Actions

Work Header

A Future Shrouded In Darkness

Chapter Text

Deep beneath the Atlantic, far below the ocean floor, he rested. His home was changed, destroyed by the humans in their effort to give him strength. He wasn't too happy about that, but it didn't matter. His home was still home, even if it was different. It provided him with access to much of the world. It was important.

So he stayed, and rested. Far above, Mothra and Rodan were keeping things in order. He didn't hear much fighting or any sort of disturbance, so that must have meant that they were doing well, right? Better than the humans could do.

Humans… he hated what they did to him. He had Ghidorah on the ropes, drowning. He even tore one of its heads off. But then they hit him with another bomb. This one was different though. It hurt him, sucked the breath out of his lungs, killed the sea around him.

Ghidorah got away, and nearly ruined the order. Humanity may have saved him, but in his mind, they weren't nearly done atoning for it.

Far above, he heard it. A call. It was angry, and he hadn't heard it in many eons. Another new awakening.

Godzilla rose from his resting place, and waded out of the air pocket, into the water. As he left his lair, he vowed to never let humanity stray to far from their course. They had a place, and like the Titans, they needed to know it.

----------

Doctor Valentina Pavlov sighed.

Then she sighed again.

The reason was simple: another clean sample.

Outpost 95 was Monarch's newest facility. Built after the Battle of Boston, Outpost 95 was tasked with monitoring the continued volcanic activity at Isla De Mara, collecting samples from the Oxygen Destroyer detonation, and monitoring the Hollow Earth beneath their location. However, their quest to collect samples had gone a little south.

The earlier samples yielded excellent samples. First, microscopic lifeforms, noticeable oxygenation… hopeful stuff. But as time went on, the lifeforms changed. The small microscopic crustacean life that was the minority became the majority. Then they were the only life. Finally, only a few, noticeably larger ones remained. They were no larger than a flea, and floated aimlessly.

Valentina was irritated by the lack of progress since then. No life of any kind. Not even more of the crustaceans. The Outpost had hit a roadblock. What complicated matters more was the increasing pressure on Monarch financially. Outpost 56 was permanently decommissioned. They couldn't restore it and Rodan hadn't returned to Isla De Mara since waking up. Stone Mountain and Angkor Wat had also been on the chopping block.

Basically, they had cut enough to generate a small profit from the shortlist of donors. Organizations from all sides politically, monetarily, and ideologically had poured in donations. But no government would back Monarch, and donors were confidence based. They could pull their funds at any moment.

Valentina sighed and wrote down the current status of the sample in front of her. Picking up her pencil, she set to work.

Moments later, a colossal shriek sounded through the halls. A shake followed, and then another shriek.

"We're under attack!" She heard someone say. "Get to the lifeboats! Go! Go! Go!"

No one needed to tell her twice. Valentina picked up her personal bag and ran for the door, exiting into a crowd of people. The hall was bustling with scientists and security personnel running towards the stairs. The elevators were blinking, out of service. As they rushed passed a window, Valentina caught a glimpse of a large form moving in the water around them. They were three stories below the surface, and it did not sound like Godzilla.

Another shriek sounded, and metal crumpled under tremendous force as the facility seemed to list. Several sprays erupted in the walls around them, indicating a major hull breach was imminent. Valentina felt her survival instincts kick in, and made it her personal mission to reach the surface.

----------

Breaking out of the Hollow Earth's grasp, Godzilla began to swim towards the sounds of chaos. The high shrieks of the offender, and if he listened closely, the sounds of metal bending. It was a Titan attacking humans, and he planned to put a stop to it. He picked up his pace, powerful tail swimming side to side as he propelled himself onward.

----------

Valentina reached the top deck, with blue skies and a vibrant Sun beating down on the deck. If it weren't for the Titan attacking, you'd think it was a party. She looked for a lifeboat, swiveling her head as she searched for an escape. Several lifeboats were nearly full, with security forces trying to keep order as scientists and maintenance crews fought to get to safety.

Another shriek made everybody freeze. A boom and shaking followed. Then, the water broke, and out from the waves emerged a titanic orange claw. It strongly resembled the claws one would see on a crab, or a lobster. The rest of the Titans hulking form followed, confirming Valentina's suspicions. The body was covered in an orange shell, with spikes protruding from the top. Two beady eyes extended from its head, where a long piercing spike was protruding from its face. It shrieked again, mandibles opening up to release the piercing sound.

As it raised its massive claw to strike, it opened its maw to shriek again. However, a much different roar sounded. It was deeper, and reverberated in the bones of everyone on the platform. It must've done the same to the Crab, because it lowered its claw and waded backwards, away from the platform. It searched, eyes turning and scanning the waves.

Valentina saw it before the crustacean ever did.

A large, dark form broke the waves behind the Crab, tackling it forwards into the water. As they went under the waves, Valentina spotted the familiar shapes on the newcomers back. It was three rows of long scutes, running to the end of its tail.

Godzilla had arrived, and he wasn't happy.

----------

As the water above them calmed, Godzilla waged war with the foe he had brought down. The creature was armored. Heavily. It bore a long, powerful tail which it used like a flipper, allowing it to move around with speed like Godzilla's. However, its armor was heavy, and without conscious effort, it appeared to sink.

Godzilla knew what to do.

He charged the crustacean and grabbed its tail, swimming full speed downward. As the first ocean ridge approached, Godzilla swam towards it, and around it. The tail strained against the torque Godzilla was putting on it, and the creature smashed into the ridge. Stunned, it could not stop Godzilla from slamming it into the sea floor, and prying the tail upward, farther than it could go normally.

The tail tore, and was held on only by flesh and armor. With its tail immobilized, Godzilla deemed the creature no longer a threat, and left it on the bottom of the ocean. He didn't need to kill it, and it was to mindless to really have a place in the hierarchy. So leaving it there was his best option. As he swam up and away, he cast a glance to the human base above, and had a feeling something bad was coming.

----------

Inside of Outpost 95, a glass container was busted open. Exposed to the water, its contents, small, precambrian crustaceans, swam out. They followed the current back to a hull breach, and quickly escaped into the open sea, staying close as they did. They hungered for food, and the ocean was full of it.

The world, was full of it.

----------

On the surface, Valentina was in awe of what had transpired. Help was on the way, thankfully. But the damage was done. Outpost 95 would likely be closed, and it's research moved to other locations. She prayed that the Crab was gone, and she prayed that they would escape.

If only they knew the evil that brewed beneath the waves.

----------

"You think it'll affect the meeting?"

"Yeah, I do. The suits get really antsy when a multi billion dollar research base goes under. Especially from a Titan we don't even have a name for."

"We do."

"Really? What did the locals call it? Red Lobster? Crab Fest?"

"Rick, can it. Go ahead, Chen."

"They called it Ebriah, The Horror of the Deep. A polar opposite to Rodan. A God of pure malice, whereas Rodan brought fire and rebirth."

"Catchy name."

"I still prefer Crab Fest."

"Rick, sh-"

"Sorry to interrupt guys… I just got a call from Stenz."

"And?"

"That thing wasn't the only new Titan. Another one just cropped up."

"Thanks Sam. Okay…. Here's what we'll do. Rick, get me Ebirah's bioacoustics. Log them. Chen, get me a name on the new Titan, correlate it to local legend and find me a weakness. Sam, stay in touch with Stenz and help these two. I've got a meeting."

"Good luck, Mark."

"Thanks, Sam…. I'll need it."

Chapter Text

It had been close to a year, he reasoned. One year since his plans had been foiled for a second time. The Russell's had gotten in the way again.

Or at least, the father had. The daughter wasn't much of an issue.

Alan Jonah watched patiently as his geneticists continued their work. The DNA recovered from Ghidorah and snatched from Leviathan had produced some interesting results. Ghidorah's cells, according to Doctor Li indicated that his cells could mold around the cells of other Titans, with the proper conditions.

So they took it one step further, and added some Oxygen Destroyer samples to the mix. A few contained small microscopic organisms, which the geneticists had deemed unfit for use, but Jonah pressed forward anyway.

The result, was contained in three separate tanks in front of him. Each of the tanks contained a large creature. No longer than 30 feet, and averaging around 18 feet tall. They were crimson red, with orange eyes and ivory teeth jutting from their jaws, which sported no lips or gums. Long pincers rested at the ends of their tails, and ornate crests extended from their skulls.

His Destroyers. Perfect killing machines. They lacked arms, but made up for it with their eight razor sharp claws that doubled as legs. Weighing in at close to seven tons per creature, they were tanks. He had yet to release them, however. Admittedly, he was scared of their power. The Oxygen Destroyer had nearly killed Godzilla. What could three beings that harassed its energy do?

He smiled at the thought. Purge humanity. Free the world.

Jonah had his tools. He just needed to control them. The Orca functioned well in send the Crab on a rampage. But the bioacoustics that worked on so many other Titans wouldn't work here. The Ghidorah DNA made the Destroyers nigh immune to the effects of the Orca. They had barely pacified Ghidorah long enough to escape. But the Destroyers had none of that restraint. None of the intelligence.

As far as behavior… they had been all instinct until they were contained. Now they grew, and had been growing for months. Jonah needed a break through soon, or the devil he would unleash would yield to no one.

----------

"Maddie! Sweetie, breakfast is ready!"

The calls of her grandmother's voice, and the smell of French toast drew Madison from her sleep. As she sat upright in her bed, she glanced at her clock, located on her table.

6:47.

That was the cost of going to school. Getting up early. It had been her choice though.

As she got dressed, she contemplated said choice. It had been hard to speak to her father following last year's events. She knew he hadn't wanted to release Ghidorah. He had done it to save her. But she had told him not to listen, to let her die. It wasn't worth countless lives. Because of her father, Denver was mostly rubble, but luckily able to rebuild given that Ghidorah simply passed over.

Boston had been the result of her mother caring too much. Denver had been the result of her father doing the same. So much damage, and so many lives gone because of them. It's why Madison had made the decision to move back to Illinois, and live with her grandparents. She could finish her schooling in an actual classroom and distance herself from Monarch.

Madison didn't know how her father felt about her leaving. She hadn't told him until an argument over the phone. Mark had called asking where she was, and Madison was fresh off the plane at Chicago O'Hare. He had been furious, but Madison hadn't stayed on long enough to find out. She told him where she would be, what she would be doing, and that she wasn't ready to speak to him.

She hadn't spoken to him since she hung up. Although she probably should, she figured he didn't need any more on his plate, given the scrutiny Monarch was under these days.

As she got downstairs, she rounded into the kitchen and was greeted by her grandmother, Lillian Clark, at the stove. Lillian was a portly woman, nearing 70 in age but only 20 in heart. Madison loved how open she was. She was honest and considerate at the same time, which meant a lot to her right now.

"Breakfast is on the counter sweetie. Butter is up in the fridge."

"Thank you, Grammy." Madison replied, making her way to the food that awaited her.

As she ate her breakfast, Lillian finished her cooking and cleaning, and opted to approach Madison.

"Have you spoken to Mark?" She asked.

"No." Madison began, speaking around her breakfast "I really don't want to right now. I'm not ready for it and I can't really forgive him for what he did."

"You still haven't told us." Lillian replied.

"I know." Madison said, scarfing down the last of her breakfast. Lillian collected her dish, and placed it in the dishwasher. She then turned to face Madison, eyes searching.

"Mark is my son-in-law. I don't care that he and Em split. He was loyal, and just hurting from Andrew's passing. They both were. Whatever he did to you, i doubt he did it out of anything other than wanting the best for you."

Madison nodded, collecting her bag for school. She hugged Lillian and walked out of the house, down the driveway to the road where the bus would come get her. On the hill to her left, rested a tombstone in the distance. Madison could only wonder what her mother would say right now.

Because she had no damn clue.

----------

Mark Russell had no damn clue what he was supposed to do.

The meeting had gone off without a hitch. The top donors and scientists were a little shell shocked at the loss of Outpost 95, but only a handful of fatalities were reported, and the rest were minor injuries. He thought that their reaction was good enough to press on to the topic few larger funding increases.

That's when the voices started getting raised. If the donors had been dogs, their cackles would have reached the ceiling. A few thought that it was a good idea, however the funds just weren't available. One other agreed to raise his funding by 10%, granted another million dollars at least. The rest of the attendants grumbled and gave him a hard 'no.'

Mark tried again, because they had a few bills to pay on top of supplies and munitions, and he really wanted some money left over for emergencies. But now they're scraping by for another three damn months. The donors were so stubborn, and they really needed flexible donors to run an organization based on tracking, locating, and containing giant monsters. What did they think this was, a circus?

He guided them through the next few reports and signed off with the usual promise that he would see them at the next quarterly meeting in March.

Now, he was sitting at his desk, staring at a picture of the family. Andrew, Emma, Madison, and him. Maddie had just been born when this was taken. Her eyes were elsewhere. Emma, a few days home from the hospital, was definitely behind on sleep. Mark and Andrew both had dirt on their faces from that days outdoor activities.

He smiled at the photo. Four happy people.

None of them were happy anymore. He had lost Madison. She was so angry at him turning Ghidorah loose, and she hadn't even given him a chance to explain. Now she was in Illinois, never wanting to see him again, and he was here, in an underwater base a mile into and underwater mountain, wanting to see her. But she was hurting, and so was he. Time heals a lot of wounds, but time wasn't something he was sure anybody had any more.

He just hoped she was okay.

----------

At the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico, Ebirah stirred.

He had been resting since his defeat at the hands of Godzilla. His tail was still useless, and his progress to climb to higher depths was slow. He wasn't built to climb underwater mountains, given he was heavier than some of them. But he wanted to get to higher.

Within Ebirah's body, microscopic crustaceans fed off of his ambient radiation, slowly growing in size. Over time, there was a chance they could drain their host, but then they could find a new one. Growth was all that mattered, and they cared not for the lives of those they devoured. It wasn't instinct that drove this behavior, it was something far more sinister.

Primitive Malice.

Chapter Text

Valentina watched as the osprey maneuvered to its bay. She was still in awe at the sight before her.

Outpost 54. The flagship installation of Monarch, and home to its top minds. Unofficially, it was referred to as Castle Bravo. Here, Monarch tracked and studied Godzilla primarily. The King of the Monsters often used a recently discovered entrance to the Hollow Earth that had been located nearby.

The installation had been lacking a dedicated biologist like Valentina. Its former biologist had been sent off to Outpost 74. Valentina was filling a much needed role, and even more so, she was at the home base.

The osprey touched down, jolting Valentina from her thoughts. The lights inside dimmed, and the back ramp began to lower. Valentina walked towards it, and spied a familiar face.

"Sam!" She cheered. Standing off of the ramp near the back of the ospreay was Sam Coleman, Monarch's chief technician, liaison, and a close friend of one Valentina Pavlov.

The two embraced. It had been three years since they had last seen each other. While calls were frequent, the events of Boston and Las Vegas had narrowed and scattered any window for communication. In particular, Valentina's career had been up in the air, and Sam had been in harm's way. Outside of a small check up call after Boston, there had been little contact.

"It's good to see you Valentina." Sam said, stepping back after giving her a once over. "Its been way uh… way too long."

"I know." She replied. "How are things around here?"

The smile on Sam's face dropped a little. As it continued to slowly fade, he glanced around, before looking back at Valentina.

"Not good. I'll tell you on the tour." He replied.

Valentina nodded, and followed Sam as he waved her to follow.

----------

Mark frowned at the monitor in front of him.

"How?"

Rick Stanton turned to face him, with a puzzled look of his own.

"Well, it could have been injuries from the fight? We don't know what Godzilla did to him down there. He could've gotten absolutely clobbered and we wouldn't have known."

Mark tilted his head, mentally conceding awarding a point to Stanton. He focused on Ebirah's marker. It was a still dot in the Western Gulf of Mexico. Scanners left over from Outposts 56 and 95 indicated that Ebirah's bioacoustics had flatlined. So now not only was Mark going to have to fill out the debrief papers on the facility's destruction, he also now had a stack of paperwork for a deceased Titan. Thankfully, it wouldn't be as much as Sargon. Mainly because Ebirah's death was still a mystery.

"Keep guessing." Mark said, patting Rico's shoulder as he turned and walked away. He didn't really have a destination in mind. All he had to figure out was the shortest way to write about the mysterious death of a brand new Titan. Simple.

As Mark exited the control room and rounded a corner, he bumped into Sam and a middle aged woman. She stood up to Mark's chin, and underneath a blonde mop that one might assume was a bun, were to blue orbs staring at him in surprise. He looked to Sam for an answer to the unasked question.

"Mark, this is Valentina Pavlov, our new biologist. She was stationed at Outpost 95 when Ebirah hit."

Mark's gaze flickered back to Valentina, who was looking at him.

"Really? Well I'm sorry you had to be a part of that attack. Unfortunately we didn't know where Ebirah came from. Hell, we didn't even have a name for him yet."

Valentina nodded.

"It could have been worse. At least Big G showed up." She replied.

"Big G?" Mark asked.

"It's the unofficial nickname for Godzilla." Sam answered. "We try to avoid using it around here because we don't want to encourage Rick to nick name all the Titans, or sound unofficial in the flagship base."

Mark nodded.

"Do me a favor and keep it that way, Sam." He replied. He looked back to Valentina.

"I hope you settle in well. If you need anything, don't be afraid to make Sam get it for you." Mark chuckled at his little joke, clapping Sam on his shoulder as he made his way past them.

Valentina looked to Sam. "He seems a little agitated."

Sam looked from the direction Mark went to Valentina. "He has a right to be. He'll tell you eventually. C'mon, let's go meet Rick. You gotta see the command center."

----------

"Ling, you can't be serious!"

"If you were a good sister, you would support me!"

Doctor Ilene Chen pinched her nose and groaned.

"Ling, you can't quit after all that we have been through. What about-"

Ilene scanned the room around her, confident that no one would hear her.

"What about Mothra?" She finished.

She heard Ling sigh on the other end of the call.

"That's not fair." Ling replied.

"She's basically family, Ling! We took the same vow!"

"And you have two daughters who will take it soon." Ling replied steadily.

Ilene bowed her head.

"I failed them, Ling. I let my own desires get in the way of my duties as a mother. Yao was right to take them. They are better off away from Monarch, and Mothra."

She took a breath, and continued.

"It's our burden." She finished.

A moment of silence passed before Ling asked a question.

"What if Mothra reaches out to them? They'll get locked up or pulled in anyway."

"We'll deal with it then." Ilene replied. "Until then, we are the ones responsible. You can't quit now. Mothra is finally here, and we can truly bring Man and Titan together! Like Mom always said."

She heard another sigh. The silence was deafening.

Then, Ling replied with confidence.

"Okay."

----------

Fire.

Rodan loved fire. Whether it was the small flames he caused in passing or the massive wildfires he could spawn, he was at home in it. Quite literally. But he also loved the good that fire did. It helped plants grow, and made the green return to places it hadn't been in a long time. However, Rodan hadn't been aware of the consequence of an oil refinery meeting a flaming Titan.

A massive column of flame roared in front of him. A pillar of black smoke that would've dwarfed Ghidorah floated into the sky. There had been humans in this place. Humans he was supposed to protect. Not of his own accord. But Godzilla had made the request. Rodan had been flying all over the world, protecting them. But here, he made a mistake.

As the flames roared, and the human structure burned, Rodan's love of fire was renewed. But his anger only destroying things burned brighter than the flame in front of him. He wanted to help the world as Godzilla, and even Scylla had. But all he could do was burn things down. Where was his place? His purpose? Was he just a weapon for Alphas? Why could he not be the fire of creation.

As Rodan watched the fire, his love for the flame was burned away by his rage. That same rage is what drove him to attack Godzilla. He took a breath through his nostrils. He needed to breathe, to think.

He lifted off, using a flap of his wings to create a thunder clap, instantly reducing the fire's size greatly. Rodan decided that he would something else he loved. Fly.

Despite being a Titan, Rodan enjoyed the occasional peace that came with being above the clouds. Humans weren't often up here, unless a small craft was traversing nearby. For the most part, Rodan could just glide. It was nice.

He wondered about Radon. Some days he would fly to her and watch as she rested. Her hibernation would last a while. He figured at least until the land shifted again. But he would be here. Waiting.

Then they would glide together.

----------

Deep within the bowels of Ebirah, a new evil was born.

The microscopic organisms had broken down many particles. But the ravenous hunger that drove them to kill Ebirah now drove them to consume each other. Millions of them became dozens. Dozens became a handful.

That handful became one. A creature unlike any the world had known before. Crimson red from its crests to the end of its tail, with a small horn jutting out of its skull. A destroyer of all living things was born into the world, fueled by the rage of its microscopic parents. Its first meal was located around it. With a fury unseen to the world above the waves, the precambrian serpent began to feed on what remained of Ebirah.

Far above, the sea was calm.

Chapter Text

A fog had settled in around the crew of the fishing vessel Owari. They were well east of Japan, in international waters. In the years since Janjira, it had been harder to find fish that weren't contaminated. But since the rise of the Titans, the local populations had swelled. Breeding was recorded in record numbers. A sign of more change to come.

But for the Owari, it meant a bigger haul, and a bigger payday. It also meant longer hours. Tetsuya Honda was exhausted as a result. The twenty-seven year old was only in his fourth year of fishing, and was still getting used to the long hauls that the captain would drag them on. His degree in marine biology wasn't doing him any good, despite his current location on the great blue expanse.

Honda sighed as the small fishing boat rocked back and forth on the waves, gently swaying to the tune of the sea. His crewmates had left him to watch the deck while they all retired to the bridge for a bit of relaxation. The Owari wasn't a large ship, per say. But it was large enough where Honda had some semblance of privacy on the stern.

As he gazed at the water, he could see the smallest of fish just beneath the waves. On a good day, one could see the schools twenty feet down. He liked watching them. They were so mindless yet organized. Cautious yet carefree. For just a moment, Honda want nothing more to be one of those fish.

Then the fish scattered, breaking off and hightailing it out of sight. Honda figured it was a larger fish. But then, beneath the waves, he saw a red mass move under the ship, rocking the boat. The commotion caused Honda's crewmates, including the captain, Hiroshi, to exit the cabin and approach Honda.

As they approached, the water began to rise off the port side of the ship. A massive orange sail, attached to a red serpent like skull rose from the foaming water. Two massive green orbs stared at the boat, and the crew on it. Two smaller fins were attached at the back of the skull, on either side of the sail.

"Titan." Hiroshi breathed out.

With a roar, the Titan raised its massive hand out of the water, claws glistening in the sun, and brought it down near the boat, The waves rocking the Owari and threatening to capsize her. The crew held on, and Honda looked back up to find the orange sail disappearing beneath the waves.

"Let's get out of here." Hiroshi ordered.

Leaving the site behind, the Owari raced back to Japan. Beneath the waves, just out of sight, the Titan followed. With a surprising amount of guile, and its heightened senses aiding it, it had no trouble trailing the vessel from a distance. It wanted to see if there were more like it. Maybe less fragile ones.

It wanted a good fight.

----------

The drydock for the USS Argo was, unironically, in the newest section of Area 51. A 25,000 square foot facility, the compound was where Argo underwent repairs, and where her sister ship was set to be built.

But currently, all hands available were tasked with updating the Argo's arsenal with a wider array of anti-Titan weapons. Her missiles had been outfitted with cadmium warheads, and could be fired into a Titans mouth in an effort to stop its heart. Her outermost missile pods had been replaced with a new weapon, imported from Japan. The D-03 missile was designed originally to rescue people trapped in debris. Launched from a launcher, it would burrow into a target via the drill on the front, and detonate on the command of the user.

However, the most powerful addition was the deployable Maser in lieu of the secondary cargo-bay. Extending from the bottom of the ship, the maser could fire up to three times before a mandatory recharge. It was the most important addition, and required a retrofitted nuclear reactor to power.

But despite all of its bells and whistles, the crew was the most important aspect, at least in the eyes of Colonel Diane Foster. The crew, from G-Team to the damn janitor is what really made things go. Martinez, Griffin, and Barnes were all off enjoying a well earned vacation. So that left Foster to oversee the refit. Not that she was complaining. She didn't mind the noise and the boredom of being in drydock, because it was better than Afghanistan. But she didn't enjoy it either. She was away from her husband and her kids, and that bothered her a lot. Especially in a world filled with Titans.

She sighed and spun around in her office chair.

She could use a drink.

----------

The bartender wasted no time filling the shot-glasses as they hit the bar. In front of him, Anthony Martinez had an arm wrapped around Jackson Barnes, who was reciting some tale from his childhood. Lauren Griffin could only watch with a smile as Barnes hopped into a loose imitation of his father.

"-better get your ass down here or imma beat your ass!" He finished with a laugh. Martinez snorted.

"Did he?" Martinez asked, wiping his nose.

"Up and down the street." Barnes confirmed with a nod, eyeing his shot. "I don't think it was even legal the shit he did. But I never got on the roof again, so lesson learned." He finished with a chuckle. Taking their cue, Griffin and Martinez picked up their shots. Griffin smiled as she raised her glass a little higher.

"To Jackson's sore ass, and fear of rooftops" she toasted. As Martinez toasted, Barnes scoffed.

"It's not THAT bad." He retorted.

"Shut up and drink your damn whiskey." She replied as she down her own shot. Barnes shook his head and complied, downing his as the bartender approached.

"Another round?" He asked, eyeing the group. Griffin glanced at her comrades, who were both rather buzzed.

"I think we'll call it for the drinking. We're gonna hit the pool tables. Thanks though." Griffin replied.

"Anytime. Thanks." The bartender responded.

The trio made their way over to the tables, finding themselves the closest table to the entrance. Martinez eyes Griffin.

"You ready to get your ass kicked?" He asks, eyebrows raised.

"Only one joining Barnes in the sore-ass club is you." Griffin replied, gesturing between Barnes and Martinez as she did.

"Hey now, why not get both of you in here? Plenty of room." Barnes shot back, securing the pool-balls in place.

As the three settled in, Barnes felt the absence of Hendricks. Hendricks had died in Antarctica nearly two years ago. Right in front of Barnes. His friend and comrade was gone. The two had been close, and Barnes was the godparent to Hendrick's son, Colby.

It was a hole that he couldn't fill. There were supposed to be four in their group. There should be a weary idiot asking how to play.

There wasn't, and that right there is why Barnes felt like it was time to tell Griffin and Martinez about his feelings. He hates this suffering and he wants to ask for help. But he doesn't know how to ask.

He takes a breath and resolves to figure it out. He has some ass to kick right now.

----------

The Owari lazily cruised along, unaware of the Titan following them. The creature pondered the small vessel. It would not put up much of a fight, and it found boredom in that. The creatures below were hidden and asleep, and it could never catch up to the awoken Titans. So these little ones had to do. But the lack of a challenge was eating at it.

Suddenly, there was a call. Far below, and very close at the same time. But it was no ordinary call.

It was the alpha. A real challenge was coming, and it welcomed it.

----------

Godzilla increased his speed as he neared the Titan. He had finally picked up a trail hours ago, and from there it wasn't hard to catch up. This one had been lazily drifting along, which made Godzilla's job a lot easier. It wasn't targeting anything that it wasn't supposed to, humans or otherwise. All he had to do was get it to submit.

So he allowed his muscles to get a little lax. He wanted it to be simple for once. Unfortunately, simple was not on today's menu. A change in sounds told him it had changed course. In fact, it was getting louder. It had heard his call.

He could make it out if he focused. The large shape bearing down on him. Just with a glance, he knew it wasn't bending the knee. Not easily.

Godzilla tensed up and prepared for a fight, as the creature came close enough to see in detail.

He charged without a second thought, ready to put this Titan in its place, as he had so many others

Chapter Text

"Do you think he has a birthday?" Sam asked, suddenly. Rick and Sam were in the command center, monitoring the Titans. A few, like Godzilla, Mothra, and Rodan made their rounds on the map. Scylla remained nestled near Antarctica, and Tiamat had just left his usual spot under Georgia and drifted under the Atlantic.

"Who?" Rick inquired.

"Godzilla." Sam answered.

"Of course." Rick began, scratching his nose. "Every being has a day of birth. Just can't record all of them."

Sam pondered that for a moment.

"He's totally a Scorpio." Sam stated.

Rick turned, eyeing Sam with an incredulous look.

"Uh… no. Sam this ain't astro wizardry. This is biology." He turned away at that, facing the screen. "Besides, Big G is a Taurus."

Behind them, Chen and Pavlov entered the command center at a fast pace.

"Rick!" Chen called. "Focus on Godzilla! Pull up his bioacoustics!"

As Rick scrambled to comply, Sam looked at the map.

"What's he doing?" He asked.

"He's in a fight. Another awakening." Chen replied. She picked up her tablet from her desk and began punching in commands, searching for any myths that could explain a new Titan near Japan. Orochi had been largely the focus of myth and legend on Honshu. But Kyushu and Southern Japan had another notable myth. A scarlet dragon that reigned over the sea. Chen continued to read on. In myth, Susano-O had been the god of summer storms, and had a short temper. His anger had broken his sister's heart, and in an attempt to atone, he slays a sea serpent to craft a sword for her. Was this Susano-O, or the serpent?

"Confirmed." Rick suddenly said. "Godzilla has made contact. Heart and breathing elevated." The team leaned in around him, watching the screen. Rick had his earphones half on, and was eyeing it as well.

"Can we get a visual?" Chen asked.

"The Outpost there has deployed drones but they might not get there." Rick replied.

"What about the JSDF?" Pavlov asked, eyeing the nearby nation of Japan.

"They might not even KNOW." Sam answered. "We should warn them."

"Get on that then, I'll monitor them." Rick shot back.

"I'll keep searching for anything in the myths of the region." Chen added.

"And me?" Pavlov asked. Rick turned to face her, eyeing her for a moment.

"Call Mark."

----------

Beneath the waves near Japan, two titanic forces clashed. The King of the Monsters, and the Beast Who Would Not Bow. Godzilla grabbed at the scarlet creatures tail fin, but it darted away, demonstrating speed that surprised Godzilla. The King chased the Beast, deeper and deeper. Light was no issue, as both Titans had eyesight suited to being deep underwater.

Then, the Beast whipped around and tackled Godzilla. The force drove Godzilla back towards the surface. By the time he recovered, the Beast had fled. Godzilla searched eyes blazing with a fire in the deep blue sea. He couldn't locate the creature.

Then, a sound. To his right, and approaching fast.

The beast slammed into him with a bone crushing amount of force. Godzilla yelped in surprise at he was forced even deeper. His anger bubbled beneath his skin as he raked his claws into his foes back.

Enough was enough.

He charged up his atomic breath and bit into the attacker. The close range discharge seared the thick hide of the scarlet beast, forcing it to break off. Green eyes met orange as Godzilla squared off with the sea monster. Several growls were exchanged as they circled each other, muscles tensed.

Small lights circled them as Monarch drones finally caught up to them. The small craft circled the scene, lenses focused on the creature facing Godzilla.

----------

"I know that Titan."

The team whirled around to face Sam, all waiting for the younger man to elaborate.

"He uh…" the technician began. "He was the subject of study for a Japanese biologist. Doctor Mafune. He was a marine biology major. His daughter Katsura and I worked on a project when I was at MIT. She told me about it. Sensitive to sound, especially at high frequencies."

"What did she say he was called?" Chen asked.

"Titanosaurus. Whether it shares any ancestry with the sauropods is really uh…. Really NOT clear." He answered.

"Titanosaurus…" Rick slowly repeated, punching keys on his console. The unidentified marker on the map blinked, and Titanosaurus' name blinked near the marker.

Meanwhile, Pavlov was on the phone with Mark.

"This new Titan engaged Godzilla near Japan. They've been fighting for several minutes now!"

"Okay." Mark replied over the line. "Get on the horn and send out an evacuation advisory for Japan. That's the first step once you've gotten an ID on the Titan."

"Okay." Pavlov said as she jogged over to the communications console.

"Japan's code is 5-3-2-1-5. Once you've entered that, press the yellow button, then the green one." Mark explained.

Pavlov keyed in the code, and pressed the two keys.

"Alright, Done. Now what?" She asked. She got a sigh in response.

"You wait."

----------

Titanosaurus enjoyed many advantages over Godzilla in the water. He was far more agile and could push the King around with little trouble. In fact, Godzilla's only major advantage was his atomic energy. His attack had wounded Titanosaurus, and the red beast wasn't too pleased. He needed to pressed his attack.

So he built up some speed and charged. He knew he could bowl over Godzilla. He planned on it.

He didn't plan on Godzilla learning.

As Titanosaurus steamed full speed ahead at Godzilla, the Atomic Beast rolled and dove under Titanosaurus. He grabbed the creature by the wrists and bit into his tail, restraining him. Godzilla used the momentum to swing himself to the top position, and released the tail, freeing his head to navigate.

With all of his strength, Godzilla began to drag a struggling Titanosaurus to land.

----------

As several hours passed, Mark had found his way to the command center, and the team watched as Godzilla struggled to carry Titanosaurus to land. The island of Iwo Jima was not much farther, and the island shelf would create a level playing field.

"Can we get a status update on that island?" Mark asked Rick.

"Local government is putting everyone they can onto boats. They can't do much more until help arrives." Rick said. Then he turned to Mark. "There's not much we can do without the Argo."

Mark nodded, seemingly accepting the answer, begrudgingly. But Chen noticed the way he got tenser. The eagerness building. He was Powerless and it was pissing him off. But they couldn't do anything but pray.

"What now?" Pavlov asked.

"More waiting." Sam sighed, eyes focused on the screen.

----------

Godzilla slammed Titanosaurus into the sand. After hours of struggling and kicking against the beasts strength, Godzilla had hauled it ashore. It would have no speed here. This was a tooth and claw fight, and the King would keep the crown.

Titanosaurus stood to his full height. At 407 feet, he was 15 feet taller than Godzilla. His speed had been neutralized, and he had little in the way of ranged weapons. His only options were to run, or to fight.

Titanosaurus did not run.

With a roar, the red beast charged Godzilla, slamming into him. But Godzilla threw a clawed hand balled into a fist, which connected with Titanosaurus' skull. The sea monster stumbled back, dazed, and Godzilla pushed his attack. He swung another fist, this one from the right. The second punch was much more effective than the first, nearly knocking Titanosaurus out. The dazed beast was not prepared for the tail that slammed into his midsection moments after, knocking him down.

However, Titanosaurus bounced back up, and swung hard with a fist of his own. The punch hit Godzilla square in the snout, knocking the King right down. He charged up his atomic breath as he fell, and fired once the blurs cleared from his vision.

The blue light zipped through the Iwo Jima night, burning Titanosaurus shoulder. The crimson beast felt skin melt to the bone and stepped out of the way. His wounds were slowly piling up. This wasn't an easy fight.

And it wasn't worth his life.

Titanosaurus swung a clawed hand at Godzilla, cutting the Titan's face. Another hand was deflected, and Titanosaurus planted a kick to Godzilla's ribs, choosing that moment to make his escape. The Beast dove into the waves and swam as fast as he could.

Godzilla stood and watched the faint form disappear on the horizon. The creature hadn't submitted, but had opted to flee. It certainly hadn't been easy to fight by any means. Godzilla snorted, pushing some blood out of his snout. It could definitely punch if it wanted.

He would take this victory, and simply beat it down later.

With a roar, he turned and dove into the sea, heading off to wherever he needed to be.

----------

The last body hit the floor as the Destroyers tail released its throat. The woman had been guarding a small container full of a valuable new substance.

Micro-Oxygen.

The Destroyer began to feed, piercing the container with its secondary mandibles. The micro oxygen began to enhance it, causing him to grow, bigger and bigger. Small protrusions began to form in its back, and purple streaks of energy began to course through its veins. It could feel it. There was more Micro-Oxygen out there.

It would feed.

Chapter Text

So I haven't done a very good job of being consistent with this fic. Truthfully, I do want to keep writing it. But what I DON'T want is to deliver something subpar. You guys don't deserve that. You don't deserve the wait I've put you through either.

I want to get two chapters out before New Years. I will get them out by then. But understand that the delays are me writing and re-writing chapters to do it right.

Hang in there. We aren't far off from the next chapter, and I apologize for the wait.

-M

Chapter Text

Madison waited as the school bus slowly filled up with students, all eager to get home. Some sported tired looks. Others, like her, were rather neutral. A select few were happy. None of this was unusual. What was unusual was the lack of phone calls from her father. Ordinarily, Mark would try to call her at least three times a day. Up until yesterday, it had been consistent. However, a cursory glance at her call log showed zero missed calls for the day.

Madison sighed and glanced out the window. The clouds were gathering and she knew it was going to rain. She knew all too well the signs of a coming storm, having been at the epicenter of the Battle of Boston. She had witnessed clouds race into the city at a record pace as Ghidorah whipped up a storm. She was probably qualified to be a weather girl.

Despite her uneasiness with rain, Madison found comfort in the ambient noise of a school bus full of rowdy teenagers. When she had been in Boston, she had been alone. No one had been in Fenway, let alone the city proper when Ghidorah had touched down. She had been alone. That, coupled with her past experiences with Jonah, had made it hard for her to be alone, to accept silence. It was once easy, but now that security has left her.

Madison rested her head on the window. Her stop was one of the last. She decided on a nap.

Only the dark was comforting now.

----------

Jonah watched as his project floated in its chamber. His Destroyer was a serpentine creature, owing its build to Leviathan, and its head showed trace amounts of Ghidorah's skeletal features. The "cheek" bones, and horns that ran out of the back of its skull resembling those of the severed head that once resided in their base back in Colorado.

He smiled at the creature, before turning and walking down the hall. He knew that there was still a ways to go before the Destroyer would be ready. In fact, one scientist even suggested waiting up to a year after it reaches maturity. Jonah disregarded him. The Destroyer wasn't meant to be controlled. It was meant to be a way of cleansing the Earth. A way of setting things right.

For Jonah, "Right" meant a world where man could not interfere with nature. The only way to accomplish this was to remove humanity's ability to destroy on a large scale. There was an irony to that, and it didn't go over Jonah's head.

His Destroyer would reign supreme.

----------

On the other side of the planet, a different Destroyer rocketed through the ocean. Hunting another healthy serving of Micro Oxygen, it found its target.

A large freighter docked near Miami. On board, the crew stood guard over a white shipping container. Emblazoned on the container was the now infamous Monarch logo. The Destroyer cared not for looks or designs. This was not a five star dining experience, This was a quest for power. It would be satisfied, no matter the taste.

It approached the vessel fast, not caring about being silent, or stealthy. With a burst of speed, the Destroyer leaped out of the water, and on to the boat. The men guarding the container leapt back in surprise, and one reached for his sidearm,drawing the weapon and aiming at the monster. He quickly fired off three shots, his bullet spread landing in a small grouping on the Destroyers face.

If the creature cared, it didn't show it.

Instead, the Destroyer lunged, targeting the human who had dared to fire on him. Using his secondary mouth, he gored the poor soul's skull, ending his life instantly. The second guard fared no better, encountering the claws that rested at the end of the Destroyers tail.

With its opposition dead, and remaining personnel fleeing or hiding, the Destroyer was free to feed. It approached the container, and easily made work of the metal. Inside was a large crate. The Destroyer chewed through the crates lid to reveal three containers, each transparent, with a slight purple hue in its contents. The Destroyer had its meal in the form of three micro oxygen samples.

Piercing each with its secondary mandibles, the Destroyer fed, siphoning the Micro Oxygen from each. As it grew, its weight began to tilt the ship, and eventually begin to crumple the haul. Workers and guards began to flee as the Destroyer pushed past 200 feet in height.

With the Micro Oxygen consumed, changes began within the Destroyer. Purple bolts of energy flowed through it, and it's eyes began to glow yellow. Suddenly, a beam of pure energy erupted from its maw, disintegrating a growing field of onlookers.

With its power growing, it departed into the sea, intent on hunting.

----------

"What the hell is that thing?!" Sam shouted, stunned at what he had just watched. Ilene, Valentina, Rick, and Mark all watched as the crimson beast departed into the sea, having just killed dozens of people.

"Some kind of new Titan." Mark answered. "But it went after the micro oxygen. No Titan naturally seeks Micro Oxygen… right?"

"Right." Rick answered. "But Micro Oxygen didn't exist until after the Oxygen Destroyer was dropped. Its essentially a new fuel source, and if this Titan can smell it, others might too."

"Do you think Micro Oxygen can attract new Titans?" Chen asked.

"Maybe…" Rick answered. "The issue is that we haven't seen its effects on any other Titan but Godzilla. It damn near killed him. If this thing is using it as a fuel source… that's not good."

"So what do we do?" Valentina asked.

Mark turned to Sam.

"I want every Monarch asset with Micro Oxygen in their manifest to be on high alert. This is what attacked the other team. Its feeding. We need effective measures in place to kill it."

"Or capture?" Valentina asked.

Mark shook his head, turning to her.

"Its killing with no remorse, like Ghidorah. There's no point."

"I'll put the order out right now." Sam said.

Mark nodded, and then turned to Chen and Rick.

"Stanton, I need you to get a lock on it and track it. Chen, I need to know everything you can find. Name, powers, weaknesses."

Both scientists nodded and scrambled off to their stations, leaving Valentina with Mark.

"Pavlov, locate any samples of Micro Oxygen in this facility and put them in lock up. We need to be prepared." Mark ordered.

"Got it." Pavlov said, departing quickly.

Mark turned to the viewscreen and tried to collect his thoughts. What was this thing? Why seek out Micro Oxygen? Why now?

He had a feeling that this would get worse, so he resolved to do one thing.

Get Madison.

----------

Godzilla heard the new call from half a world away. It wasn't natural. It sounded wrong, out of place. It was a chimera of sounds and vocalizations that didn't go together. It unsettled him. He had dealt with one invader, now another?

He released a roar, echoing on a high frequency reserved for two other Titans.

It was time to attack.

----------

Far above the middle east, Rodan heard Godzilla's call. An invader? Again? It wasn't right that so many new Titans stirred within the Earth, but now new ones were being born up here too? It didn't make sense. So much had changed.

Regardless, he responded. The beacon had been sounded, Godzilla calls for aid….

…..and Rodan will answer.

----------

It wasn't often that China's rainforests were at peace. But in the years since the rise of Godzilla, the land had seen the emergence of its rightful protector.

Her body began to glow as she was roused from her slumber. Her mighty body rose on shaky legs, fore-limbs stretching out in front of her.

From her resting place atop the temple, overlooking Outpost 61's ruins, Mothra stretched out her mighty wings and illuminated the area in a beautiful blue glow.

The King had called, and the order was under attack.

The Queen would defend it.

Chapter Text

Rodan blazed across the sky towards the target. Godzilla was much closer to the creature than he was, so it was imperative that he reduce the amount of time that Godzilla was alone aganist this strange foe. No one knew what damage it could do, and if it had attacked a human city, the humans would be trigger happy.

He heard Mothra far on the horizon, in the direction he was heading. She was approaching as well. How they would engage it in the water remained unclear to the One Born of Fire, but he supposed he could use old hunting tricks. It really depended on what they were up aganist, however. This wasn't like Typhon or Ghidorah, where they knew what they were fighting.

That made Rodan a little anxious. But he had faith.

And faith is all they needed sometimes.

----------

Mark marched into the command center, immediately approaching Rick, who was typing away at his console and glancing at his screen occasionally. The bioacoustics analyst was hard at work keeping track of whatever that creature was, as well as properly coordinating the numerous vessels in the ocean to get out of the way.

Which presented an unfortunate issue: the Panama Canal.

With a sigh, he turned to Mark.

"Boss? We got a problem."

"What is it?" Mark asked, walking over to the console. On the screen, a red blip was moving closer and closer to the canal.

"The Thing is moving towards the Panama Canal. There are several vessels in transit. They can't get out of the way in time." Rick explained, turning back to the screen with a weary look. Mark leaned in, eyeing the blip and the larger one behind it.

"Godzilla's already on it?" Mark asked.

"Yeah. G-Man overheard the commotion from his patrol route off of Bermuda. Made a hard turn and hauled ass over." Rick leaned forward. "He's gaining ground, but slowly. The creature will get through the canal, but I don't reckon much farther."

Mark nodded, and glanced at the whole display, eyeing the pacific. Skull Island was well out of the creatures way, and there was no Micro Oxygen there. The nearest container of it was on a shipment that was just past the island. It was bound for Sydney, if Mark remembered correctly.

Above that shipment was another blip.

Mark pointed to it, and looked at Rick.

"Is Mothra coming too?" He asked. Rick glanced at the marker, seeing it, but another blip behind Godzilla caught his eye.

"Rodan too." He answered, pointing to the Fire Demon's signature.

"Terrific." Mark sighed. He ran his hands through his hair in exasperation. He had FOUR Titans about to square off near the Panama Canal. Shipping lanes were already being disrupted, and it was genuinely icing on the shit-cake for his day.

Madison hadn't answered his call, so for the first time in months, Mark left a voicemail. He had explained what was going on, and that he would be up to get her as soon as it was dealt with. Fortunately, with Godzilla and Friends on the case, it wouldn't be long.

He just wanted a little peace. Was that too much to ask?

More footsteps behind him caused him to turn, seeing Ilene approaching him. Her eyes locked with his and she began to speak.

"I couldn't find anything on this Titan. No texts, paintings, or otherwise. Its a completely new Titan." She explained.

Rick chuckled darkly.

"Another invasive species." He murmured.

Mark ignored him, focusing on Chen.

"Any metaphors or religious texts from the region? Maybe his stories were blurred by time?"

But Chen shook her head. There was nothing.

Mark sighed once more.

"Thanks, Ilene." He said.

All of their eyes focused on the monitor. As Rick continued to coordinate the evacuation of the canal, the creature approached, with literal gods nipping at its heels.

----------

Jonah watched as the Titans chased the other Destroyer. He knew its composition, naturally, as a being of Micro Oxygen. Godzilla had size and strength, so it stood no chance.

He turned to the empty tank. Freshly drained of fluids, he knew that he had made the right call.

That Destroyer would die, and his would feed. Then, it would reign over all life. Godzilla wouldn't stand a chance.

The revolution was coming.

----------

Several hours passed, and the creature surfaced at the Panama Canal, hellbent on crossing to the Atlantic. It blazed across the landscape, leaving destruction in its wake. It didn't know that Godzilla was following it. The King of the Monsters had the element of surprise, and now that they were on land, he could get a good look at the monstrosity.

The crimson coloring made it stick out like a sore thumb, and it's many legs ended in sharp points, likely for defence. He would have to avoid those. At the tip of its tail was another set of claws, and a horn could be seen breaking out of its skull.

All in all, it was an abomination. It needed to be destroyed.

Godzilla broke out of the water and ran towards the creature, shaking the Earth to its core as he did. With a roar, he slammed into the creature as it rose to meet him. Caught off guard, it slid back as it tipped over.

It quickly righted itself, letting out a demonic shriek as a beam of purple energy erupted from its maw.

The blast hit Godzilla in the chest, knocking him down. The King shook his head, vision blurred. His body was tingly, and he was numb at the point of impact. Regardless, he stood, although it took more energy than he would care to admit. He had to avoid that beam.

He refocused on the creature in time to see it charge. The abomination slammed into Godzilla, ramming its crested head into his face. The horn narrowly went by Godzilla's skull. Getting hit with that would be very bad.

So Godzilla pushed the creature back, and fired his atomic ray. To his surprise, it didn't just char the creatures flesh….

It cut right through.

Green blood exploded out of the fresh wound as the creature shrieked in pain. In a rage it charged Godzilla, and slammed into him once more. This time, it extended its secondary mandibles, stabbing into Godzilla's chest. A few bursts of Micro Oxygen left his body, and entered into Godzilla's bloodstream.

Godzilla shoved the abomination back and fired his atomic ray, slicing up the torso of the creature. It turned and fled, trampling whatever was in its way as it hauled ass for the pacific ocean.

Godzilla made to follow, but a wave of fatigue and dizziness set in, and the King had to do a double take. Were there two creatures?

Before he could answer his own question, he tipped forward, and was unconscious before he even hit the ground. He would not stir for hours.

By the time Godzilla would awake, the Destroyer would be on another collision course, with a foe all to familiar.

----------

Madison watched as the news reported on the chaos at the Panama canal. The unknown creature was long gone, tracked well past the Galapagos on a warpath westward. Godzilla, on the other hand, had stirred several times since the encounter. Large amounts of clear fluid were being excreted from several wounds inside his body. He was fighting off an infection, Madison realized. The news only had glimpses and eyewitness accounts of the other Titan.

To make matters worse, Rodan had blown over what remained of the area in pursuit of the thread, injuring dozens of people. Madison didn't fault the Fire Demon, but it was still a tragedy. Godzilla and Rodan were pursuing the Titan, which in itself created concern. If this Titan wasn't an issue, Godzilla would have simply beat it into submission. But this was different. From what little Dad had told her, Rodan served as an aid to Godzilla's defense of the natural order. To see him in action meant that it could be in jeopardy.

Which raised questions about her father's safety. Madison didn't want him to get hurt. Hell, two different conflicts with Ghidorah had put the fear of god in her. But Dad was out there in the fight, trying to save the world. His life was in danger when things got bad.

She sighed and turned off the TV.

She needed to breathe.

She needed to think.

She needed to call her Dad.

She picked up her phone from the counter and pulled up his info. If she made this call, she knew where it would lead. She knew the world of Titans and Gods and Monsters would pull her back in. If there was any time to step back and change her mind, it was now.

But she couldn't. She had a feeling it would get bad. She needed to be there, to help her father.

She pressed call.

He answered on the second ring.

Chapter Text

The empty hallways of the Argo were far more welcoming than they were two months ago, when the wall panels were being torn off and inspected, and circuits repaired and rerouted. To Colonel Foster and Admiral Stenz, it had proved a worthwhile refit. The government had managed to avoid going over budget with the refit, and G-Team had proven more than competent with the weapons systems in the past few weeks.

While Foster was confident in the effectiveness of the Argo's upgrades, she wasn't so confident in the new crew. Of the 213 members of the Argo's former crew, only 20 remained onboard. Many had received (or requested) transfers to other stations. Some had retired.

It was detrimental in her eyes, to the ability of the Argo to perform its mission. G-Team's skill was one thing, but the absence of a proven pilot with a new Titan running amok wasn't appealing to her. She had tried to locate Jake Sampson, but he had retired following Vegas. His co-pilot, Eduardo Perez had also departed for greener pastures.

With a week until the first test flight, she needed to get a shortlist of potential additions to G-Team, as well as a new set of pilots for Alpha Shift.

Which brings her to the man beside her. Admiral William Stenz.

"Brackett isn't rated for this aircraft, Colonel. She may be sharp, but the Argo is not an F-18."

Foster nodded.

"What about Thrace?" She asked.

"Captain Thrace? Currently assigned to another project. I am under advisory to not move her."

"So who?" Foster pressed, coming to a stop as her tone betrayed a modicum of her frustration. Stenz eyed her, biting his lip and letting his gaze drift to the floor. He was deep in thought.

"I've got a pair. Dennis Gasol and Murray Fawcett. Pilot and Co-Pilot. They recently got their B-2 qualification done. Since they have no assignments, I can move them to training for the Argo pretty easily."

Foster hadn't heard the names before.

"Could I see their files?" She asked.

Stenz nodded "I'll have them on your desk tonight. But I'm not done."

Foster raised an eyebrow.

"I've got a replacement for Hendricks."

Foster frowned. She had wanted to vet all potential replacements, as a favor to Barnes. Her gut was telling her she wouldn't like where this was going.

"Who, sir?"

Stenz smiled.

"Captain Ford Brody."

----------

"Dad?"

"Hey, Maddie."

"...Hey."

"How are you? It's been… uh… it's been a minute."

"Several."

"Listen, I know we should talk. About everything that happened…"

"Where's the "but" in that?"

"Maddie… I don't know if you've been watching the news. There's another Titan out there."

"There are lots of Titans out there."

"Damn it Maddie! Just listen-"

"Why?! You never did! I told you not to do it! Not to wake up Ghidorah!"

"Mad-"

"No matter how much they-"

"Ma-"

"And you did it anyway! You kill-"

"I KNOW!"

"...what?"

"I said I know."

"Then why-"

"Because I needed you. I had lost your mother. I was running a sinking ship. I was broken, Madison. I didn't want to admit it Then, and even now I'm still hurting. I made a call at that moment."

"You didn't-"
.
"I know. But I did. I don't expect you to be grateful. I caved just like your mother."

"Dad I-"

"Look, there is a team on the way to get you. I'd do it myself but I'm needed here. Pack your bags. Be safe."

*click.*

"....I need you."

----------

Rodan blazed through the stratosphere en route to the target. The creature had decimated several human ships along its course, leaving a trail to follow. Godzilla had only recently stirred, and was far behind. Mothra was on an intercept, but Rodan was likely to meet it first.

The creature was approaching an Island Chain off of Peru's coast, having drifted South after its battle with the King of the Monsters. It was more aimless now, it's energy spent on the fight.

Or it was looking for something.

Rodan seemed inclined towards the second option.

He lowered his altitude several thousand feet, eyeing another wrecked ship. This one was turned over, and there was a lack of humans in the water.

Godzilla was going to be pissed.

With a low call, he sped up, seeking his target. He was getting closer, and so was Mothra.

----------

The Queen of the Monsters often enjoyed the rays of the Sun. Its blinding light masked it's pure energies, and Mothra knew that her connection to the Sun was more than just sustenance. It was spiritual, deep. It was in her blood and in her soul. That light is the brilliant light she wishes to match with her god rays.

But the Sun had yet to illuminate the evil that her and Rodan were hunting. Godzilla had caught up to it and been stunned long enough to lose the target. Rodan and her would not be so unfortunate. They had a plan.

Ultimately, the creature would either hit Antarctica, Rodan, or Mothra. Rodan was following it South, and she was flying in from the West. With Antarctica to the South, it could only avoid combat by going East, into the Cold Ocean.

But it seemed geared on heading South. It had long passed Skull Island and it's King. This creature had no clear destination. Maybe it was trying to lose them?

Either way, it was running out of time. A Queen's righteous fury was coming, with a Fire Demon to boot.

----------

Titanosaurus listened as the King and his slaves called out to each other. They were so pathetic, chasing this new creature to protect. They should chase it to fight! A good fight was all that mattered. Life itself was a test of strength and power!

His blood boiled at the thought of his prior run in with Godzilla. That fight hadn't gone his way, and it aggravated him. Angered him to his core. He used that memory to stoke the fire that was raging within.

He stirred, resolve setting in. He would crush this new creature. Then he would beat Godzilla and his slaves into the ground. Only the strongest should survive.

Titanosaurus refused to bow.

----------

The smell of bacon stirred Ford Brody from his sleep. He moved his head, searching for his clock.

Seven.

With a barely suppressed groan, Ford sat upright and put his feet on the floor. He blinked. Then he blinked again. It had been a long night, and he was feeling it. More nightmares, and more torment by then.

Them.

They had a name. Government assigned. But it didn't matter to Ford. Those parasites were monsters, not Titans like Godzilla. The fact that a third one was walking around had him worried. Would it come for him? His family?

Family.

Ford looked to the other side of his bed, where the mattress was flat from where Elle had slept. She was likely the one cooking bacon, given that Sam was eleven and mastering French toast, despite Elle's best efforts to raise a Pancake child. Ford considered it a small victory.

Small victories were all he had some days.

He went to the closet and picked out his utility uniform. Today was an office day, pushing paperwork through so that the Navy could keep on churning. Despite the world being full of giant monsters, the DoD still seemed to be hellbent on making papercuts standard issue.

Dressed and relatively squared away, Ford walked down the stairs, boots thudding on the steps as he made his way to the kitchen. Throwing a smile on his face, Ford rounded the corner…

...and the smile fell right off.

Sitting at the table, flanked by several other sailors in utility wear, was Rear Admiral Russell Hampton, former Captain of the USS Saratoga, now Naval Advisor to Admiral Stenz.

Ford hadn't seen the man since 2015, when the debriefing had concluded. He hadn't said a word, and was rather curious as to why the man was in his kitchen, getting breakfast from his wife, while his kid was most likely (and had better be) getting dressed up stairs.

"Captain Brody. I'm assuming you have time for a chat?" Hampton asked, eyes scanning the younger man.

To his right, Elle spoke up.

"We have visitors…"

Ford sighed.

"Thanks, honey."

Elle switched the burner off, laying a paper towel onto a plate and scooping the bacon onto it. And moved the plate to the table, and approached Ford.

"I'm gonna go get Sammy ready for school. You've got a lot to talk about later." She kissed him on the cheek and marched up the stairs, leaving Ford with Hampton and his escort.

"Yes ma'am." He muttered, moving to the table and taking a seat. As he sat, he extended a hand to the Admiral.

"Sir." Ford greeted.

"Captain." Hampton replied, shaking the hand firmly. "You can be at ease."

Ford nodded, relaxing marginally.

"I'm going to cut to the chase, Captain Brody." Hampton began.

"We have an offer for you. Straight from Colonel Foster of G-Team."

Ford blinked. "G-Team?"

Hampton nodded "G-Team is a boots on the ground reaction force for crisis situations involving Titans. They are under the command of Colonel Foster and operate out of the USS Argo."

"The big stealth jet?" Ford asked.

"Yes." Hampton replied "I'm assuming you'll be asking about your family?"

Ford nodded.

Hampton leaned forward, hands clasped together.

"We have a few options…."