Copyright © 2015 by L Frank Turovich, All Rights Reserved Worldwide.
On an alternate Earth, one separated from our own by a multiverse of D-branes, a slightly different story unfolds when giant dimension crossing monsters, called kaiju, invade. This is that story.
* * *
“Commander, we’ve got two kaiju approaching. Both are class four,” the operations chief said. Class four kaiju was the largest ones yet at forty stories in height. With each attack on Earth’s coastal cities, the kaiju displayed a remarkable diversity of form and increasing size. But, they had a single intent, to attack and destroy until they were destroyed.
Based on that simple strategy they were winning. All mankind’s military might be useless against these monsters from the deep. Even the jaegers, huge human controlled machines designed to combat kaiju on their own terms were now seen as a failure and closing down. The plans for a worldwide defensive wall were a pipe dream of colossal scope and stupidity.
“Sound the alarm,” the Commander ordered.
Within seconds a whooping attack alarm filled Shiverdome, the last jaeger station on Earth with the last four jaegers in working order. The Commander shook his head. He was confident his new plan would work, but how to tell the jaeger pilots? He clicked the intercom button.
“Don’t power up any of the jaegers.”
“Yes, sir? Are you sure?”
“I’m sure, those are my orders,” the Commander said. “Direct the pilots to meet me on platform 8, ASAP.”
“Platform 8, aye, aye sir.”
The Commander rose from his desk and gazed again into the mirror. Would his plan work? The only way to know was to employ it and see. That meant using no jaegers to defend the city. Failure could mean the death of millions of Hong Kong’s citizens. But, he had no choice, the dice were tumbling and he’d live with the consequences. He adjusted his uniform jacket and left for platform 8.
The Gypsy Hazard’s pilots, the scarred veteran Sumter and female copilot Miyako joined the Commander.
“Commander, Why aren’t we powering up the jaegers?” Sumter asked.
“I’ll explain once we’re all gathered.”
“But the kaiju–“
“I know all about them, Sumter. Just wait.”
They arrived on platform 8. It was one of the larger platforms and provided an excellent view of Hong Kong harbor. Stormy clouds and winds lashed at the foaming water before them. The lights of the city were barely visible in the darkening twilight. Of the kaiju, there was no sign.
The Commander strode to the platform railing. Behind him trailed the pilots for the last remaining jaeger machines. The Australian father and son team of Ryan and Wilson Harris of the jaeger Striker Bingo stood in the front. Next to them towered the husband and wife Russian team of Vladivo Alpha, the oldest jaeger still in service. Nearby the Chinese triplets of the Crimson Dragon waited patiently. The Gypsy Hazard team joined the others as the Commander stood before them all. A large crowd of curious jaeger technicians, mechanics, and ordinary base workers were also in attendance.
“Why aren’t we suiting up?” the Australian Ryan demanded. “We got kaiju incoming. Shouldn’t we be getting ready?”
“In due time Mr. Harris.”
Ryan swiveled his head to take in the other teams. The Chinese remained composed with neutral faces and darting black eyes while the Russians glowered down with hawk-like intensity and crossed arms. The Gypsy team looked nervous and confused.
“We are? And when might that be?”
“Soon, Mr. Harris, soon.” The Commander faced the harbor. In the distance huge swells of blazing blue water were approaching rapidly, overtaking the waves that crashed somewhere below their concrete perch.
Without turning the Commander spoke over the wind and waves.
“I realized our entire approach was wrong some time ago. While our enemies were few, their size, strength, and sheer aggressiveness were overwhelming our best ground forces and defensive positions. In other words, they were beating us.”
“We killed them too, Commander,” Dmitry the Russian pilot said. His copilot wife Arseni nodded once in agreement.
“So you did, but at what cost?” The Commander faced them and waved a hand vaguely at the military complex behind them. “In the last decade we’ve built several bases like this, created twenty-three jaegers to defend our world. Hell, we’ve even begun constructing a wall to make people feel safer even though its bankrupting every country involved.”
The swells erupted into approaching kaiju, the shallow waters forcing them to rise into view. One was a gross toad-shaped creature covered in layers of armor fins, spines, and lobster claws for hands. It forced its huge bulk through the shallows on Brobdingnagian legs that bulldozed through the water effortlessly. The other resembled an armored salamander, sinuous and lethal. Teeth the length of rail cars were highlighted in the strange phosphorescent blue glow that rimmed its throat and tongue. Curved claws capable of severing bridge cables flared wide in anticipation as the monster bounded eagerly forward ahead of its companion.
The Commander shook his head as the crowd saw behind him the kaiju bearing down on the platform and its increasingly worried occupants.
“No, there had to be a better way and I think I’ve found it.” He nodded at the operations chief who spoke quickly into a handset.
“I give you the future,” the Commander said.
Overhead a streak of roaring light struck the toad shaped kaiju. For a second everyone on the platform saw the monster pause as a clearly visible gaping hole appeared on its thickly armored chest. Time stretched as lobster claws reached futilely to the wound as the kaiju disappeared in a thunderous explosion that shook the harbor. When the smoke cleared the awed crowd watched the once monstrous legs of the creature topple into the harbor, shorn of torso, and tail. The silence was interrupted as bits and pieces of kaiju rained upon the onlookers.
Before the echoing boom was complete a second streak struck the other kaiju as it roared its defiance at the sky. Another thunderous explosion and that kaiju joined its cloned sibling in kaiju hell.
“My God,” Sumter whispered.
The Commander turned to face the assembled jaeger pilots.
“You see, our problem was one of actions, not intent,” the Commander said. “You’ve all seen it before in horror and monster movies. The actors do exactly the wrong thing at every opportunity and die horrible deaths as the result. That’s what we were doing. We allowed the influences of bad writing, directing, and the need to show star actors displaying fake terror. It destroyed any chance of using sound strategy, tactics, and armament applicable to the situation.”
“Instead of choosing the correct response, we were forced to use ground troops with ineffective rifles and machine guns, choppers, and jets with machine guns to assault an enemy the size of a mountain. Build a fecking wall? Were they mad? Absolutely useless, so I found something better.”
He pointed to the still churning harbor where kaiju chunks floated like vegetables in a stew.
“Those were Big BLU missiles. They’re bunker busters.” He chuckled. “Thirty tons of hypervelocity missile designed to penetrate reinforced concrete and steel bunkers for meters before exploding inside. Those kaiju were like Easter chocolates, hard on the outside, but gooey inside.”
The jaeger pilots stared numbly at the Commander, at the chunks of kaiju polluting the harbor, and each other, a look of confusion and disbelief on their faces.
“But, what do we do now?”
“Nothing,” the Commander said. “You jaeger pilots can go home. We don’t need you any more.”