man crouched on the sand, soaking wet and crying. However, it did not take them long to. Once they did they made their way toward him, one reaching into his pocket and drawing out a knife. They towered over Will as he continued to cry.
"You lost bud?" asked the man with the knife in Japanese. He shot Will a wicked grin and tossed the knife in the air, catching it by the handle.
"Maybe we can help," said his companion. He laughed and took another swig from his bottle.
Will understood every word they said, he had taken two years of Japanese in college. Yet, he could not fluently speak it so his responses were in English.
"Leave me alone," he said through his tears. The two men stared in surprise for a moment but then two evil grins spread further across their faces.
"American eh?" asked Knife Man in choppy English. "You must have swam a long way to come to our humble island."
"You must be exhausted," said Bottle Man, also in English. "Maybe we could help, for the right price. You Americans are loaded with money right?"
"Leave me alone," Will repeated.
"We'll leave when we're ready," Knife Man said. "Right now we don't want to." He gave Will a good kick in the ribs.
"Go away," Will said.
"Go away," Bottle Man mocked. "You are in no place to demand anything of us. Now hand over your wallet and any other valuables you may have and then we will be on our way."
"I said, go away," Will said. He finally looked at his assailants, his anger burning hot. The two men recoiled once they looked into his eyes. What they saw were no ordinary eyes. Will's eyes, usually a dark hazel color, were now burning a bright pale blue. The anger there was so obvious that it was a surprise he didn't melt the two men with his stare alone.
"Hey man, take it easy," said Bottle Man. "We're leaving okay." They began to back away slowly but it was too late. Will stood up and began pursuing them. One of them stumbled and his companion tried to help him up. Will approached and stood right in front of them. He took a deep breath and let loose a torrent of atomic breath. It bathed the two men and killed them before they could even let out a scream.
Once Will stopped his eyes faded back to their normal hazel color. He looked down at the two burning husks that had been his tormentors. Exhaustion flooded over him and he crashed to the ground. Before he lost consciousness he saw a group of people approaching him slowly.
Will regained his consciousness on a warm, comfortable mat. At first he just wanted to sink into the softness and return to the wonderful blissfulness of sleep. It seemed that was the only way to escape the troubles of his life nowadays. He tossed and turned but could not find the peace he so desperately sought.
Then he remembered what happened right before he lost consciousness. The two drunken men, the insults, the pain. And their deaths. He had activated his kaiju powers while in human form. How was that even possible? The images were horrifying for Will. Those two men were now no more than two charred husks lying in the sand. No doubt the people of the island would lock him up once they found out.
He sat up and ran his hand through his messy hair. He was in a very homey, wooden house. The walls were a deep brown and floor was covered in a very smooth looking carpet. On a table in the corner was a vase filled with beautiful flowers and a single window let in a torrent of sunshine.
Will observed his surroundings and was surprised to find himself here. Why was he in a house and not in a prison cell or at the very least in a police station? He remembered that as he had drifted people had been approaching the exact area of the beach where he had killed those men and he would have been found next to the remains. There could be no doubt that he had killed them. Yet here he was lying on a very comfortable futon in a very inviting house. This was not something that one would expect to be extended to a murderer, even if the act was done unintentionally.
The sliding door opened slowly and in walked a woman with the clothes Will had been wearing when he had arrived on the island. Confused, Will looked down at himself and noticed for the first time that he was wearing a black jinbei, a type of Japanese night wear. The woman noticed that he was awake and gave a little jump of surprise.
"Oh, you are awake," the woman said in perfect English. She could not have been older than twenty-one and had long black hair along with brown eyes that showed wisdom and infinite levels of kindness. Her skin was surprisingly pale for an island dweller but not sickly so. She wore a scarlet kimono. Will could not help but notice her beauty. Other than Becky he thought this woman was probably the most beautiful one he had ever seen. Maybe he should bring Nash here one day and introduce the two of them. This lady was right up his alley.
"I took the liberty of washing your clothes for you," she continued. "I hope the futon was to your liking. Would you like some food? I just made some and could bring it to you if you'd like." Will's stomach growled in response. He just realized how hungry he was.
"Thanks, that would be great," Will responded. Once she left many thinks ran through Will's mind. How could the people of this island not put him in a cell as well as serve him? What was going on? Were there some ulterior motives behind it? It wasn't long before the woman returned with a bowel of noodles with a side of chicken. Will took a bite and his eyes lit up. This had to be the best food he'd ever eaten. Yes he would definitely introduce her to Nash.
"What's your name?" Will asked as the girl began to leave.
"Akari Shinjo," she said.
"Meaning light or brightness?" Will asked.
"Light," she responded a little surprised that this American knew what her name meant.
"Would you join me?" Will asked, eager for someone to talk to. Akari was a little hesitant at first but nodded and sat down across from him. He offered her some of his food but she declined, stating that she had already eaten.
"This food is amazing," Will said trying to initiate conversation with this intriguing woman. "I don't think I've tasted anything like it, even from my mother's cooking and she is no novice."
Akari blushed a little at the compliment. "Thanks," she said. "It was really not that hard to make. My mother taught me when I was really young and I enjoy it."
"Well kudos to your mother," Will said. "It's obvious you learned from a master." Again she blushed. They continued with more small talk as Will ate. Her voice was very soothing. It relaxed Will's mind so completely that he believed if she had ever asked him any of his secrets he would have told her. However, nothing intimate ever came up. As the conversation continued, Will was surprised to see that the woman was not afraid of him. Instead she seemed to be intrigued, drinking in every word he said as he had done with her. Will knew that in any other circumstance the two of them would have been great friends and he wished for the conversation to continue all night. However, he soon finished his meal and Akari took his dishes and left the room, stating that her mother would visit him shortly.
Will felt nervous all over. Akari had said that her mother was the leader of the island. He just knew that she was coming here to pass judgment on him. Surely any sensible leader would take offense when a complete stranger washed up on their shore and burned two of the inhabitants to nothing more than charred, smoking remains. However, he would accept whatever punishment they would throw at him. Akari's mother could not possibly know what he was so she would probably throw him into a prison which he would then easily break out of later on.
It did not take very long for Akari's mother to enter. She was a middle-aged woman who looked to be in her early forties. Her dark hair was rolled up in a bun and her eyes showed the same kindness and wisdom as her daughter's. Despite being certain he had never seen her before in his life Will felt that she was familiar somehow. He stood and bowed to her in respect. The woman returned the gesture and smiled at Will once she straightened. That shocked him. Not many people would give a convicted murderer such a warm, welcoming gesture? Especially one that had just killed two people.
"Sit down Will," the woman said. Will hesitantly did as she asked, still confused and wondering what this woman could possibly want. "Akari tells me that everything was to your liking?"
"Yes, thank you for your hospitality," Will said. "Not that I deserve it after what happened at the beach." Instead of discussing that the woman just waved her hand as if batting an annoying gnat away.
"Don't worry about that," she said. "We saw the whole thing. Those two boys were problems for everyone and were often in our island's prison. Plus, you were not in your right state of mind and not in full control of what you were doing. They provoked and attacked you, so what you did was no doubt in self defense. All the people here don't blame you, even their parents. Especially because of who you are."
"Wait, who are you?" Will asked. No one but the other kaiju and their parents knew about his abilities. How could this woman whom he had never met known what the light show had been?
"I'm sorry how silly of me," she said. "My name is Miki Shinjo, though you may know me better as Miki Saegusa." At first Will didn't recognize the name but then he looked back into Godzilla's memories and the name came into clear focus. Now he knew why she looked so familiar.
"No, you're the famous telepath from Japan," he said. "You were the ambassador to the kaiju for the UN. You're a legend."
Will suddenly now understood everything. Miki's telepathic powers were rumored to be so strong that she could see anything she wanted in anyone's mind, no matter how hard they tried to stop her or how far they had suppressed it. She had probably looked into his mind and felt Godzilla's presence.
"I'm sorry that I invaded your privacy," she said. "It was necessary to know who you were as well as your intentions in killing the two boys, not to mention how a man could shoot a large blue heat beam out of their mouth. I felt Godzilla's mind inside you and had to tell the island people to reassure them. Don't worry, they won't give you away to anyone else. They still revere your family and will see this as Godzilla showing his favor toward them. Your secret is perfectly safe with us."
Many questions swam through Will's mind and he didn't know where to start. Why was Miki here and not helping keep relations between humanity and the kaiju on a good level? Where was Koji Shinjo, the legendary EDF pilot who had married her? Was there any way she could help him? However, Miki was the one who spoke first.
"I know that you may have many questions but there are a few things I'd like to say first," she said, suddenly very serious. "Where has Godzilla been for the past month? Space Godzilla and his kaiju have been terrorizing the entire planet and while Godzilla's army has shown up to fight, he hasn't himself. There are very few kaiju under his command that can even remotely stand up to your brother. From what the reports from Beijing say, it was Anguirus and Gorosaurus that had engaged Space Godzilla. You know very well that they are not among those few. So where have you been?"
Will hung his head a bit before answering. "I...my heart is no longer in this okay."
Miki looked at him in surprise. "Why is that?"
Will looked at her, on the verge of tears. "Becky, the girl who turns into Manda, has been captured because of me. I am no longer wanted by my friends and just before I came here one of them tried to kill me, even though I was attempting to make things right. What do I have left to fight for?"
He put face into his hands. Despite his best efforts to stop the tears, they came. Miki reached across the gap between them and placed a hand on his shoulder. Initially Will wanted to pull away from her touch but it was so warm and comforting that he let her stay there. Suddenly he heard her voice inside his head. At first he was a little startled but after having Mothra do the same he was immediately use to it.
"I know it's hard Will but the only thing you can do is go forward from here," she said. "To dwell on the past makes you a slave to it. I assume that you love Becky, more than any person in the world and I am sure the feelings are mutual. Think about her if nothing else. Would she want this? What would she think of you if she saw you like this? Have you tried anything to get her back? How do you know you can't do anything about it? If you fail she will die and just sitting around brooding over your failings condemns her to that fate.
Don't let her death actually be on your conscience instead of the belief. Not only that but your friends and the entirety of humanity will die with her. If you do nothing it will all be on you because you could and didn't. I felt that you are a religious man. Does your God not say the same? Now is the time to make your choice. Will you make a stand now or cower in a corner like a rat in a trap?"
Will's head shot up at that last. If there was one thing he wasn't it was a coward. He had proven that many times in different ways from fighting a physically stronger opponent or by always trying to do the right thing. It was the one insult that always got under his skin. Miki had known this and hoped that it would spur him into action.
"I am no coward," he said out loud hotly.
"Then prove it," Miki countered no longer in his mind. "If not then fight. Stand against the evil that threatens the world and everything you love. Fight the battles only you can and others cannot. Prove yourself the better man, the better kaiju. Make everyone understand why you are the king of the kaiju, worthy of your friends and the woman you love. Don't be the weak enemy your brother wants you to be but the man you want to be."
Her words roused Will. He felt a new strength, new determination that he had never felt before. How could he hope for others to believe in him if he couldn't. Now that he thought about it, there was no doubt this was what Space Godzilla wanted. He stood up, a fire burning inside that had not been there for a month. He would free Becky. Drake would be brought to his knees and never touch his girl ever again. The world would be made safe again, like it had been for the past nineteen years. Nothing would stop him.
"I'm going back," he said and made for the door.
"Wait Will," Miki said and she grabbed his hand. He stared at her confused.
"You can't go just yet," she continued. "You need to be smart. You're body isn't completely recovered and despite Godzilla's healing factor it will take a few days to heal. And I have a favor to ask you."
"What is it?" Will asked. After everything she just said Will felt that he would do just about anything for her.
"Take Akari with you," she said. This was the last thing Will had expected.
"Why?" he asked. "If I do she will be in danger. She has no way of defending herself from fifty to eighty meter kaiju. I'll more than likely wind up getting her killed. And that would be a detriment to the world."
Miki smiled at that last but was quickly serious again. "No Will, she can. Our island has been protecting a very big secret. Akari is a kaiju."
Will stared at her in shock. Again he just could not fathom the secrets of this woman. He thought that just maybe Akari might have some telepathic powers like her mother but definitely not be a kaiju like him.
"A...a kaiju?" he asked. "How is that possible? I mean, I thought all the ones left alive were accounted for?"
"No, not all of them." Miki responded. "Many years ago, the day before the war with Orochi began, one kaiju had disappeared, at least to the population at large. Instead, Godzilla's uncle, Burning Godzilla, had made an attempt to kill her and almost succeeded if it had not been for the father of Mothra and Battra, Gigamoth. Once he had driven off the mad kaiju, the young female was to close to death and he cast a spell to save her spirit, similar to what the shobijin did to you and the others and only he and your father Super Godzilla knew the truth.. It drifted for years until the right host was born. It was not bound to the restrictions of the shobijin's spell, that it had to be in a human with some relation to other kaiju hosts. It wasn't until about twenty-one years ago that it succeeded and entered my daughter.
When her powers emerged, we were confused and she involuntarily killed her father. The shobijin found us and explained what happened. At first they did not know the full story but being half way between this life and the next they were able to converse with Gigamoth and find out the truth. However, they wanted us to keep her secret from everyone, even the other kaiju when you returned and they assured us they would.
With their help I was able to train her and now I believe she is ready to face this war with you. Plus I'm not sure how much longer I could keep her here anyway. Every time she becomes her kaiju she has a strong desire to go and search you all out, she can feel your presence and is no doubt lonely. I want you to take her with you, both into your kaiju life and human one. It's time she left the nest. She is most definitely ready to."
Will was still trying to get his mind around this. There was a human who could turn into a kaiju he had not even known existed. He should have at least heard something. However, the people of Odo Island had always been secretive and having a citizen on their island who could turn themselves into into a giant monster was not something anyone would want to advertise. Many of them, despite their reverance for the kaiju, may even want her gone. He also realized that this would even be his first step into making things right. He would be bringing an extra soldier to the front and it may even be a powerful one. Not to mention it would make introducing Akari and Nash so much easier.
"Alright, I'll do it," he said.
Miki sighed with relief. "Thank you Will. I know that she will be in good hands."
"No problem," Will said. "Just out of curiosity, which kaiju is she?"
"Balkzardan, Manda's sister."