Reddit Prompt: Kaiju (Godzilla, Mothra etc) and Chthulu – Part 6

We weren’t the first to engage.

The Donkeys, as much as they were a perfect example of a brutal oppressive dictatorship under the illustrious leader Kim Jong Ko, were also a perfect example of military proficiency. Ranks and ranks of foot soldiers backed by their dated artillery had moved at a seemingly impossible speed from Pyongyang, crossing the distance efficiently with no care of the individual’s state; a single entity that consumed the miles eagerly. Approaching the target area Titan reached the top of a hill crushing underneath it the flowers of late summer that were spread everywhere, adding blue and red splashes in the lush, green grass. The sight that greeted us will forever be locked in my memory.

My immediate thought was to a book I had read as a child, one that my grandparents had shown to me and that had become a favorite. The book, called “The Lorax”, was a tale of warning of misuse of resources. At the end of the book the ruins of a once bountiful countryside were shown as decimated; stumps being all that remained of the trees with blackened turf from all the machines. Shattered wood was scattered all over the giant clearing; all of the grass dead and the flowers gone. Holes in the terrain were blackened where artillery shells had clearly missed their targets, causing fires to burn here and there, eating what remained of the trees. The Donkeys had engaged at the side of the clearing opposite to us. I am absolutely certain of this because most of them were still  there.

I’ve seen battlefields. I’ve seen people die. I’d never seen a massacre of that magnitude before. Bodies weren’t  lying there, they were strewn across wide areas; no single corpse identifiable in the rivers of blood that flowed downhill with chunks of flesh floating in them like little boats. Artillery had fared somewhat better. At least there were recognizable pieces of the machines amongst the carnage, severed chunks of metal that looked as if they were just butter to some hot knife. Something had made human mashed potatoes out of the Donkey’s Elite troops.

A few seconds passed slowly before Giant’s voice split the silence over the com.

“Holy fuckfire.”

The comment was a mental kick-start.

“Snow, Twinkle, eyes on the sky. Find it. Zon, what’s on the satellite feed? Get me a  target now.” I grabbed the mic for the com. “Scout, Heavy, this is Titan, you are green-light. Bring down any damn in the air.” I turned to Hardass whose face had hardened to granite. “Sergeant.”

He turned to me and our eyes locked. I’d done my part for now, I’d got us here in position. Now it was time to count on decades of combat experience. He nodded once.

“Right you bastards, it’s duck  hunting time.”

I sat back as he took over the direction of the tanks and racked my brain for anything I could have missed, any small piece of information on Rodan that could explain the violence. I didn’t sit long.

To the west and a bit south of us, lights flashed and cracks rent the air as the familiar sound of the 105mm began hurling explosive anti-tank rounds.

“Titan, this is Scout we have contact at your 1 o’clock, 5 clicks out and approaching fast.”

“Damnit Zon, where was the warning?”

“Sarge, Satellite feed is clean, it must not…”

“Fuck it. Don’t matter now. Ladies, if you please?”

Twin auto-load 125mm high-velocity killing tools ripped the air apart only seconds apart as White and Twinkle picked up the target and let it have everything that a runaway military budget could muster. Round after round shot into the air and for a moment, a brief moment, I hoped that we would catch the bastard before it arrived.

“Holy shit that thing is moving!”

“Scout, shut up and shoot. Heavy, whenever you feel like joining the party, we’d fucking appreciate it. Ceilidh, I’d prefer not to be sitting still when that thing gets here.”

“Feckin’ reit Sarge!”

It took the giant winged beast from hell that was Rodan about 10 seconds to go from 5km out to spitting distance. The damned thing was like a 15 story building with four times that in wingspan skidding in the air to hover right above the ruin that it had created. The massive wave of air created by the beast decelerating nearly tipped the Titan right up off the ground, and skewed the ladies’ aim.

An ear-splitting screech rang out over the sound of the guns as the boys in the Scout adjusted their aim and laid into the demon bird. It turned towards the fire, massive beak opening. A catastrophic wave flowed out of its mouth visible as it distorted the air and accelerating violently into the Scout’s forest cover. Trees were ripped out of the ground and flung into the air, splitting and breaking into a whirlwind of flying debris. Dust and rocks spun and wildly, scattered out in all directions, creating a temporary cloud of complete cover around the whole area.

Hawkeye chose that moment of cover to let go with the Heavy’s main Gun. The Titan was designed to take fire, the Scout to avoid it. The Heavy, well, it had only one purpose. The specially fitted 250mm Baby Gustav armour-piercing Groundsplitter sent a shockwave across the ground as its blinding light, dampened by the dust, fought to brighten the day. Dust cover intensified as the wave hurled ground detritus into the air right before the horrific impact of shell on bird.

If you’ve ever had someone clap their hands together hard with your head directly in between, you’ll have some  idea of what the impact felt like.

“Confirmed hit.” came Hawkeye’s voice through the come, though how he knew through the dust I can’t guess, but his statement was confirmed by a cry of rage  and pain that was followed closely by the ground shaking like a damn earthquake.

“Fucking thing falls hard!” Hardass spat out of the tank. “Girls, don’t let it up again for Christsake.”

“Birdy fall, birdy fly, people fighting, people die.”

“Not now Gaga. Scout, report.” Zon pushed the giggling Gaga back down into a chair as she was trying to stand up as she sang.

“This is Scout. We’re a little bit sideways, but still alive.”

A violent whump echoed as Rodan trying to right itself  flapped its wings hard, clearing away some of the dust. It was dead in the center of the clearing struggling to stand, blood running from a violent wound in its left leg. Its head turned towards us, beady eyes narrowing.

“Ceilidh, we need to leave, now.” I said, trying to maintain my calm as the creature struggled onto its feet, still able to support its weight after having the massive round embedded in its thigh.

“Tryin’ Keptin,”

“Ceilidh…” I remember my voice trailing off as the creature opened its beak.


Reddit Prompt: Kaiju (Godzilla, Mothra etc) and Chthulu – Part 5

I tried to explain and they tried to understand. Considering I barely understood it myself it was not an easy process.

As far as Hardass and I could understand from our communications with Abnor HQ combined with what pieces of information  Hawkeye could provide,  we had determined two things. First, the scars on my chest were an indication of the level of Kaiju activity. The more sand in the lower area, the more activity. The second thing we discovered was the true power and horror of the book as well as its name, Chtholous . By touching the Chtholous I had released some of the power inside into myself, the power of the Elder God, Chthulu. Yeah. That one took some getting used to. I can assure you there were some objections to that explanation. Godzilla is hard enough to accept, but Chthulu?

The Chtholous, to our best guess, was created to prevent the Kaiju and Elder God from achieving complete dominance over humanity. How Hawkeye came to have it, I will never know since he refused to speak on the subject, but now that we had it, it didn’t matter anymore. I touched it, I released some of the power essentially turning myself into a crack in the defenses of the book. It would never have happened except for the radiation. The Fukushima spill so many years ago had been leaking radiation into our water for decades, eating away at all of the precautions that had been put in place to prevent the weakening of the book’s shields. A perfect storm of radiation over time combined with our location, near the highly radioactive Japan Sea, between two countries that had both done thorough nuclear testing underground brought us to the moment when the shields had come down for a just a moment, turning the book green, giving the power a tiny chance.

I had unleashed the power. Cracked the defenses permanently. It was leaking. Now what once had been a long, arduous process of slow decay, allowing the appearance of Kaiju infrequently, a drip of power, had turned into a stream. We could no longer count time among our allies.

So we trained.

Twelve days we drilled formations, strategies, targeting. Hawkeye oversaw the instructing of the gunners and Hardass the drivers. I read. I read everything I could get my hands on through our pathetically slow internet connection. I read everything I could find on Kaiju, on Chthulu, on anything I could find to give us an edge. I watched all the old movies, hoping for a hint of truth in the methods used to kill the monsters, praying that there was some way to undo the damage which I had done. I couldn’t find a way to halt the flow.

On the 11th day, we received the first confirmation of Kaiju sighting. Godzilla, off the coast of Taizhou, China.

On the 12th day, we received the first confirmation of engagement. Godzilla, Wenzhou, China.

On the 13th day, the casualty list came in . Wenzhou: Gone, decimated. No confirmed survivors. Second confirmation of Kaiju Sighting. Rodan, Chorwon, North Korea. The Donkeys needed our help.

Being deployed about 20km northeast of Cheorwon, SK, we were the closest confirmed Abnor group. We received our orders. 40km to engagement across the border and rough terrain.  I gave the order, and we packed up.

We left at 11:20am, approximately 4 hours of travel to achieve engagement due to the terrain and the limiting speed of the Titan. The Scout rode 2km ahead, Dee and Dum sending back reports every 10 minutes on the layout of the terrain. That was the longest time that I’ve ever experienced, an eternity passing between every report. The radio sat silent during that time as did we, the Titan filling with Cigar smoke and that of Ceilidh’s cigarettes. Normally I would have called them on it but when you’re driving to what is likely your death, things like that don’t seem to matter as much.

I remember watching the scenery go by, the couple of lakes that we passed, the trees, rocks, small animals… and I remember so much clarity in them. Never had a lake looked so blue, the surface a sheet of glass in the mid-day calm that reflected the foliage around it, colours appearing so vibrant as to have come from a little child’s painting. As we passed, the Titan sent out shockwaves through the ground which flowed out into the water, disturbing the perfect tranquility and obscuring the reflections, transforming them into disfigured abominations of their previous selves. Textures jumped out at me off of otherwise uninteresting rocks, demanding my attention. Every motion, every new colour, new rock, new tree was a distraction by my senses, desperately trying to ward off the despair that sought a crack in my mental defenses.

Each of us in the Titan were lost in our own thoughts when the call came in from the Twins.

“Titan this is scout, respond, over.”

Ceilidh jumped out of her reverie and spit a cigarette across the tank as Zon, sitting beside the still barely coherent Gaga, flicked the com switch.

“Scout go for Titan, over.”

“Feckin’ gart me spit mah fag, th’ bastards.”

“Ceilidh, can it.” spat Hardass, leaning back and looking up, his eyes glazing over. I’m sure his mind took him back to his time fighting the monstrosity whose bigger badder brother waited for us ahead.

“Titan, we have confirmed visual on one giant flying dinosaur looking… thing. Approximately 1.8km from your current position. Permission to engage. Over”

“That’ll be Rodan.” said Hardass, closing his eyes. “Keep those two away from that damned bird.”

Amazon looked at me, and at my nod of confirmation spoke into the microphone again. “That’s a Negative Scout, repeat, do NOT engage. Confirm. Over.”

There was a moment of radio silence before a somewhat disheartened voice came in across the speakers. “Confirmed, Titan. Orders? Over.”

I raised my pointing finger and crooked it towards myself. Zon nodded. “Get back here yesterday Scout. Titan out.”

Looking outside for a moment, I slowed my breathing. Sunlight shined through into the Titan, wisps of cigar smoke wandered out and faded from view, dissipating as it floated into the clear sky. The whole world slowed down and I could feel my heart rate dropping as the beating filled my world. Thump thump… thump thump. It rang out, echoed across my senses, vibrating against my chest. Thump thump… …. Thump thump. My gaze broke, became unspecific and unfocused, fuzzy, the environment blurring and merging together as it flowed by. That was my time, my moment. That was the moment before I fell back on my training, before I became a Captain and no longer a person, no more an individual; a trained, perfect military killing machine. The moment died and I let my weaknesses go with it.

“Accelerate the Heavy 2 degrees north by northwest, Titan will engage first. Get the Scout coming round from the south. Zon, get Hawkeye on the com and tell him that he’s going to have a giant aerial moving target doing a Mach and a half. Twins need to know as well. SNOW!”


“You and Twinkle better be on your best behaviour up there, I want that thing down before the other two have a chance to touch it.”

A giggle came from up top. “You betcha Cap, we’ll drop it before the Heavy boys even see it.”

“Good. Zon, open com at all times. Hardass,”


“Keep them in line and Ceilidh?”

“Whit ye need Keptin?”

“Fucking step on it.”

Reddit Prompt: Kaiju (Godzilla, Mothra etc) and Chthulu – Part 4

There was a few minutes in which order was almost impossible. In these situations a commander has to make the right choice or risk doing damage to the mental status of his command. Immediately shutting everyone down after making a statement like that can breed discontent or even rebellion. I let them talk, grunt, laugh nervously… whatever they needed to do to react. Order was finally restored when Hardass barked a command.

“This is your one and only chance to ask questions. After this we’re going straight to full alert status. Go.”

Several people started talking at once so I raised a hand to halt everyone. “Giant, go.”

Giant stood slowly and drew himself up to his full height, barely taller than Tiny still sitting beside him. “We’ve been sitting here for two fucking days,  doing shit fuck all, and now you waltz in here and tell us that Monsters are real. We’re supposed to just trust you on this? How in a endless pile of shit do you expect us to believe that you haven’t just gone charging headlong out of your mind?”

“Meadow,” came a small voice from the back of the room, “Who will stand in the meadow while the sea rises?”

We all turned to look at Gaga. It was the first time she had spoken since the incident with her radio. She very slowly smiled a slightly too wide smile but said nothing further.

“To your first question,” I said, pulling my gaze from Gaga’s grim grin, “Yes, you’re supposed to trust me. Keep in mind that I just learned this two days ago as well and have done enough to convince myself. As for your second, you have two choices. Put the trust in your commanding officer, or desert and face the court marshal. If you believe you have sufficient evidence to convince a tribunal that I’ve, to paraphrase, lost my marbles, that is your choice.”

Our eyes connected and a silence fell. I could feel everyone tense, all eyes watching us. Finally, he snorted and sat again, folding his arms and leaning back in his chair. Tiny lent over and whispered something in his ear. He nodded, keeping his eyes on mine.

“Ceilidh, ask.”

She pulled the cigarette out of her mouth and blew a puff. “Roight. If , whit th’heel ur we gonnae dae?”

I did my impression of artist-with-painter’s-block’s canvas. I turned to Hardass and raised an eyebrow.

“Roughly, ‘If you’re not full of shit, what do we do?’”

“That’s whit Ah said, ye scunners.”

“Ah. We prepare. I will detail our orders and plan in a moment. Twinkle, you had something, floor is yours.”

I had never seen Twinkle look as tired as she did at that moment. She gave a quick glance to Dee who nodded encouragement.

“Cap… you know that we’ve always followed orders without question.” She began wringing her hands together and looked down to the ground. “What you did to Dum though… and Tiny… you should have died being hit there. What’s going on with you?”

I saw several heads nod in agreement with her question. I glanced sideways and Hawkeye tilted his head down a fraction. Since we had determined through our communications that in all matters Kaiju, he actually outranked me, I needed his permission to say what needed to be said.

“A fair question that needed to be asked.”

 Twinkle looked up at me the relief obvious in her eyes. “Thanks Cap.”

I took a breathe and let it out slowly. “As far as we can tell, the book that Hawkeye had  is somehow connected to the sudden appearance of the Kaiju. It’s an artefact found in Mayan ruins by the Abnors, given to Hawkeye to study while here. This appears to have been a mistake considering how it has reacted. We’re not sure, but we believe that the symbols are related somehow to the end of days. By picking up the book in the state it was in, with the current status of the Kaiju…” I hesitated a moment, steeling myself for what had to be said next.

“I’ve started the countdown to Armageddon.”

Reddit Prompt: Kaiju (Godzilla, Mothra etc) and Chthulu – Part 3

“Bullshit.” Giant stood and started to storm out of the room before my raised hand stopped him. “Cap, you can’t be fucking serious, listening to this.”

“Explain the book burning and my chest.”

A stunned look crossed his face for a split second before he folded his arms and pointedly shut his mouth.


“It’s Godzilla. For real, not a machine, not an illusion. Godzilla. We got the order to fire. Half the guys just shit themselves right there. The kid beside me starting bawling for his mother. I pulled my trigger and didn’t let go.” he puffed again, sending smoke in a long stream across the room as we listened. “The story doesn’t do justice to the brutality of that thing. Blue energy laid waste to the artillery behind us and carved men up like a hot knife through butter. Some of us held the line, locked our trigger fingers and froze up. They had to pry the damn weapon out of my hand afterwards. I have no idea how he was beaten. Took a bloody limb to the face and woke up the next day. We were sent home and sworn to secrecy.  I’ve told no one until now. The reason I’m telling you is that thing on your chest and the book. We were given a list of symbols to watch out for. Those two are the worst possible two.”

“Worst?” came the gentle voice of Hawkeye barely audible. “They mean the end of days. The Apocalypse. We’re all going to die.”

“Let me get this straight,” Amazon rubbed her eyes with thumb and forefinger, “We’re facing monsters out of black and white B movies?”

“This is grade-A, primo first prize Elder God fucking damned bullshit.”

“Unfortunately, Giant, elder god is correct.” Hawkeye reached into his shirt and withdrew a pendant. It was gold flecked with silver, an eye in the middle containing a red ruby. “Twenty-nine years ago there was a massive Earthquake in Japan. The resulting Tsunami and devastation caused a nuclear power plant to spill its content continuously into the water for a dozen or so years. Once the flow was under control, that’s when the problems started.”

“I remember that. That matches timelines more or less with the disaster relief.” Tiny volunteered, his massive fists clenching and unclenching on the table in front of him.

“Yes, and now Godzilla is the least of our worries,” Hawkeye turned to Hardass, “I believe, sir, that the time has come to implement the O2 strategy.”

“Agreed. The reports coming in are not good.”

I raised a hand, halting them. “Reports Sergeant? What reports? There’s been nothing on the com for two weeks,”

Hardass flicked his Cigar into the sand and stomped on it, grinding it out. “These aren’t com reports Captain. It’s time you learned of the Abnors.”

Two days passed and I floated along like a bird on the thermals, barely able to comprehend what was being told to me. My origami world view was ripped and torn apart leaving only shreds of belief and understanding. I learned that the monsters that haunt children’s nightmares are real. I learned that our government knows this, and keeps it as hidden as possible from the population to prevent widespread panic and I learned of the Abnors.

The Abnors are the world’s best kept secret. A select group of people trained to defend the world against irradiated and abnormal threats, created at the time of the fallout from the Nuclear explosions in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. I am writing this because it appears they have failed. No longer does their cover matter. Hawkeye and Hardass were both Abnors, under cover agents in our squad placed because we were deployed at the center of a hotspot of activity. SK and Donkey agents had both sent increasingly alarming reports of tectonic activity in multiple different mines close to the border followed by disturbing cosmic activity; meteors hitting down that had life signs on them, miners turning up shredded… the works. The Chinese/Japanese conflict had been created as a cover by the Abnors to hide the fact that Godzilla had once again returned and was threatening the coastlines of both countries. Japanese special forces had been dispatched under the cover of an invasion to try and deal with the oncoming threat using experimental weapons that had been in secret development since the last attack. So far, they were proving just effective enough to keep the monster at bay. Our squad had been picked to be deployed here because we were the best, I was the best. Two days they spent getting the information straightened out and explaining it to me, two days of planning while the rest of the squad waited outside. Snow was with us since Hardass had her pegged for recruitment and there was no more time to groom. At the end of the time, I called a meeting of everyone to prepare them for what was coming.

Having been mostly repaired since my unfortunate rampage, the main tent was incredibly hot but at least somewhat clean. Hardass and I stood outside the door, he with a cigar and me my thoughts, some more toxic than the foul smelling smoke that hung in the air.

“They’re ready for you, Captain.”

I scanned the horizon as was habit, though usually I sought gunfire or explosions while this time I looked for anything and everything that could be a sign of what we knew was coming. “Right.” I delayed another minute, considering the past, considering what humanity had wrought. I remember that moment so clearly. I was about to walk into a tent and give a speech that would not only forever change the way a dozen people saw the world, it would also let them know that, without a miracle, their life expectancy was about to drop to less than a year at absolute best. A sharp pain on my chest brought me collapsing back to reality. I pulled up my shirt and looked. The carved red points were moving downwards, accelerating now, I could almost see them move as I watched. Hardass raised an eyebrow and I nodded once, dropping the shirt and idly smoothing it out.

“Right Sergeant, let’s get them ready.”

I strode into the tent, putting on my best poker face. Everyone was in something of a prepared condition though it was clear that the days had been weighing on them all. Dee and Dum sat with Twinkle on a bench against the far wall having a muted conversation while Dum was rolling his arms, still trying to rehabilitate them. Amazon was with Gaga who, though she was on her feet, was still fairly incoherent and would only allow Zon near her. Ceilidh was smoking in the far corner, a pile of butts at her feet while Hawkeye and Snow White were standing near the door, waiting for me. I was most worried about Giant. He sat with Tiny, clearly fuming. Sitting still was never his thing, and having nothing to do for two days had certainly not sweetened his mood.

“Some of this is going to be difficult to hear and harder to accept,” I said, drawing everyone’s attention and ceasing all the minor conversations. “Let me assure you that I have triple checked what Sergeant Hardenust and Special Operative Hawkeye have said through every possible method available to me at this time.” I folded my arms and straightened my back, as if in a dream. “What they have said is true. Godzilla is rampaging in China, the Donkeys suspect that there is a Winged Beast currently under the ground fairly close to here identified as Rodan and SK Abnor command has confirmed the presence of extra-terrestrial life on meteorites that crashed into the Sea of Japan.” I took a deep breath and let it out slowly.

“Monsters are real. They are called Kaiju, and we’re going to kill them.”

Reddit Prompt: Kaiju (Godzilla, Mothra etc) and Chthulu – Part 2

I would learn afterwards that it was exactly 18 minutes later that I woke up, lying on the table in the center of the tent. Tiny had my legs, one held by each  massive hand. Giant was clinging to my right arm, Ceildh to my left with one of Dee or Dum holding down my forehead. Amazon had a hand on my chest and an automatic pistol aimed directly between my eyes. I took this in and reacted as my training had taught me. I didn’t fucking move.

“Don’t move, sir.” said Amazon, confirming my initial instincts as the correct ones.

“Report.” I said automatically.

The gun didn’t waver at all. “You picked up Hawkeye’s book and then, if you’ll pardon the expression, lost your  baby shit, sir. It took Tiny and the Twins to stop you from tearing Gaga apart with your bare hands.”

I started to speak but she interrupted. “She’s alive sir, deaf in the left ear, but you didn’t do that. We can’t get her to make sense, she keeps babbling. Hawkeye isn’t talking, but I think he knows what’s happening.”

“Where’s the Sergeant?”

“Covering you from the door, sir. I’m going to remove this weapon now, and we’re going to let you up slowly.”

“What the fuck, Zon?!” I heard Giant exclaim, “He nearly tore Dee’s fucking arms off! And I’ve never seen anyone take a right hook from Tiny and not even fucking flinch.”

“That was Dum,” said what had to be Dee, “and they’re not off. They’re just… dangly.”

“Shut up, both of you. This is Sarge’s order and I mean to obey them, especially since he’s pointing a laser scope tri-barrel automatic death stick pointed at us that could easily tear a hole a building let alone the Captain here.”

She moved the pistol back and took several steps backwards herself while the rest of the squad gingerly let me go. I sat up slowly, head pounding. “Dum… status?”

“Two dislocated shoulders, now set.” said Amazon, maintaining her pistol position.  “Nothing he hasn’t seen before. He’s recovering with Gaga.”

I put both hands on my head to try and stop the pounding. A few seconds of controlled breathing helped numb the pain. I swung my legs over the side of the table, the motion causing everyone except Amazon to either flinch or physically step back. As the cloudiness in my head cleared, I looked around the tent. It was trashed. The table was the only piece of furniture not in splinters. Electronics and audio equipment were strewn across the floor and the water basin was in three pieces. Out of the corner of my eye, I caught a glimpse of motion at the doorway. Hardass had raised and cocked the rifle.

“You just move nice and slow now sir,” he said in a dangerously quiet voice, “and you just lift up your shirt and show me your chest.”

“My shirt? I…” I started, shocked at the indecency of the request to a superior officer.

“Tell you what Sir,” he interrupted, “You show me your chest and I won’t pull this here trigger and shred it, are we clear?”

I moved without further consideration. The tone had convinced me that if I didn’t remove my shirt in the next few seconds bits of me would hit the far wall. I removed it and looked down. There was an hourglass carved into it, still bloody, about half of the sand was carved with pinpricks into the top and a small string of pinpricks falling through to a pile on the bottom. My jaw dropped, but so did Hardass’ gun.

“That’s bad.”

“What? What is? What is this?!” I was  starting to lose patience with this situation. “Get Hawkeye here now.” I said, not to anyone in particular. Dee vanished out of the tent, beating Twinkle to it by a solid five steps. She hesitated and slid back against the wall, dropping down to a seating position and pulling her knees up.

“That book, that’s the problem. It’s too late now though. Everyone sit. It’s time you learn why we’re actually here.” he lent the rifle up against one of the tent’s supporting poles and pulled out a cigar, biting the end of.  Hawkeye and Dee returned as Hardass lit the cigar and blew  a few smoke rings. Hawkeye looked broken. His eyes were sunken and he had turned even whiter than when I had last seen him.

“First off, this ain’t Hawkeye’s fault. I know you’re thinking that. He couldn’t have know what that book is capable of.” he nodded Hawkeye who stared blankly back. “Now this is important. Shit has recently hit the fan. Not the bullcrap story about Japan and China fighting, the SKs in trouble from the Donkeys and everything else that you think you know.” he puffed and spat. “Doesn’t it strike you as odd that the Donkey’s can’t hit shit? I mean, fucking seriously. They’re useless but not THAT useless. If they wanted to hit us, we’d be a crater by now. They’re missing on purpose to keep the public from outright panic.”

Amazon interrupted “What about the invasion of China?”

“What about it? Have you been there?”

“No, but the videos coming out of China…” said Twinkle from the set against the wall.

“Right, because the Chinese don’t control their media. They’re letting the videos that they want you to see out because the truth is worse. Much worse. They ain’t gonna be able to hide it for much longer, but the Chinese/Japanese alliance insisted they be given a chance to try and take care of it themselves.”

“An alliance? Between those two? Fucking impossible!” said Giant.

“Exactly. That’s why no one would ever guess what’s really going on. That and it’s un-fucking-believable. Unless you’ve seen it of course.” the red end of the cigar brightened as he inhaled hard. “We are facing all of the bad shit out of the worst fucking Japanese movies that you can possibly imagine.”

No one spoke for a moment, then Ceilidh burst into relieved laughter which was joined by a few others. I held up a hand and it slowly died. “You better explain yourself Sergeant.”

“I got posted to China fifteen years back, just outside of Ningbo. It was explained as ‘disaster relief’, which was true after a fashion. We showed up and the platoon set up camp. We ran a couple of drills, strange drills, like we were trying to shoot down airplanes with our rifles. Then one morning, we marched to the sea and stood there, lines of us standing in perfect formation. Not for long though. An hour later, the sea began to boil, the clouds spun around overhead, some crazy funnel thing formed about 1500 meters out. Then I saw something that I will never forget to the end of my days.” he puffed again, clearly enjoying the attention.

“What?” asked Tiny, on the edge of his seat, massive head hunched over.

“God. Fucking. Zilla.”

Reddit Prompt: Kaiju (Godzilla, Mothra etc) and Chthulu – Part 1

The end is nigh.

It will come from the depths. Blackness, crushing pressure; an abyss housing our doom… and yet… the end of the world will be a relief for me.

My name is Xaio. I will give no family name, for should anyone find this, my family name would live in infamy for eternity. Not that I expect anyone to find this. I write it for myself, to place the final thoughts of the endbringer to paper so as not to think them any more.

Where to begin?

It was eight months ago that the first attack came, but the beginning was probably two years ago when I finished my training and took command of the Omega tank squad. (I’m changing names of course, I wouldn’t want anyone to search for further information on me. The nicknames are real though, no one would write them down officially anywhere.) We were three tanks; one light, one heavy and a Titan class mobile Bunker. Those were good days. As much as I came out of school with a complete understanding of the mechanics of the vehicles, situational planning, terrain, supply, strategy… my assigned sergeant, who some days had trouble counting his fingers, knew more about combat and warfare than I could ever hope to learn.

Sergeant Hardenust (everyone called him Hardass) had seen more action than a Taiwanese prostitute on a military base. He joined up at 15, lying successfully about his age, and from that time to the day I met him was deployed, as he put it, ‘an imperial fuckton’. He couldn’t think his way out of a cardboard box, but he could people to follow him and was like the eye of the storm in any emergency.

There were ten others after the two of us. Twin brothers who called themselves Dee and Dum made the scout tank look like it was running itself. The heavy driver, a skinny 5 foot nothing walking proof of small man syndrome, we called Giant and his controller we called Tiny since he was of course pushing 7 foot. Our heavy gunner was Hawkeye after that stupid military show, well, that and he could hit an apple on someone’s head from six kilometres.

I rode the Titan along with Hardass, which was nicknamed the ladies room by the rest of the crew, although they didn’t dare say it out loud. We had four with us, our driver, Ceilidh was a red-haired Scottish demon, quick to laugh, quicker to anger. No one dared nickname her although Mestopheles was thrown around; never around her. Communications was Gaga (as in Radio, not Lady), tough chick, built like a cliff in body and face. The tank controller, Amazon, rivalled Tiny in height and had a buzzed head. Amazon was the only one who could give Hardass a run for his money, especially during… well, let’s just say for about a week a month, I pitied the enemy. Then the gunners, Snow White and Twinkle. The first was a model ripped right out of any man’s wildest dreams but cold, calculating, with better aim than Hawkeye; the other a good time girl with a twinkle in her brown eyes, always up for it wherever with whoever. Of course, I once watched her get out of the tank after an all-clear and kick the absolute shit out of pile of flesh that had once been a man.

We trained together for a full six months, learning each other’s strengths and weaknesses and during that time I like to think they came to respect me, albeit begrudgingly. I don’t want to brag, but we never lost a competitive exercise; my strength in strategic thinking ripping apart the plans of our adversaries. Of course, it helped that Hardass hated to lose and had the squad training to their absolute physical and mental limits.

During the East Asia conflict after the successful invasion of China by Japan, about a month after our training finished, we were deployed in South Korea to keep the Donkeys at bay. (Some gamer kid read NK as DK and started calling North Korea, Donkey Korea and it stuck) It wasn’t a hard assignment. We sat at the border and watched the missiles streaking into the sky before the anti-air field blew them up well above the country. Occasionally an order would come through to send them back a present and Hawkeye and Snow would let it rip, but we really never hit anything which pissed off Ceilidh to no end.

“Nae fakin’ drivin’, nae fakin’ hittin’ shit.” I can still hear her grating voice echoing around the Titan. No one told her to stop. She was just giving voice to what we were all thinking. No one liked being cooped up in a giant metal sweat machine. That’s when we really got to know each other, when heat and boredom have set in and it’s only 11 in the morning. On those days we settled into something of a routine. Dee and Dum would start singing across the radio with Twinkle joining in. Amazon and Ceilidh would play cards with Snow while Gaga usually just rested with headphones blocking out the out of tune renditions of pop music that the twins belted out. Tiny and Giant would work out together, taking turns doing callisthenics with Giant trying to compete. Hawkeye. Hawkeye sat at his gun, reading out of a tattered old book with some strange writing on the cover. I’d never seen the language before and he certainly wasn’t talking about it. We asked him a couple of times but he just winked and said nothing.

After a few weeks of firing uselessly across the border, we got stood down from high alert and could actually leave the tanks during the day. We had a half decent camp site set up for our use and a communal tent that everyone sat in during the day. That was when we had our first indications that something was wrong.

“Tha fak are you doin’?” Ceilidh’s voice hit the ears like a cheese grater, still harsh after nearly a year.

Dee and Dum stopped their two man attempt at a human pyramid. “It’s called fun.” “Yeah, try it sometime!” they switched places, one standing on the other’s back.

“Give it a rest you two,” Amazon said before Ceilidh could really get into cursing. “Go outside if you want to do that crap.”

The twins shrugged and throwing a quick salute ran out the tent flaps to burn their vast expanses of energy. Amazon went back to studying the maps on the table in front of her, while Ceilidh lit  a smoke and starting muttering under her breath. Snow and Hawkeye were sitting at the end of the table, and he was showing her the outside of his book, a glimpse of white symbols that almost appeared to be glowing in the light barely visible on the cover.

“We need some fucking action,” said Giant beside me, “The whole battlegroup is just sitting here picking our noses while the Japs are burning through China. Shit, it’s not like the fucking Donkeys can do more than spit. They’re the military equivalent of a fucking water fight.”

“Until they decide to bring out the nukes.” Tiny suggested. “Detonating those in the air wouldn’t make any difference, we’d still all melt.”

“Fuck nukes!” Giant exploded. “It’d be better than doing fucking nothing.”

Hardass looked up at that. His stare hit Giant like a slap. “Hold your tongue soldier, that’s an order.” As Giant began to protest, Hardass raised a single eyebrow, daring him to continue. He didn’t.

A piercing scream rent the air followed immediately by a yell of pain. Gaga had thrown off her headphones and collapsed on the ground, rocking back and forth with her hands over her ears while Hawkeye had thrown his book to the ground where it was smouldering, burning orange, while he held a blackened hand, his face white.

Twinkle jumped up and grabbed a water bottle, throwing it to Snow who skillfully picked it out of the air and opened it over Hawkeye’s hand in one quick motion. I jumped up and barely beat Amazon to Gaga’s side. She was crying and there was a thin stream of blood leaking from each ear. I immediately stepped back and let Amazon take over. Tiny had grabbed the medkit and dropped it at her side, before going outside with Giant to get the twins. I called to them to create a perimeter around the tent which was acknowledged with a quick salute. Hardass was holding his rifle and standing by the door, shouting orders out of the tent, securing the area.

Hawkeye caught my gaze and nodded once. Both Snow and Twinkle helped him over to the washing basin to get his hand in the cold water. I scanned the area. Everything secure, everyone doing their jobs. That’s when the book caught my eye again. It had stopped burning but what had once been a midnight black cover was now a deep green. I moved to it and knelt. The sand around it had swirled into strange forms in the centre of a double circle that contained a warped five pointed star. The book was in the middle of the star and the symbols that had been on the cover were now gone, replaced with a single blood red eye, orange and yellow flames coming off of it.

That was when I made my mistake. The mistake that would haunt me to the end of the world. I picked up the book.


Reddit Prompt: Write a prequel to hitchhiker’s guide to the galaxy in which Ford Prefect meets Arthur Dent for the first time.

Arthur walked into the bar, tripping neatly over the first step and stumbling into a waitress. She gave him a look that would have caused a bear to reconsider its position and stalked impressively off behind the bar.

“Thursdays,” muttered Arthur under his breath walking to the nearest barstool and inflicted himself himself upon it. Beside him sat a man having a staring contest with his pint. Ordering one himself, which was delivered with only mild loathing, he sat there with the other man for a few minutes, staring and drinking.

“Hello.” said Arthur, finally.

“Hello.” said Ford.

“My name is Arthur Dent.” said Arthur Dent completely truthfully.

“My name is Ford Prefect.” said Ford Prefect, completely untruthfully.

Their beers said nothing. It’s hypothesised that if beer could talk, it wouldn’t. It would instead attempt to spill itself due to the vast amount of horribly depressing, boring or wildly inaccurate things said around them. Instead it bubbled idly to itself in the pint glasses that sat in front of Arthur and Ford, like them, waiting to be drunk.

“I’m from Guildford,” said Ford, “Actor.”

“Oh,” said Arthur. “That must be interesting.”

“Must it?” asked Ford looking at Arthur a little strangely. “All right, it is then. I need another drink.”

Arthur looked at the half-empty pint glass in front of Ford. “You haven’t finished that one yet.”

Ford looked at the half-full pint glass in front of himself. “Right. That’s no reason to deny the next one a head start.” He waved a hand and then proceeded to assist his first pint on its way down. Two more beers arrived.

“Did you want another one too?” asked Ford, his hands grasping the handles as a consummate professional does.

“Er.. yes. In a minute.” said Arthur, taking a sip from his drink. “So acting. That’s..”

“Interesting, yes you said that.” interrupted Ford between drinks, he put them down on the table, trying to ensure that the liquid in both was level, drinking some from this one, some from that in the process. Arthur didn’t know it then, but this was a game that Ford had played for years in the seedier bars of the naughtier places in the Galaxy.

Quite simply, if your drinks weren’t level to the standard of your opponent, you had to drink some from each and try and level them. This of course led to both players just drinking their heads off, using the unevenness as an excuse to order two more pints without looking like an alcoholic. It didn’t work. Especially when Ford played against himself.

Arthur was having trouble with this conversation. He was midway through deciding whether or not the other man was a bore, a drunkard or a simpleton when Ford put his drinks down and turned to him.

“What do you know about flying saucers?”

Arthur was nearly run over by his train of thought. “I’m sorry, what?”

“Never mind. Listen, I’m going to drink these beers. Then I’m going to drink more. If you want to help, Arthur, I wouldn’t mind the company.” He turned back to his beers, paying great attention to getting most of them into his mouth.

Looking at his own beer, Arthur hesitated, but only for a moment. This man was clearly out of someone’s mind, but it hadn’t been a particularly enjoyable Thursday and Arthur figured that he might as well join in. “All right.” he said, and made a valiant effort to catch Ford up.

Reddit Prompt: “A shady character knocks on your door and introduces himself as The Collector. What does he collect and, more importantly, why has he come to see you?”

Morris always watered the plants on collection day.

Bright sunlight shined through the small two story home’s living room bay windows providing a healthy glow on the leaves of the ferns that covered the interior windowsill. A solar beam continued on into the room, resting gently on the worn couch that sat in front of the small television on the wall. Rainbows danced under the glass side table that had a small coffee cup on it, cold dregs lining the bottom. Otherwise bare white walls held a couple of painting depicting forests and hills, trees and grass. Hovering by the ferns was a short, fat man wearing a brown waistcoat and tweed jacket; his green watering can dripping life-giving water onto the leaves. His well polished shoes reflected the sun as did the gold chain that hung out of his coat pockets and his brown hair was parted neatly. The stream of water stopped as Morris tilted the can up and adjusted his glasses, peering out the window to his small front garden surrounded by a perfectly maintained picket fence; a stone path leading up to the house breaking the well manicured lawn in two identical sections. Putting down the watering can beside the plants, he removed a small gold watch from his pocket and flicked it open, lifting his glasses up and studying it for a few seconds. A sigh leaked out as he flicked the watch closed and replaced it and his glasses.

Any minute now. Morris picked up the can and wandered around his small house, checking all the plants. The roses were growing well in his small bedroom with it’s wooden double doored wardrobe and neat single bed, but the tulip in the cramped bathroom was drooping. He took it to his pristine kitchen and put it in the light coming in the single window; storing the watering can away for another week. He had barely closed the closet when the doorbell rang. It’s time.

Morris shuffled back into the living room and opened the door. On the step was a figure shorter even than himself. Wearing a black suit with an newly ironed white shirt and black tie, his hair was slicked back revealing a receding hairline and he carried a small clipboard and a briefcase. Small sharp eyes sat above a slightly downwards hooked nose and a his chin jutted out unhindered by fat. He looked down at his clipboard and then back up at Morris.

“Mr… Roberts?”

Morris made eye contact with the man and stood up a little straighter. “Yes. Are you the new Collector? I was told there would be a new Collector this week.”

The Collector narrowed his eyes slightly and nodded once, looking back down at the clipboard. “Can you confirm for the record please that you are currently unmarried with no descendants?”

“Yes, the same as last week.”

“Can you confirm that you are unable to afford the weekly fee in monetary value?”

“No. I mean, yes, I don’t have ten thousand dollars.” Morris straightened his back a little bit further and folded his arms. “I don’t see how you need to ask the question. Every week you try to shame me by asking.”

The Collector looked back up, eyebrows raising. “It’s policy sir. I have no intentions other than completing our transaction as soon as possible.” He flicked a switch on the briefcase and four protrusions extended to the ground. He flipped the lid up and revealed a stack of papers, perfectly piled edge to edge as well as a small metal object. He put the clipboard down on the pile of papers and picked up the object. It was about the size of a deck of cards, edges rounded with a circular indent in the top. “Please insert …”

Morris unfolded his arms and placed the middle finger on his left hand into the indent. “I have  done this before.”

There was a moment of silence as the Collector looked at him. “… the middle finger of your left hand into the Collect-tin. Thank-you.” There was a buzz and a tiny spark flashed in the air. Morris removed his finger. The Collector closed his briefcase and took the handle once more as the legs retracted. “Thank you. A Collector will be back in one week.” He turned and started walking down the path.

“You don’t need to tell me. Of course I know that you’ll be back. We wouldn’t want the Government to miss out, now would we?”

The man stopped, his back bending slightly. Turning his head back to look at Morris, his eyes were almost sad. “Just doing my job, sir.”

As the Collector opened the small gate and walked through, Morris Roberts felt the dizziness that always followed a collection. Closing the door behind him, he shuffled to his couch and sat down. Sunlight on the plants caught his eye, and he took them in. Three years forty-two weeks left. Maybe I’ll win the lottery. He snorted in humorless laughter. I wonder who’ll take care of my plants?

Reddit Prompt: Two enemies at the end of their lives

We sat side by side on half-broken armchairs; basking in the last light of the setting sun, silence reigned supreme. In that moment we were lost in the depths of our own thoughts, hardly even aware of each other. He spoke first.

“It was fun though, wasn’t it? Sometimes?”

I swallowed my immediate response and let my gaze take in the view. Buildings crumbled as far as the eye could see, a once great city, now broken; no signs of life anywhere. Once I loved this place, once called myself it’s protector. Now I am as this city; old and dying. Nothing lasts forever, not even heroes. ”Sometimes.”

Stars began to twinkle in the night sky; bright points of light punctuating the dark. He raised his head with difficulty. “I didn’t really hate you, you know.”

“I know. You showed it at the end.” I dropped my eyes to the still form in front of us. No one will kneel before you, ever again. Fluorescence lights caught my attention. Turning to look, letters glowed in the growing darkness, “DALY PLANT”. Memories flooded my mind. Memories of better days, of strength and love; memories of a time when we never would have sat together. I glanced over. His eyes were closed and breathing was growing faint. “We are but two sides of the same coin, you and I,”

He smiled, a faint smile. “The sun sets on us for the last time, then.”

“So it does, Lex, so it does.”

Never alone

Never alone.

       Massive trees, natural gods of the ancient world stood as pillars, tearing the ground around them with roots that forever spread out; tendrils of life seeking water and nourishment. The canopy greedily consumed the sunlight leaving none or little for the forest floor; moss and other plants that thrive in darkness making up the majority of the fauna that played about the bases of the trunks. Waves of earth rolled across the terrain; smooth hills ended in jagged rock faces with minute holes and tunnels mapping the lives of creatures who thrived in the still darkness of the wood. Silence reined, interrupted only by a branch creaking in the wind or the occasional call of a songbird, though these were rare. Few birds enjoyed the permanent darkness of the Aphotic Wildwood and those who lived in the canopy hardly sang at all for fear of the predators that roamed the vast expanses of sky. Predators and prey; endlessly pursuing and being pursued through generations; a cycle never ending.

      Near the middle of the wood, a place dark and old as time immemorial, was a clearing on the forest floor; trees all around leaning towards the centre, their branches filling the void above that would otherwise have allowed some meagre respite from the everlasting night. Small and almost perfectly circular, the area was filled with cobblestones, fit together in a spiral that spun inwards until it reached a pool. A tiny pool that was only a few feet across and filled with a crystal clear liquid that provided a faint light blue glow which revealed the state of the stones surrounding it. Cracked and crumbled with moss growing over and through, once glorious perfection decimated by time and nature. No birds called here, no animals hunted or foraged; this small clearing pulled the silence around itself like fur in winter.

      A whisper of a sound pierced the veil; echoes careening around the Wildwood like the ripples of a tiny stone dropped in a smooth lake. An eternity seemed to pass as an uneasy peace settled once more; a new stillness that contained the anticipation of something more. The whisper returned; louder this time and bringing with it a pulse in the gentle light. Growing brighter for a mere instant, the light faded back dimmer than the start, letting the pitch black close in around the pool. Again it pulsed; again faded, the susurration pulsing with the light until barely audible; when one final time the clearing was bathed in warming light only to be plunged into darkness.