For actress Milla Jovovich, who was the main inspiration for the character of Russian colonel Malvina Semenov, who
was briefly seen in 'Frozen / Godzilla II: Maidens & Monsters' (Milla Jovovich was born in the Soviet Union in 1975,
making her the perfect candidate. She is perhaps best known as Alice in the successful 'Resident Evil' movie franchise).
For actor Dolph Lundgren, who was the main inspiration for the Russian Bratva boss character Pyotr Lipovsky (Dolph
Lundgren is no stranger to playing Russian characters, having portrayed Soviet boxer Ivan Drago in 'Rocky IV'
(1986), & Russian Bratva boss Konstantin Kovar in the 5th season of the CW TV series 'Arrow', from 2016 to 2017).
For North Korean defectors Yeonmi Park, Lee Hyeon-seo, & countless others who have all successfully escaped the
Kim Dynasty regime of the hermit country/kingdom & shared their incredible stories to help inspire hope to those that
are less fortunate. I thank you with all my heart for becoming a shining light at the end of an extremely dark tunnel!
To the loving memory of Japanese actor Yosuke Natsuki, who played Detective Shindo in 'Ghidorah, the Three-Headed
Monster' (1964), & Professor Hayashida in 'The Return of Godzilla' (1984) (Yosuke Natsuki was also in 'The H-Man'
(1958), & 'Space Monster Dogora' (1964). Yosuke Natsuki passed away on January 14th, 2018 at the age of 81).
To the loving memory of Otto Warmbier, the University student who was unfairly tried & imprisoned in North Korea
on January 2nd, 2016, suffering unimaginable torture before being released on June 12th, 2017. He died only seven days
later in Cincinnati, Ohio at the young age of 22. To Otto's parents Fred & Cindy, his family & friends, my heart goes
out to each & every one of you: what happened to Otto never should have, & absolutely no parent should have such a
horror happening to their kids. No matter how long it takes, & in one way or another, North Korea will answer for the
inhumane treatment of Otto & everybody else who unfairly suffered at the merciless hands of the North Koreans.
(Stay tuned after the story for a message of vital importance to one & all).
CREATURES & DAMSELS:
2018 by Anthony Ogozalek
At an undisclosed location:
Within its specially-made chamber like its brethren, it stays in shadow & waits with predatory feline eyes scouting its surroundings as far as they can see past the strong plexiglass that make up its holding cell. Outside of it, the creature would be just as cunning & vicious as any savage jungle cat or hungry wolf out in the wilderness, showing an enemy no quarter or mercy with its deadly weapons.
Keeping it inside its chamber was so far the only thing keeping it tame like any common house pet.
Not once has it left its holding cell since being conceived, but it can sense that will soon change.
The thing suspects that in a matter of days, it will be released upon the world to unleash its fury & see if its makers would be proud of its performance when it was.
For now, it will remain where it is & ponder on when the big day would arrive.
The animal instinct within it surmises that day is to come upon it shortly.
It can hardly wait to have its first taste of freedom.
The Island of Peleliu, Sunday, July 3rd, 2016, 2:00 p.m.:
A resident of the island nation of Palau, this peaceful patch of land has had its share of violence that still retains a lasting effect on its inhabitants. One of them was its defeat during the Spanish-American War from April 21 to August 13 in the year 1898, when Peleliu was sold by Spain to Germany in 1899 before having control passed to Japan in 1914. The second was the Battle of Peleliu during World War II, ranging from September 15 to November 27, 1944, resulting in more than 2,000 Americans & 10,000 Japanese soldiers killed. Many of the military installation ruins remain intact, such as the airstrip that was built by the Japanese, measuring 1,850 meters in length. While still being used today, it is mainly for light aircraft, not juggernauts.
To this day, it has been kept as a peaceful retreat for many of the island chain's inhabitants.
On this particular day, however, a portion of it belonged to a group of Red Bamboo soldiers that have settled in an area southeast of the airfield, hidden from view by onlookers within the thick brush that's covered up the scars of its infamous battle during the Second World War.
Many would wonder what a facility like this would be doing in this stretch of greenery on the island, which sticks out like a sore thumb despite its bushy cover.
It was the task given to agent Gus Fleming & his adopted daughter Merida to find out once a trio of Red Bamboo soldiers were discovered making a run by a patrol boat along the Philippine Sea three days ago. Despite the fight these men put up, they were taken into custody & interrogated by British Intelligence; they gave away the location, but not what operations were being partaken there, which was where Gus & Merida Fleming came in.
Coming in literally under cover within a crate of fresh supplies that were scheduled to be shipped directly to their destination, Gus & Merida carefully & silently opened the lid of the wooden crate once they were placed down after a long flight & a bumpy ride in a truck before being placed inside of a warehouse along with crates of other supplies. The father-&-daughter team – both dressed in dark purple business suits & sneakers that don't squeak on floors – quietly scoured the complex's interior, doing their best to avoid detection & steering clear of getting into a scuffle when it can be helped. Their task was to discover what sort of operation was being held, & report back to HQ once they've gathered any & all information before taking it up a notch on how to bring their plot to as safe a conclusion as possible.
It was supposed to be a simple covert operation.
What happened during their investigation turned out to be anything but: Gus & Merida were caught by a platoon of Red Bamboo soldiers, who were ready & waiting in ambush when they entered the master control room. Surrounded on all sides by multiple guns, neither Fleming had a chance to launch a counteroffensive which didn't involve in them getting mowed down by a hail of bullets.
Outnumbered and outgunned, Gus & Merida raised their hands right before being put to sleep by a tranquilizer dart, each getting one in the chest.
They woke up fifteen minutes later, their wrists shackled behind them with their backs to a metal post.
As their vision came back into focus, they saw the same number of Red Bamboo soldiers standing behind a man who was undoubtedly the ringleader. Like his men, he was attired in a khaki uniform with pointed badges sewn on their shoulder sleeves. The only difference was that unlike his men, whose caps were also khaki-colored, his was white with a round dragon insignia on the front, & his chest was adorned with medals over his left breast pocket. A powerful rifle capable of firing over a dozen rounds a second was slung over his shoulder.
He was definitely the commander, no doubt about it.
And he was presently staring down at Gus & Merida Fleming with fierce contempt.
Both his captives give him indifferent.
"Foolish, stupid Brits!", the commander said in English with a sneer. "Did you really think you could infiltrate this base without me or my men knowing about it?!"
"Call it wishful thinking, mate!", Gus said in retaliation. "We tend to make it quite a habit in our line of work!"
The commander gave Gus a hard hit in his face with the butt end of his rifle, causing him to see stars in his vision.
Seeing her adoptive father get smacked like that made Merida grit her teeth in rage, & she stared at the commander with eyes as fiery as her crimson hair but she said nothing…at least, not out loud.
You'll pay for that, you filthy wanker!, Merida thought with contempt of her own.
"You'll do best to watch your tongue while you still have it!", the commander said fiercely. "This operation of ours is too important to be compromised by the likes of you two, let alone discovered by the authorities! That's why we have multiple cameras installed everywhere in this facility: some in plain sight, others so small you could never see without a thoroughly detailed map of the place! Having learned from the mistakes our forces over in Okinawa made last year, we've taken extreme precautions to ensure our operation's safety & secrecy, especially now that we are very close to completion before we can begin phase two!"
"No wonder it was quite easy to reach the control room, & that one guard we engaged was all too happy to tell us where it was!", Merida surmised. "You all but allowed us to find this place…"
"Only to have us ambushed at the last minute!", Gus finished. "I guess that falls on us for not seeing a cleverly-laid trap that was in plain ordinary sight! It also looks like you all get points for pulling the wool over our eyes on that, mate!"
The commander stare at Gus & Merida as if seeing them for the first time, his mind contemplating.
"You're both far too cunning to be mere soldiers in any branch of the Armed Forces", he said, getting to one knee & staring at them at eye level. "Who are you, really? C.I.A.? F.B.I.?"
His answer from both Gus & Merida was a hard, cold stare of contempt in complete silence, their faces looking as if they've been chiseled from stone.
The Red Bamboo commander scoffed, unimpressed.
"It doesn't matter: whoever you two fools are, you're too late to stop us anyway!", he said. "Our precious cargo will soon be going to some very important clients of ours, so you have no hope in preventing the transaction: while we deliver our cargo, you both will be nothing but a pair of bad memories!"
"We're not worried or scared, fella!", Merida says defiantly. "Even if you do manage to send us both to the Man Upstairs, you & your men will be stopped before you get your cargo where it needs to be!"
A malicious chuckle escaped the lips of the Red Bamboo commander.
"Should that turn out to be true, neither one of you will be around to see it happen!", he said when his eyes caught sight of something: a necklace around Merida's neck sparkled with an emerald glow, & he smiled wickedly.
Merida caught on & vehemently objected when the Red Bamboo commander reached out with his left hand.
"Hey…hands off, mister! That's a family heirloom!", Merida barked, pulling away from his hand but remembered being cuffed around the metal pole.
With his free hand, the commander pulled a Glock pistol & pointed it at Merida's head, causing her to cease her struggles.
"And how do youintend to stop me, little girl…being chained up as you are?", the commander said, removing her necklace with a simple yank. From behind, the other Red Bamboo soldiers grin in satisfaction & amusement.
Even the commander grinned fiendishly, boiling Merida's blood further.
Gus wasn't too happy about it either, & he himself was enraged by the man's callous act.
"Farewell, interlopers!", the commander said before rising to his full height & taking a good look at the necklace he took from his captive.
This will look great in my personal collection!, the commander thought with fiendish glee, eager to add another trophy he'd keep for himself from his victims before having them executed.
"Lieutenant!", he said in Japanese, tossing the trinket to said man as he catches it in one hand. "Hold onto that for me while I go prepare our transport for sailing! Give our two prisoners a moment or two to say their goodbyes, then execute them!"
"Yes sir!", the lieutenant said, also in Japanese before saluting his superior as the commander did the same just before turning & heading for the door. Exiting the room, the door closes & the lieutenant takes a good look at Merida's necklace, grinning in satisfaction
Facing Gus & Merida, he commences with having his commander's orders carried out: standing to one side, the other men line up & aim their guns at their two captives, their weapons aimed directly at their hearts.
"So, children…any last words?", the lieutenant said in English with a grinning sneer.
Gus & Merida face & offer a brief smirk & wink at each other before facing their would-be executioners.
"Only one. DunBroch", Merida said before shutting her eyes, with Gus doing the same.
The former princess of said ancient Scottish clan puzzled the Red Bamboo soldiers. It gets put aside when they all hear a slight noise that rose in volume emanating from the necklace the lieutenant now holds, rising to a high pitch as all eyes were now on the trinket.
Five seconds later, it did something that caught the Red Bamboo soldiers off-guard: the emerald necklace abruptly erupted into a bright, blinding flash of light!
Merida's necklace wasn't really a family heirloom: it was actually a gadget from Gus' organization that emitted a bright flash when a specific person utters a specific word to activate it. The flash was so close to the soldiers' eyes, it all but damaged their irises & retinas, sending a surge of pain in each one & causing them to cry out.
Because their eyes were shut tightly when the flash erupted, Gus & Merida were unaffected.
They also managed to use the lockpick in their rings during the time the commander was speaking to them, doing their magic literally behind their backs without the enemy knowing. It was a situation similar to when Gus & Merida were held captive by Mugal & Tsuda of the Black Hole Aliens last holiday season.
It worked then, & it worked again in their favor as they became free of their binds before going on the offensive, using their former binds as weapons. Gus & Merida made short work of the Red Bamboo soldiers, knocking each one down like humanoid bowling pins as they fell in an instant, being unable to fight back due to the blindness affecting their eyes. With their cat-like reflexes & outstanding agility, Gus & Merida brought down the soldiers before they knew what hit them, tumbling each soldier like he was a living house of cards.
The fight lasted barely a minute, & every Red Bamboo soldier in the room with them was knocked flat onto the floor, unconscious.
"Well…that sure was a whole lot of fun!", Merida says, crossing her arms in a proud display with her face in a grin as she admired her handiwork.
I've got to hand it to Merida's original father King Fergus…he definitely trained the lass well!, Gus thought in amusement, grinning big himself imagining the fun they no doubt had over a millennium ago.
He was barely able to keep from bursting out laughing.
But his grin was wiped away when he reminded himself of the task at hand.
"Hate to spoil the mood, Merida, but we've still got that crazy commander and a transport ship to stop!", he told her, getting his adopted daughter back on track. "Whatever they've got on it as their cargo, you can bet the rent it won't be anything good!"
Merida nodded as she gathered up her bow & quiver, which was sitting in a corner after they were caught.
"I hear you loud & clear, Gus! Let's make sure that ship doesn't leave port!", she said, getting a nod from Gus as he gathered up some weapons from the fallen soldiers before he & Merida race out of the room, weapons armed.
The Red Bamboo commander just finished sending out his orders to the ship's crew when he heard the sound of his men crying out, their yells of pain being heard even from a distance.
Immediately, he knew something was wrong.
It can't be…!, he thought with dismay.
Unfortunately for him, it was: he heard the door to the control room open, & from around the corner of the hall he saw Gus & Merida turn to face him, their stares of hatred burning right into his soul. Worse, his former captives are now well-armed: Gus with a rifle, several grenades & other useful weapons, while Merida aimed an arrow directly at the commander, sending a chill up his spine.
"You stay right where you are & don't move!", Merida barked. "I can hit you in the heart from here!"
"I'd listen to her, mate!", Gus warned, aiming his rifle between his eyes. "You're coming with us to England! My employers want to have a little chat with you!"
While they spoke, the commander stealthily reached for a gun neither Fleming could see.
"Then they are going to be very disappointed…", he started to say before pulling his piece & aiming it at Merida & Gus in the blink of an eye.
"While the both of you are going to be just plain dead!", he concluded, firing his weapon in rapid succession.
Gus & Merida ducked & hit the floor a split-second before bullets started flying. Using the bullets for cover, the Red Bamboo commander ran down the rest of the hall & got to a turn when Merida fired her arrow in his direction.
Her projectile missed his leg/foot by a few millimeters before he disappeared around the bend.
"Come on, Gus!", Merida says, rising from the floor & breaking into a run. "This isn't over just yet!"
"Not by a long shot, love!", Gus replied, doing the same a second or two later.
Preparing another arrow, Merida pulls back on her bow to let loose on the first Red Bamboo soldier they should come across. Gus did the same, positioning his rifle to bring it up at a moment's notice should they run into any more opposition, which was a high probability.
Such was the case when they rounded the corner & ran into a horde of over one hundred Red Bamboo soldiers, each one armed to the teeth as the sound of guns cocking echoed the hallway.
Merida & Gus slightly lowered their own weapons & faced each other, unsure of what to say as one of the soldiers fiercely ordered them to drop their armament.
Both Flemings then did the strangest things one would hardly ever expect them to do in their situation.
Turning back to their aggressors, Gus & Merida Fleming made their move.
Outside the complex:
The Red Bamboo commander made it to the nearest vehicle – a Jeep – at the same time a thunderous blast stung his ears not too far off from where he stood, spraying debris everywhere along with several bodies. The commander got behind the wheel & started the ignition in a panic before racing off into the grove of trees that surrounded their base & kicked up a cloud of dirt & dust, the tires leaving grooves in the soil.
After pulverizing a handful of the soldiers that were lucky to survive the blast, Gus & Merida exited the complex just in time to see the commander disappear within the brush after getting a fair distance away.
"The bugger's quite persistent! Gotta give him that!", Gus said.
"But so are we!", Merida says, pointing to her left at a pair of motorcycles. "Shall we go give chase?"
Three minutes later:
Merida & Gus Fleming started their rides in seconds & took off in pursuit of the Red Bamboo commander, who made it to a concrete road & then down another dirt road which leads to a large man-made dock where a ship in which measured 50 feet long from bow to stern & 20 feet wide awaited the commander as he halted his vehicle & stepped out. A crew of two dozen armed men stood on the deck, with two of those men staying in the bridge, waiting for the word to take off with their precious cargo in tow. A small crane finished setting down its load near the stern.
"Is that the last of it?", the commander asked in Japanese.
"Yes sir!", said one man. "We've just loaded the final crate on board, & we're all ready to go!"
"Good! Tell the bridge to get the ship running, & radio our armed escort out to sea! We have a pair of intruders on their way over on two motorcycles who wish to halt our progress! You're all to open fire upon them at first sight!"
On their 'borrowed' rides, Gus & Merida arrive at the docks & find themselves fired upon by the Red Bamboo soldiers and their commander, the bullets striking the wood of the dock & the tires of their rides, deflating each one to flats & barely missing them. Ditching the bikes, Gus fired several rounds from his rifle as Merida shot several arrows in rapid succession. Their bullets & arrows struck their escaping vessel, but never hitting the commander or any of his men, as they took cover just in time.
Gus thought of attempting a running jump for the boat, but thought better of it: the ship was too far away, moving at a speed that belied its size, & he had no doubt they'd mow him down long before his feet ever left the dock despite his amazing prowess/agility.
Even from a distance, Gus & Merida could hear the commander laughing at them.
The father/daughter duo scowled deeply, with the former DunBroch princess gritting her teeth.
"I hate to say it, Gus, but your people from the Embassy won't be too pleased with this!", Merida says.
The sound of a thunderous boom caught their attention, & they see puffs of smoke dissipate from what appeared to be a cruise ship a few hundred meters out just before a portion of the front end of the docks gets blown off by a shell, sending debris flying & almost knocking Gus & Merida over.
"We've got more pressing matters to attend right now, love…like trying to survive the next few minutes!", Gus cried out, taking Merida's hand & leading her away from the docks just as another portion of the docks gets blasted off by a second shell. Unlike the last one, this one was close to the escaping duo, & the blast sent them flying across the rest of the docks & onto the sandy shore, landing hard on their sides.
Ugh! This is one time I'm glad I couldn't take Angus along!, Merida thought as her head/ears buzzed & her body ached from the rough impact, same with Gus.
From the gun/cannon ports of the warship disguised as a cruise vessel, the operators grinned at seeing their prey in agony from the previous blast. One soldier, who manned a 50-caliber machine gun with a powerful magnifying scope, peered through the lens & aimed the crosshairs at Merida's head right above her eyes.
Say goodbye, little girl!, he thought with wicked glee as his grin grew from ear to ear while his finger got tighter on the trigger, ready to take off Merida's head with one shot.
Before the trigger can be fully squeezed, a blaring alarm echoed throughout the vessel, putting everyone on full alert.
"What's wrong?! Why are the alarms blaring?!", the gunman asked, clearly unhappy with missing his chance to kill the redhead on the beach.
A man came under a minute later, panting.
"We've got a pair of objects in the water just 160 meters from our current position!", he said before running back the way he came, urging everyone else to follow him to the edge of the ship. From their vantage point, Gus & Merida can also see why they've stopped firing as water churned at two different locations in the ocean, separated by only a few meters. The Red Bamboo soldiers were on edge, believing that a pair of submarines from the U.S. Coast Guard or another nation discovered their headquarters & have sent in the cavalry to take them into custody.
Both areas of churning water erupted into geysers, & what surfaced from them were not submarines: they were a pair of giant hominoid monsters, each one covered in thick fur or hairs. Their heads were flattened on top, much in the way Frankenstein's Monster looked in the classic Universal horror films of the 1930s & 1940s. These monsters were almost identical, with a few differences: one was covered in green fur/hair, with pointed ears, sharp claws & teeth, also having a pair of long fangs that jutted from its lower jaw. The other one was a couple meters taller, having brown hair or fur, regular ears & no sharp claws on its fingers/toes, & its teeth were mostly like any human's.
For the Red Bamboo, they were a horrid sight.
But for Merida, it was the opposite…they were a most welcome sight.
"Gaira! Sanda!", she said with a smile, happy to see them once again since that fiasco with the mutated octopus monster in London almost exactly four months ago on St. Patrick's Day.
Gus was a bit skeptical & still had his misgivings about the two monster siblings: even though they did save the lives of Merida, her mother Elinor (his wife) & their faithful steed Angus, the British agent remained wary of them or any giant beast that roamed the planet, all of which are capable of causing mass destruction & loss of life wherever they appear at. No one – not even Japanese scientist Tajima Sugimoto – can ever fully predict what their intentions would be, despite having sided with them on numerous occasions to avert disaster & save Earth. As is often spoken of them, they really are more like natural disasters, such as a typhoon/earthquake, etc.
But for the most part, they have averted crises in the past, be it human dangers or other giant creatures that have threatened the planet.
Even Gus had to admit that.
Looks like they sensed the Red Bamboo threat in this particular area by natural instinct, he thought.
For the most part, they have: Gaira & Sanda tracked the source of evil to this area in the world & display their displeasure of it by letting out primal roars, sending chills up & down the Red Bamboo soldiers' spines. This shook the men out of their stunned stupor, & shouted orders to man the guns & eliminate both beasts before they can spoil their hard work.
Along with the ship at sea, Sanda also felt an evil presence on the island of Peleliu itself, & he informed Gaira of it before getting a nod of approval from his green-haired sibling. It would be a two-way battle: Gaira can handle the ship, while Sanda took care of what lay on Peleliu.
Letting out roars that shook the area, the two gargantuas parted ways as Gaira went after the ship. By now, all of its hidden defenses were all primed & aimed at the approaching horror before one of the men ordered to commence with the attack. A volley of gunfire & powerful shells all headed for & struck Gaira with explosive force, creating a thick cloud of smoke that all but obscured the creature from sight. Only the sound of a boisterous roar marked where Gaira is, being audible even over the explosions of shells & several missiles.
Soon, the smoke cloud became close enough to start covering the ship itself, making it hard for the Red Bamboo soldiers to see a few feet in front of their face. But no one dared to stop firing: they knew Gaira was very close, & they would hit their target easy enough, being quite a large size.
The ship suffered a first, terrible blow when Gaira slammed a right fist into the stern, taking off a large chunk of it & crushing metal, weaponry & people with it. Men screamed as the ship rocked violently by Gaira's first strike, & the monster's roar stung the ears of the soldiers before they fought back more fiercely.
Like before, it was a futile act: now that he was up close, Gaira's assault on the ship was swift & fierce as he used his fists to cause horrific damage to the ship & crushing soldiers underneath his tremendous strength. Gaira's attack was all but relentless as men screamed in pain & terror, being unable to stop 50 meters of animalistic fury that was all but pounding the living daylights out of their ship & them, even while he's getting bombarded heavily all over.
The men's screams could be heard even from where Gus & Merida watched.
On the island of Peleliu:
Although mostly a peace-loving creature, Sanda can be a very vicious fighter when he has to be, & even he is no less savage to the humans who were now assaulting the brown-haired gargantua with armaments like Norinco STI Type 63 tanks, M270 MLRS (Multiple Launch Rocket System) & F-15E Strike Eagle jets that bombard the monster with an armada of powerful rockets & shells that explode all over Sanda's body. But even that couldn't slow him down, & in no time at all he was upon the Red Bamboo base, crushing it from above & causing the ceiling to cave down upon any & all who were unfortunate enough to be in the vicinity when it literally came crashing down, crushing those instantly with hardly a second or two to scream before it became dark. Forever.
Even their jets fell before Sanda's might, being smashed in mid-air by pieces of debris accurately thrown by the brown-haired creature or simply swatted out of the skies by large palms before crashing to the ground & exploding on contact, leaving no survivors. Ground vehicles that weren't thrown got crushed by large feet that killed their operators from within, & some were lifted by Sanda with screaming soldiers before getting pile-driven into the earth, exploding into flaming debris. Some were thrown into other attack vehicles, detonating their payloads & killing all inside.
Like Gaira's attack on the heavily-armed ship, Sanda's attack on the Red Bamboo base barely lasted ten minutes before both were totaled & left as burning/sinking rubble. Both monsters unleashed an ear-shattering roar once they are satisfied that their enemies were all but defeated, watching their bases burn to ashes & sinking beneath the waves as a plethora of Red Bamboo soldiers drowned as the ship went under faster than the famed Titanic, some of which death was instantaneous.
The ship that carried the organization's precious cargo watched in stunned horror as their main defense & base of operations got trampled under the might of the two monsters, his heart racing from the thought of having both of the monsters changing their course & going after them next, now that they were done with the preliminaries.
If they should come & attack us like that, the Pacific could then become a dead sea!, the commander thought with utmost dread, realizing what it is they were carrying.
His fears escalated when they saw Gaira & Sanda reuniting as the latter creature turned away from the ruined base & headed into the water to meet his sibling, each one communicating & telling the other that all enemies were all but incapacitated & no longer a threat as Gus & Merida watched next to the ruined docks. Then they turned towards the escaping ship, giving the commander & his crew a deep chill, knowing they could never bring even one of the monsters down before they get destroyed.
"Commander! Up ahead!", one man shouted from the bow, pointing forward.
The commander & his men raced to the bow & saw not one, not two, but four areas in the water that were churning white, escalating the danger as they fear more monsters have discovered their whereabouts & decided to take matters into their own hands. What popped up from beneath the drink were not more monsters but were a quartet of submarines with the British & American flags painted upon their hulls, each one with their noses aimed directly at their ship.
On a pair of loud speakers, a strong demanding voice from an American sub boomed.
"This is the United States & Royal Navies! You will cease your engines & prepare to be boarded! Should you in any way resist or refuse, you will force us to blow you out of the water where you stand! Comply with your answer!"
Seeing no way out & realizing what they were carrying aboard their vessel, the commander gave his order to his men in Japanese, & they all dropped their guns & raised their hands in surrender.
Merida & Gus could tell that this confrontation was over, even if they couldn't see the Red Bamboo soldiers put their hands up & give themselves to the Navies where they stood. Even Gaira & Sanda could tell this battle had come to its conclusion, having no more reason to stay in the area except for one more thing: the familiar scent of Merida had struck their senses, & both gargantuan creatures slowly but surely turn to the former DunBroch princess as said female did the same, staring at the two monsters with awe & admiration. A flood of memories entered Merida's mind: the time when she, Elinor & Angus were on the island as Sanda fought Gorosaurus who thought of making a meal of them, the confrontation with the deadly sorcerer Asarlai as Merida revealed the true killed of Gaira & Sanda's villagers all those years ago in Scotland, & recently in London when they did their imitation of the bow that depicted exactly what she did to point out the true culprit & made them once again siblings rather than fierce foes.
None of these were forgotten by Merida, nor by Gaira & Sanda even after more than 1,000 years have passed.
Like any agent in the field, Gus kept his wits about him & let the scenario play out.
He was relieved when he saw them nodding to the redhead, making Merida smile.
It made Gus do the same, & he nodded his own thanks in return.
These giant critters never cease to amaze me!, Gus thought.
"Thank you, guys!", Merida said, not caring if they heard her or not.
Gaira & Sanda let out a roar softer than their previous ones, giving Merida & Gus proof they understand.
Satisfied that the enemy is beaten & even given the reward of seeing the Scottish red-haired girl once more, Gaira & Sanda turn to the left before swimming away from the father-daughter duo, traveling along the coastline & vanishing from sight in a few minutes.
"It still amazes me, Gus", Merida said. "That those two remember me from more than a millennium ago, when I showed them who really killed their village & all its inhabitants in ancient Scotland."
"Not to mention defeated him like your original father King Fergus had done", Gus adds. "Only in your case, it was more permanent."
"Never realizing that simple act would really 'change my fate' afterwards, along with my Mum & Angus."
"And look at what happened: even though you lost your original family, you three gained a new one with me, not to mention made friends with those who were also as out of time as you three are. What became a heartbreaking moment had turned into a new destiny you've all gladly accepted."
Merida smiled big from Gus.
"And it's one that we would never want to change", she says, getting a warm hug & kiss on the cheek from her adopted father.
Mission definitely accomplished, Merida thought happily.
Two hours later:
After the surviving Red Bamboo surrendered, the American & Royal Navy forces boarded their boat & ordered them to place their vessel back to the shores of Peleliu where Gus & Merida waited at. Anchoring the ship, the Fleming father & daughter introduced themselves to the Royal Navy commander, giving them a quick rundown of their situation before getting their cooperation & checking the vessel for the cargo they were ordered to ship out as other Navy officers rounded up most of the Red Bamboo soldiers, leaving their commander in the bridge for interrogation.
When the Red Bamboo commander wouldn't talk, they searched the ship without his consent & found a most startling discovery: inside the wooden crates were metal containers filled with a most deadly substance.
"Plutonium!", Gus said sharply at the commander. "That's why those men of yours that we've caught wouldn't say anything other than where your base was, & why you blighters were so anxious to leave port so quickly!"
"Plutonium", Merida repeated, when the realization hit her. "Gus…isn't that one ingredient in making nuclear weapons with?!"
"I'm afraid so, love: along with uranium, tritium, deuterium & other elements, plutonium is primarily in creating a sufficient amount of atomic weapons like the ones that were dropped on Hiroshima & Nagasaki during World War II. Worse yet, you don't even have to go to the trouble of making plutonium into bombs: while it doesn't penetrate the skin, it's still incredibly toxic when ingested into the body, causing a high rate of cell damage. Simply by inhaling just a millionth of a gram is more than enough to cause cancer."
Merida felt a small chill running up her spine from the revelation: back in ancient Scotland, the worst she had to worry about were invading tribes, demon bears, giant beasts & evil sorcerers. In this day & age, she now has a whole lot more to be wary of.
And I thought my original time was all but barbaric!, Merida thought, reflection on it.
"So…who were the Red Bamboo selling the plutonium to?", she asked orally.
"That's the million-dollar question, love!", Gus said before turning back to the enemy commander. "How about it, mate? You care to fill us in on who your buyer was?"
The Red Bamboo commander stared at the British agent & stayed silent.
"Listen, you bugger: you're already in enough hot water as it is & looking at a life imprisonment sentence once your rear end gets convicted! Giving us the name or names of your buyers is the only way the courts will show anything resembling leniency towards you & your men! So, do them & yourself a favor by coming clean with us! Don't you care what happens to you from this point on, or are you really that stubborn and stupid?"
Like before the Red Bamboo commander remained silent, not divulging a thing.
It was enough to get Merida riled up.
"Why not let me have five minutes with him, Gus?!", she says, staring hard in his face. "I'm sure I can have him singing like a bird in just half the time!"
"Before we let you have a crack at him, Merida, let me try something first", Gus said as he does a thorough police search on the man from his pockets down to his legs – and instantly hits paydirt at his left ankle.
Bloody bingo!, he thought as he dug into his sock & pulled out an object concealed within it.
"A miniature hard drive…hidden in the sock", he said, holding up the small rectangular-shaped gadget. "Clever, mate, but not clever enough! Let's see exactly what you've got on this little doodad, shall we?"
Gus asked if anyone brought a laptop computer, & a lieutenant from the United States Navy offered his own as he flipped it open & Gus inserted the hard drive in the side. The lieutenant tapped several keys, & it didn't take long for him to dig up something that soon caught his, Gus & Merida's attention: it was a coded message that was in another language that featured symbols rather than words.
Their eyes widened when they saw what country these symbols belonged to.
"Good heavens!", the U.S. lieutenant said under his breath.
"Those bloody…!", Gus started to say.
"Who is it, Gus…the Yakuza?", Merida asked.
"I'm afraid you're mistaken, love. This isn't the Japanese language…this is the Korean language!"
Merida's body went stiff upon hearing the true revelation.
"Korean…as in North Korea?!", Merida says. "The same filthy wankers who are trying to…"
"Trying to perfect their own nuclear weapons program…that's them, all right!", Gus finished. "I guess I ought to have known this plutonium would be for those filthy rats once we've seen their cargo! Those roaches have been pursuing this rotten pipe dream of their since the mid-1950s, & even with heavy sanctions slapped onto their homeland, they're still building their program in total defiance of the United Nations! And just last month…"
"I'll say: they shot no less than five bloody missiles over Japan, with three of them zooming right past Tokyo! Poor Emiko was actually crying over the phone when we called Elsa & the others, thinking they were under attack by a foreign nation with only minutes to live! She & the rest of the family are living on edge right now because of those skunks…and I don't blame them! They're just not gonna stop, Gus!"
"No, Merida…they aren't! Not until they've achieved their sick goal, & they won't care who gets hurt, let alone killed, in order to get what they want! I've brought this up several times to my agency, but their hands are just as tied as the bloody UN's!" Gus took a breath to calm himself before continuing. "But at least those wankers won't be getting their dirty mitts on this shipment. Of that, we can all be proud of."
A chorus of 'oh yeah', 'yes', 'most definitely' & the like erupted in the room, & Merida took a breath & exhaled herself before nodding.
"You're right – this we'll have to settle for, but we'll gladly take it", she says.
"It still won't do you any good!", the Red Bamboo commander said defiantly despite being under heavy guard. "You may have gotten your hands on this plutonium shipment, but you'll never stop North Korea's weapons program – not unless you nuke the entire region, & even that will cause you some very serious problems, especially with China & Russia as they would no doubt retaliate in kind for such a selfish & foolish act! Face facts, people: despite this win, you've still lost! You all just don't know it yet!"
Gus & Merida slowly approached the commander & look down on their captive, who stared in defiance at them.
He smirked at the Fleming father-daughter duo before getting a fist in the face from each: Merida with her right, Gus with his left. The double blow left him unconscious, & he slumped in his chair.
Their action left the Naval officers stunned, their eyes wide & jaws dropped.
"I say…what that really necessary?", asked a Royal Navy officer.
Gus & Merida looked at each other with a smirk before facing their comrades again, their arms crossed.
"Yes", they said in unison.
It bloody felt really good, too!, Merida thought with joy.
They all kept staring at the Flemings for five seconds more.
Then they all burst out laughing.
Hiroshima, Japan, July 4th, 9:00 a.m.:
Nobody could ever believe that this particular Japanese city could ever be habitable again after the dropping of the 'Little Boy' atomic bomb on the morning of August 6th, 1945 & exploded at 8:15 a.m., destroying the city & killing more than 75,000 people. But everyone who doubted that Hiroshima could never again become a thriving city because of the radiation were all proven wrong in a number of years, thanks to the help from the national government through the Hiroshima Peace Memorial City Construction Law that was passed in 1949.
One monument from the original city before August 6th of 1945 to have survived mostly intact was the Genbaku Dome, or Atomic Bomb Dome, that sits along the Ota River next to the T-shaped Aioi Bridge. The dome has become the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park's primary landmark, serving as a constant reminder to the Japanese people of the lives lost on that infamous day almost exactly 71 years ago.
It is this piece of Japan's history that gets viewed on this clear sunny day by the Sugimoto family from Tokyo – Tajima, Hidemi, Akemi, Emiko, Kristoff, Anna & Elsa. Dressed in summer wear with the girls wearing round hats to keep from getting too warm by the blaring sun overhead & Kristoff wearing shades, the Arendelle Trio get to finally see (& visit) the city that became the first to suffer from the atomic bomb used in warfare. It was Tajima's idea to pay it a visit as the scientist was in the city on business with his colleagues for a few days.
Sven stood alongside the group, seeing this historical monument for his first time, being as awestruck by it as his human friends were.
"Amazing, isn't it…seeing an actual piece of Japan's past still standing after a devastating explosion", Anna said, turning to Tajima. "And this dome is the only structure from the original city to have survived the dropping of the first atomic bomb in 1945?"
It was Emiko that answered.
"More or less, Anna: when the Enola Gay dropped the 'Little Boy' over the original city, it was supposed to have landed on the Aioi Bridge but instead detonated directly over the Shima Hospital, which is very close to here. Because the blast was directly overhead & not on the ground, this dome was able to retain its shape. The vertical columns of the building were able to resist the mostly vertical direction of the blast, & the parts of concrete & outer walls that you see still standing remained intact."
"The people inside the building, however, were not so fortunate", Akemi said, picking up on her younger sister. "Everyone within at the time of the blast was killed instantly, & some even wished for it to be torn down when the reconstruction was being discussed. Ultimately, those that wanted it preserved because it survived annihilation won the argument, & that's why it still stands to this day."
"It's also because the people of Japan want to remember, Akemi – to remember those killed in the city, & also to serve as a reminder to this country to never go to war with another nation again", Elsa said, getting nods from all. "This is to make sure this country's mistakes never get repeated, lest it faces a worse annihilation. I have to say, Akemi – they made the correct choice of keeping this building preserved. It's the same choice that we would've made ourselves."
Nods from Kristoff, Anna & even Sven made Tajima & company smile, always loving when the Arendelle trio make such heartwarming comments like that. Elsa & Anna couldn't help but do so themselves.
Only Kristoff didn't, & he was about to relay the reason why.
"Well everyone, I'd hate to break up a tender moment & all, but…I fear that Japan will be going to war again, & soon", he said, his voice solemn but still firm. "Not because it wants to, but because it has to, on account of…"
"On account of North Korea callously firing its ballistic missiles for its nuclear weapons program, yes", Tajima said. "It's not that easy, Kristoff: since our defeat in the Second World War, we've been forbidden to either wage war or even have a military by Article 9 of our Constitution. In 1954, we developed our Self-Defense Force which was used mainly for protecting our homeland from any outside threats, but never to be used outside our country's borders."
"It was deployed for the first time when Godzilla made his debut in our country in early November of that year, as you three viewed in that old footage we showed you the first time you've witnessed the creature", Hidemi puts in. "On that day forward, our country's weapons were used to fight monsters, not men. To remove our armament & bring it to another country would violate our renouncement of war, something we Japanese have vowed never to do."
"Well, it's good that you people have forsaken your warlike ways, but Hidemi…your country needs to be able to do something about what North Korea's been doing these past several weeks", Kristoff says with Sven nodding.
"Kristoff has a point", Anna said. "With the way North Korea's been firing its ballistic missiles without a care in the world, sooner or later they're going to hit somewhere populated, killing God-knows how many people."
"I concur", Elsa adds. "Despite the increase of sanctions placed on North Korea by the United Nations & also the plutonium shipment Gus & Merida stopped just the other day, those people still won't stop with their missile tests until they're met with force – and even that carries a big risk, particularly to us since we're right next door to these people."
"Not to worry, as we're not completely defenseless", Tajima assures them. "As I've mentioned to you last week, we have American military troops & armament collaborating with our own Self-Defense Forces, & they're keeping a constant 24-hour watch for any of their missiles that get too close to Tokyo or any other inhabited areas. Luckily so far, each of those projectiles they did shoot over our country were too high to cause any damage."
"So far", Kristoff, Anna & Elsa said softly in unison.
"What I wouldn't give to see Elsa flying in Mechagodzilla & teach those North Koreans a lesson!", Kristoff spoke in the voice he uses for Sven.
"Oh Sven, I'd pay big money to see that happen!", Kristoff said in his regular voice. "Great idea you have there, buddy!"
Snickers of amusement came from the family, always amused by Kristoff's attempts in having a conversation with his reindeer friend – a happy break in the tension.
"He's not wrong, sis", Anna said. "It'd be very amusing to see you in Godzilla's robot double & pounding North Korea into submission, just to see how they'd like it for a change. You are a part of the Mechagodzilla crew, after all."
Elsa had to giggle, picturing herself in the Monster King's robot replica & laying waste to North Korea.
"We'll see what the future holds, Anna", the Snow Queen says. "But one thing could be for certain: if Kim Jong Un doesn't cease & desist with his nuclear weapons program & continues firing his missiles over here, there's a good chance you & Kristoff will get your wish."
Grins of satisfaction & a touch of deviousness grew on the mouths of the Arendelle trio, including Sven: there's no amount of money they wouldn't pay to see North Korea – Pyongyang in particular – getting leveled to the ground by Mechagodzilla, or perhaps even the real thing himself.
That is definitely a sight they would all but adore to see happen!
At that point, Tajima's cell phone rings & the scientist took it out of his pocket & answered when he saw it was Yoshi Shimazaki – Japanese Self-Defense Force Commander.
"Yoshi", Tajima began in his mother tongue as he listened. "What kind of situation? I understand. Where are you right now? All the way out there? Of course, we'll attend. How will we get there? I see. We'll head there right away, Yoshi. See you soon."
Hanging up & pocketing his cell phone, Tajima faced his family.
"Is everything okay, Tajima?", Kristoff asked.
"I can only hope so, Kristoff", the scientist says in English. "Yoshi has asked us to join him & his crew out in the Sea of Japan, for something has possibly come up that requires my attention."
"The Sea of Japan? How will we even get there?", Anna asked.
"We'll head down to Hiroshima International & take a sea plane there, Anna."
"Did Yoshi say why he's inviting us so far out at sea, Tajima?", Elsa asked.
"Not over the phone, Elsa. He said it was best to discuss it when we arrive, so let's go hail a taxi & head for the airport."
"Tajima, you, Hidemi, Akemi & Emiko take a taxi. Anna, Elsa & I will follow you on Sven", Kristoff says with Sven & the sisters from Atrendelle nodding.
"Good thinking, Kristoff", Hidemi said, nudging for her family to the nearest taxi stop.
With the Arendelle trio getting atop Sven, the family get moving.
The Sea of Japan, two hours later:
A taxi came for the Sugimoto family almost instantly, as Tajima, Hidemi, Akemi & Emiko each got in & told the driver to head for Hiroshima International. The family were each treated to a piece of candy once they were underway, & Sven followed the taxi through the city until they reached their destination in 5-10 minutes. As Tajima paid for their fare & gave the driver a generous tip, they were greeted by a JSDF officer who lead the family & Sven right over to the runway where a fully fueled ShinMaywa US-2 STOL (Short Takeoff & Landing) amphibious aircraft awaited them. It was blue in color with a white underbelly, four propellers & a pair of pontoons on its wings. The soldier & Sugimoto family all boarded from the rear, which was also for Sven to enter easily enough. The JSDF soldier was impressed: in all his years serving his country, he'd never seen a full-grown reindeer being transported in an aircraft.
He told the family in his tongue that Sven was an extraordinary animal.
Tajima, Hidemi, Akemi & Emiko replied 'You have no idea'.
When Akemi translated to the Arendelle trio, they grinned with joy.
In a minute after everyone was strapped in, the ShinMaywa US-2 took off & headed north, towards & past the chain of islands north of Matsue & Sakaiminato. A mile out rests an Osumi-class JDF ship, which the ShinMaywa now made its landing near at a distance of 60 feet before the rear opens & two rubber rafts were inflated, each with a motor in the rear. The Sugimoto family traveled in one, with Sven in the other operated by a second man from the SDF who accompanied the first. The pilots of the sea plane were to wait in the water while the motor-powered rafts approached the vessel, with Yoshi & several members of his crew awaited them. When they got close enough, Yoshi ordered for a crane to help haul up Sven while the rest took to a ladder that was dropped over the side for the family & soldiers to go up, but not before the taller two first secured their rafts.
Amazingly, the rubber raft was more than strong enough to hold Sven's weight without any problems.
When Sven & the Sugimoto family were safely on the deck, they were greeted by Yoshi & Olaf – the funny little snowman with stubby legs, two main body parts with three black buttons, an oval-shaped head with a carrot nose, eyes, mouth with a large tooth on the upper lip, a trio of stick strands for hair & a pair of stick arms with three fingers. Over his head was a miniature cloud that keeps him frosty even in the dead of summer.
"Olaf!", the Sugimoto family said with glee.
"Hey there, family! Glad you all could make it!", Olaf replied, waving.
At least he's not calling us his 'new' family anymore, Emiko thought, smiling with the rest.
"Olaf's been very good aboard the ship, & everyone likes him in return", Yoshi says.
"How'd you all enjoy your sightseeing in Hiroshima?", asked the snowman.
"It was real nice &…informative, to say the least", Anna said.
"We would've spent the day there, until Yoshi called us over", Elsa adds.
"Yes, Elsa", Yoshi said, being all business. "Now that you all are here, let's go inside so that we can discuss the reason why I've asked you to come all this way. If you would…"
Yoshi gestured towards the door leading inside, & the Sugimoto family went inside as Olaf went to Sven & got onto his back. The reindeer was happy to see the little snowman again, even if he does give him a slight chill from his body temperature. Kristoff, Anna & Elsa were pleased at seeing them getting along well, & the outdoorsman make an interesting discovery.
"Looks like you've gotten over your seasickness, Olaf…neat!", Kristoff says. "How'd you do it?"
"Ah well, you know…all it takes is willpower, as Yoshi explained it's all in the mind", Olaf said. "At least…if I had a mind to deploy willpower."
Anna placed a finger on Kristoff's mouth to prevent him from responding to Olaf's remark.
"Of course you have a mind, Olaf", Anna said. "And a pretty good one, at that. Never forget it."
"Forget what?", Olaf asked.
The Arendelle trio stared at each other in surprise by the snowman's remark.
"You & Sven enjoy the open sea together, Olaf", Elsa said. "We'll see you both later."
When the trio turned to go inside, Sven – standing right next to the edge – and Olaf both looked over the side & let out a wharf when the trio turned back once they heard the sound. But all they saw was the snowman & reindeer as a pair of friends staring back with innocent smiles, showing that nothing was wrong.
Kristoff shrugged his shoulders briefly as the trio went inside.
After introductions were made in the meeting room, the captain got down to business as Kristoff, Anna & Elsa all stood in the rear.
"Professor Sugimoto", the captain says in his mother tongue. "As you may know, the Sea of Japan is a constantly-used shipping lane for transport vessels, carrying goods from one place to another. But for the past several weeks, there hasn't been one ship spotted in the area, not even a fishing boat. In all my years patrolling these waters, I have never seen it so void of activity. I fear there can be only one logical explanation for it."
Tajima, Hidemi, Akemi & Emiko briefly face each other before turning back to the captain.
"Godzilla", they say simultaneously, understanding now the reason for their trip here.
The captain nodded.
"We came up with that same conclusion ourselves, but particularly wanted to let you in on it", he said. "Professor, because you're more or less the world's foremost expert on the monster, can you give us any reason as to why Godzilla would venture this far out from the south Pacific into this area?"
Tajima gave the matter some thought in silence for several moments before answering.
"An expert on Godzilla I may be, even I cannot always predict where he goes, let alone why he would choose a secluded spot to rest, such as here in the Sea of Japan. At best, I can try to make calculated guesses on his direction so areas & people would be warned of his approach & stay clear of his path. Godzilla has something of a sixth sense that's beyond anyone's capabilities – including my own – to fully understand."
"What my husband is trying to say, is that Godzilla should basically be thought of not only as a force of nature, but also as the proverbial 500-pound gorilla – he'll go to sleep/rest anywhere he pleases", Hidemi adds. "Godzilla has been spotted within these waters for all that time? How often has he been seen?"
"That's just it, Miss Sugimoto – nobody's seen him", the captain says. "Not in the flesh, anyway: he must have been detected being underwater by a boat with radar. That vessel, in turn, signaled others in the vicinity to steer clear of these waters until Godzilla decides to move on to another area. So far, from what we can tell, he hasn't."
For a long stretch, nobody said anything else.
On the deck:
Olaf & Sven watched the activity from the Japanese soldiers in conjunction with viewing the open sea, enjoying both scenarios. Yoshi appeared on deck fifteen minutes after being inside talking with the vessel's captain about their current situation.
Like always, the snowman & reindeer were happy to see the JSDF commander.
"Yoshi! How's it going in there?", Olaf asked.
"As the tree said to the Lord up above, Olaf, 'we're stumped'", Yoshi says.
"Wow…I never knew that trees could speak, much less to the Man Upstairs! You do learn something new every day!"
Yoshi grinned amusingly when Olaf noticed a black object hanging from the man's neck.
"Nice binoculars!", Olaf said, reaching out for them as Yoshi took it off his neck & handed it to the snowman. "A lot better than the ones I used back in the day!"
"Which kind were those, Olaf?", Yoshi asked.
"Just simple icicles. You'd be surprised as to how well those worked for me."
Olaf peered into the device & was amazed at what he saw.
"Oh boy…these are better than my icicles!", he exclaimed. "Only…aren't they supposed to make things bigger instead of smaller? Everything looks so much further away, not closer."
Yoshi suppressed a laugh & helped the snowman: before, he was peering into the objective lens instead of the eyepieces, but the JSDF commander flipped the device around so that Olaf can peer through them the correct way.
"Oops…my bad!", Olaf says, realizing his error & more than a little embarrassed by it. "That's much better! Now I can see the lone ship that's way out there!"
"Ship?", Yoshi wondered before adjusting the zoom lens on the binoculars. "Can you see it more closely now?"
"Oh yeah: it's nowhere near as big as this tub, but I can make out some of the details. There's men on it, with a gun pointed at the front that can't obviously fire due to the arrow stuck in it. And oh yeah – there's also some writing along the side."
"What kind of writing do you see, Olaf?"
"Well…I can't read or spell too good, but I can make out an R that's facing left instead of right. Same as with the N & E…what's it mean, Yoshi?"
"May I take a quick peek for myself, Olaf?"
Olaf handed Yoshi the binoculars to check out the ship the snowman spotted, his worries rising.
Almost instantly, he saw what he feared.
A Russian ship!, Yoshi thought.
Yoshi lowered the binoculars, & Olaf could see the worry on his face, as could Sven.
"Is something wrong? What is it, Yoshi?", the snowman asked.
"Something I need to talk to the captain about. Thank you, Olaf", Yoshi says, heading back inside in quite a rush & left the snowman & reindeer on deck.
"How rude, Sven!", Olaf said in a slight huff, his hands to his sides as Sven grunted his confusion. "He could've at least left me the binoculars!"
Sven grunted & shook his head.
At the bridge:
When Yoshi told the captain of what he saw, they all headed for the bridge & looked out the window.
"You're certain you saw a Russian ship, commander?", the captain asked, peering through his own binoculars.
"Positive, captain", Yoshi confirmed. "It looked more like a fishing vessel than anything else, but it is definitely a Russian boat."
As Yoshi got on the radio with his sergeant & gave him instructions, the captain peered again. He strained his eyes a bit, but sure enough, he too could see the lone boat floating in the Sea of Japan – and it is Russian.
"You were right, commander – it's exactly what you said you've seen", the captain said. "Shall I radio it in to port?"
"Not yet", Yoshi replied. "Let's get more information before making any accusations. If we're going to make a case of it, we'll need to gather hard evidence first."
An object measuring a foot long & wide on four miniature propellers flew past the bridge & headed out to sea, gaining altitude as Yoshi turned on the monitors that showed the thing – a drone with miniature camera – soaring across the water & heading directly towards the Russian boat. Its propellers hardly made a sound as it rose higher.
When the drone gets to an acceptable range & displays the Russian ship, the group was stunned to see what kind it was: like Yoshi mentioned, it is a mere fishing vessel with a harpoon gun placed at the bow, armed & ready for firing.
This image was clear as day on the monitors as the unseen/unheard drone captured the scene with powerful zoom lens cameras attached to its underside.
"A fishing boat?!", Kristoff says, bewildered. "Those Russians expect to actually take on Godzilla with a mere fishing boat?! Are they nuts?!"
"I don't think their plan is to engage Godzilla, Kristoff…at least, not in actual combat", Tajima said. "From the equipment that we can see, they must want something from the creature."
"But what could the Russians possibly want with Godzilla? It doesn't make sense", Anna said.
"Actually, Anna…it does", Hidemi said as the Arendelle trio turn to her. "It makes more sense than you realize."
"How do you mean by that, Hidemi?", Elsa asks.
"I'm sure our mama & papa will be glad to explain it to you, Elsa", Akemi said, turning to the monitors. "But that can wait until later. I do believe the show is about to start."
All eyes were on the screens that showed live footage of what the drone was recording, unseen by the Russians on the boat as they were busy finishing up preparations for their hunt of the world's most dangerous game.
"Yoshi…you sure the Russians won't be able to spot the drone you sent out?", Emiko asked in her tongue.
"Positive, Emiko", Yoshi said. "It's placed at an altitude where they won't be able to see or even hear it. We'll be able to spy on these people without them knowing."
Like her family, Emiko said a mental prayer & hoped Yoshi was correct.
The Russian boat:
All over the vessel, the men were just about finished getting their boat prepared to fulfil their mission of gathering samples from Godzilla, who has for some reason made his temporary home in the Sea of Japan since the beginning of June. When a Chinese fishing trawler noticed the beast beneath the water via sonar, he cautioned the surrounding areas to steer clear & avoid risking a collision with the monster. The warning reached all ears except for Japan until recently, when the captain put two & two together from the sudden absence of ships that usually used this body of water to make their runs.
What was a curse for them became a blessing for the Russians.
Having the Sea of Japan basically to themselves, they can perform their task undisturbed.
The first mate was assigned to man the boat & check the radar for the creature when it was near. For a full three hours, he didn't get so much as a nibble.
A blip on the radar made the first mate turn his attention to it, ignoring most everything else except his control of the boat. When he went over the instruments a few times, from the radar screen to the readings on their Geiger-counter that displayed a huge amount of radiation in the area, his eyes widened & his heart raced with anticipation & glee.
Immediately, he got on the radio.
"Captain, come to the bridge right away! We've spotted the creature!", he announced into it.
Not even half a minute has passed when the captain – a big muscular bear of a man with thick beard – burst open the door of the bridge.
"You have found the beast?! Are you positive of that?!", he said in a deep demanding voice.
"I've checked the readings three times, captain!", said the first mate. "It's far too big to be anything else but him!"
Slowly but surely, a devilish smile grew on the captain's face.
"How close to it are we?", he asked as the first mate checked his readings.
"Three hundred meters ahead & forty meters deep from our present location", the first mate said.
"Perfect! Keep the motor up & running while I get the men to their posts! And remember, whatever happens…we are to fulfil this mission at any & all costs! Understand?!"
The captain left the bridge to announce Godzilla's engagement & bark orders at the men, all of whom immediately got busy on their assigned chores. His orders were stern but simple: extract blood & tissue samples of Godzilla for their people to collect. Nobody was to leave his post for any reason, lest they suffer the captain's wrath: they've all seen the man when he was like a raging bull, & it was anything but a pretty sight.
Even if it cost them their lives, their job was to succeed.
All crew members knew of the dangers & risks involved & accepted them before embarking on this trip, or they wouldn't be here at all to begin with.
Outside on the deck, the captain gave his first order.
"Fire the depth charges!", he shouted.
Immediately a sailor launched half a dozen depth charges from a cannon that shot them out like shells at close to the actual distance Godzilla was spotted, but they sunk to the exact depth where the King of the Monsters was resting at before they each went off, one by one. Every blast created water spouts that rose over 100 feet into the air before a trio of huge jagged dorsal spines stuck out & rose from the water where it churned white. Slowly but surely, Godzilla rose to the surface & was waist deep in the drink as he let out an ear-shattering roar that was heard for miles.
There you are, Godzilla!, the captain thought with another devilish grin.
Even at a distance, Godzilla was huge to all eyes, from the crew of the Russian vessel to those aboard the Osumi-class ship who viewed the creature on their monitors as the drone captured him in all his glory.
Godzilla scanned his immediate surroundings with predatory eyes, wanting to see who or what would be foolish enough to disturb his peaceful slumber. He spots the lone fishing vessel only three hundred meters from where he was & gave it a snarl or two of annoyance. Unlike the captain, the crew of the Russian boat gasped in fear, believing that it would be the last thing they see before Godzilla decides to blow it away with his heat ray. Tense moments pass before Godzilla pondered on what to do with this little insignificant human vehicle floating in the water.
Finally, after letting out a growl, the Monster King turned tail & started swimming away, seeing the little boat is not a dire threat.
"Go! Follow him!", the captain screamed at the first mate, who immediately gave chase.
The boat lurched forward in pursuit of Godzilla, who was a sizeable distance away but was still not fast enough to elude his pursuers as the Russian boat was soon gaining upon the monster, his size bewildering the crew the closer they got to him.
Now I see just why they have christened Godzilla 'The King of the Monsters'!, the captain thought, marveling at Godzilla's tremendous size, his flesh ragged like tree bark once they got within a distance of 10-20 meters of the beast.
The captain got inside the bridge & onto the radio.
"Harpooner, are you ready?!", he demanded.
"Yes sir! She's primed & set to shoot!", he replied back.
"Fire as soon as you get a clear shot at the neck! We only have one chance to get it right, so do not miss!"
Cutting off communication, the harpooner peered into the weapon's scope & scoured Godzilla's hide for the best spot. He fixed the gun's crosshairs at Godzilla's neck just behind his head.
"Perfect!", the harpooner said to himself as he squeezed the trigger.
A loud 'whoosh' escaped the gun, & the harpoon – with a steel cable & hollow plastic tube attached – soared in the air at a fantastic speed, striking Godzilla exactly where he aimed at. The monster's flesh was so thick, he couldn't even feel the sharp weapon get embedded within him.
"Yes!", the harpooner shouted, praising himself & pumping his fist.
Soon, the other men aboard cheered at the harpooner's accurate aim as he succeeded in his task.
The captain didn't cheer but he did grin, seeing the harpoon find its mark. Once it did, he turned to the first mate.
"Tell me…are the tanks starting to fill with the monster's blood?", he asked.
"Yes, captain: they've started as soon as the harpoon made contact with the creature!", replied the first mate. "Already the first tank is nearly halfway filled with it!"
"Very good!", the captain said before going outside amid the spraying water & blaring motor. "Helmsman! Keep your eyes on that gauge until all four tanks are filled! Let me know the instant they are!"
"Yes sir!", he replied.
That said, the captain went back inside.
Godzilla kept his stride in the water, unaware that he'd been snagged by the small Russian boat or the fact that his blood was being drained for their own greedy purpose. He let out a small growl that was still loud & gave shivers to the crewmen as Godzilla continued tugging the boat like a child would in a bathtub or swimming pool.
The helmsman in charge of the tanks announced that two of the tanks were now full & was going on to the third.
Suddenly, Godzilla lifted his left forepaw out of the water & sent it slamming down again, creating a powerful wave that rocked the Russian vessel. The men kept a strong grip on the railings, & most of them were able to secure themselves when the boat vibrated from Godzilla's thrashing. All but three remained on board: the trio that weren't so fortunate lost their grip & were tossed upwards like flapjacks & went over the side, splashing into the sea where they all but disappeared from sight.
No crew member had dared to cry 'men overboard'.
The cable pulling the boat went taut & jerked the vessel violently, but this time there were no hands lost. The one reading the gauges on the tanks announced that the fourth & final tank was being filled & that it was near completion.
The captain went out again & addressed his crew.
"Get ready to sever those cables once the last tank is full!", he shouted over the raging water.
All crew personnel shouted 'yes sir' before getting their axes ready to cut it in case the detonators attached to the titanium steel lines somehow fail; they probably wouldn't be cut in the manner of mere blades, but nobody was willing to say that to the captain.
At last, the fourth & final tank was filled, & the helmsman made it clear to all aboard. The captain used the remote control to activate the detonator, but nothing happened when he pressed the button even after repeated attempts. He had looked outside the window, seeing the men standing there awaiting his orders.
Idiots!, he fumed.
He opened the bridge's door & barked at his men.
"Well, what are you fools waiting for?! Cut that cable!"
His outburst got the men moving, & they hacked away at the taut cable attached to Godzilla, with two of them having their blades shattered in the attempt.
"Captain!", the first mate shouted, his voice filled with trepidation.
"What is it?!", he barked fiercely.
The first mate could only stare, & the captain followed it.
Like the first mate's, his eyes were wide with horror: Godzilla started to descend back into the water, pulling the Russian ship with it.
And those fools outside still haven't severed that filthy cable!, he thought with dread.
"Cut that cable right NOW!", he shouted as he opened the bridge door. "Cut it before that monster takes us…"
It was too late: as Godzilla submerged underneath the surface of the sea, the cable went with him & dragged the bow of the ship with him. Once it scraped against the water, the Russian fishing vessel was ripped asunder as pieces of debris & people flew around everywhere.
Inside the Osumi-class ship, Hidemi, Akemi, Emiko, Anna & Elsa shut their eyes & turned away from the scene.
Tajima, Yoshi, Kristoff & the rest simply stared in disbelief & shock at what they'd just witnessed.
Even Olaf & Sven stared in stunned silence, despite the fact they couldn't see it closer without binoculars.
For once, they were glad that they couldn't!
As Godzilla disappeared from sight, a quartet of objects floated to the surface amid the debris & dead bodies of the Russian vessel: these were the tanks filled with Godzilla's bodily fluids that were kept afloat by inflatable bags that were wrapped around each one, chained to one another so that they wouldn't be adrift separately. Atop each tank was a bright flash which blinked intermittently, while also sending out a strong signal for the extraction team to receive & retrieve.
Said team arrived forty minutes later in the form of a Mil Mi-14 helicopter that followed the signals to their source before a steel cable with a magnetic end was lowered down to first attach itself to the nearest tank, then to haul it up as soon as it was magnetically sealed. The chains attached to each tank's hull made it a simple job for the chopper to bring its precious cargo aboard – a cargo that each of the men on the Russian ship was willing to give their lives for.
Each crew member did exactly that.
Once the cargo was safely aboard, the Mil Mi-14 helicopter made a U-turn in the air & headed back the way it had arrived, leaving what remained of the Russian fishing boat & its crew floating in the water.
Not once did they detect, much less see the drone Yoshi's men deployed, as the device recorded everything that went down & saved in the computers back at the Osumi-class vessel.
"We've got it all", Yoshi said over his radio. "Get the drone back here immediately before something happens to it, or it gets spotted by accident."
"Yes sir", came the reply.
The room was silent for several moments as everyone gathered their wits from the scenario that played out.
Elsa was the one to break the eerie quiet.
"I guess that partly answers some of our questions", she says, facing Tajima. "But to reiterate Anna's, what could the Russians possibly want with collecting Godzilla's blood/tissue samples?"
Tajima & Hidemi look at each other before the latter spoke.
"Let's all head into the main lab, & not only will my husband tell you why Godzilla's blood is so vital an item, he'll also show you why."
Having no other alternative, the Arendelle trio nodded & followed the scientist to said room where they were met with Olaf, who was looking pale from what he & Sven saw. Patting the snowman on the back, Kristoff lead him in the main lab with Tajima & the others. Inside, the scientist set up a laptop console & inserted a drive into the side before he began typing. Attached to the monitor, images can be seen clearly to all.
"For quite some time, people have wondered what makes Godzilla so unique, being unlike any animal known to man", Tajima says, working the keyboard. "This is footage I've managed to capture some years ago – shortly after the monster's battle with Space Godzilla & Gigan in Fukuoka in 2009. It was one of the most astonishing discoveries I've ever bore witness to in all my life, & now it's your turn. You'll see why Godzilla is much harder to kill than most people realize."
With the tapping of keys, Tajima gets a piece of footage going on the large monitor as everyone sees Godzilla roaming across Japan as jet fighters blast away at the monster, to no avail of stopping him or even slowing his progress. At a certain point, Tajima slowed down the footage at a particular moment. It showed a shell fired from a tank which seemed to crawl at Godzilla before striking him, the explosion blasting off chunks of his flesh & creating a smokescreen which obscured the wound.
"Ouch! That's gonna leave a mark!", Kristoff says.
"Think so, Kristoff? Just keep watching", he simply said.
The outdoorsman did as Tajima suggested, & he, Anna, Elsa & Olaf kept staring at the screen as the smoke from the shell explosion started clearing up. When Godzilla's flesh was visible again, the Arendelle trio & Olaf gasped at what they saw, with the snowman rubbing/blinking his eyes.
The wound on Godzilla was gone, absolutely gone from sight, his flesh intact – like he had never been touched.
"No. Freakin'. Way", Kristoff said.
"Awesome!", Olaf slowly said in an astonished whisper, his mouth wide in awe.
Kristoff was too stunned to make any further remarks.
"Unbelievable!", Anna said, turning to Tajima. "Godzilla can heal instantly?!"
"From the moment he's injured, yes", Tajima said, stopping the footage. "Along with his dense bones that are even stronger than titanium & the ability to project a ray of radioactive heat from his mouth, Godzilla's greatest weapon is his ability to heal & recover from any wound in such an instantaneous manner, which is no doubt due to the massive amount of radiation which is stored in his body."
"So, it seemed you were correct with your theory when you first laid it out to us, Tajima", Elsa said. "No amount of conventional weaponry – short of a nuclear weapon – can ever kill Godzilla."
"It also answers your question before, Anna", Emiko said. "With Godzilla's blood, it can be thoroughly studied & perhaps used someday to greatly benefit mankind, such as treating the sick & injured."
"You mean, actually use it for medicine?", Kristoff asks. "To have it sold in those, what are they called again, pharmaceutical companies?"
"Exactly, Kristoff", Akemi said. "Just imagine it: the ability for a person to heal one's own wounds with a simple pill or even by rubbing a portion of it on a cut, or even better…heal broken bones almost in the blink of an eye."
"Currently, the regeneration capability in humans is very small", Hidemi adds. "Broken bones take usually 6 to 12 weeks to mend firmly, & even longer to fully heal – which can take between 3 to 9 years, depending on a person's age. As for cuts, scrapes & such, their time of fully healing can vary, so there is no definite answer on that."
"Well, if medicinal ambitions are all what the Russians were after, then there's no real harm done…right?", Anna asked with a sheepish grin. It vanished from her face when she saw the solemn faces on everyone.
"I think it may have more to do with it than just healing the sick, Anna", Elsa said. "Something about all this just doesn't seem right: those Russians were willing to sacrifice their own men in order to obtain Godzilla's blood & tissue samples."
"Elsa could very well be right", Tajima said. "You saw how callous & reckless their captain was, & how he didn't even bother to rescue those who went overboard. No: like Elsa, I myself fear that medicinal ambitions are the last thing on the minds of the Russians who want Godzilla's blood."
The thought suddenly came to the minds of the Arendelle trio & Tajima's wife & daughters.
"You mean…they'll want to turn it into a weapon of some kind?!", Anna asked.
"Very possibly", Tajima said. "And very possibly turn it into one to try & kill Godzilla himself with. After all, Anna…what better way to kill something deemed indestructible than with its own bodily fluids? As far as I am aware of, nobody's ever concocted a serum capable of doing that…at least, not without some samples to work with, anyway."
"You mean, nobody's ever gotten a sample of blood or tissue from him in all his years of existence?", Kristoff wondered.
"Up until today, only the United States of America & Japan were ever successful in that endeavor, Kristoff", said Yoshi. "And neither country is willing to share them with anyone."
A thought suddenly hit Olaf, & it chilled him – more so than usual.
"You all don't suppose that Sergei has anything to do with this, do you?", he says. "I mean, he's our friend…isn't he?"
"No, Olaf, of course he isn't involved in this", Elsa said, reassuring him. "And yes…he is our friend. You know how fond he is of us & our other friends from days past…including you."
"Yeah, Olaf…you even shook hands with the guy last Christmas! Remember?", Anna put in.
The memory of when Olaf shook hands at Patricia & Nathan Benice's home in Los Angeles was still fresh in the mind of the snowman, & he smiled warmly.
"Sure,I remember, Anna!", Olaf says. "Hey…I also remember when he didn't shake my hand!"
Recalling when Russian ambassador Sergei declined to shake the snowman's hand that first time because he was more than a little scared put a smile on their faces.
"See, Olaf? You'll find that Sergei has nothing to do with this incident", Kristoff says.
"I refuse to believe it also, Kristoff", Yoshi says. "But even if that should be true, this is something that we still can't ignore. In fact, we should get in touch with the Russian ambassador as we get ourselves back to Japan, & I know just the man to help us do that."
"You mean…?", Elsa started to say as Yoshi nodded.
"Then let's pack up & head for home, everyone", Tajima said, gathering up his equipment.
In a span of twenty minutes, they were back on the ShinMaywa US-2 sea plane & on their way back to Japan.
Washington, D.C., the Washington Monument, Monday, July 4th, 7:50 p.m.:
For a full three hours, the Benice family – Patricia, Nathan, Eugene & Rapunzel – held a Fourth of July concert in the heart of the nation's capital to commemorate not only more disaster relief funds to those who lost lives & more in areas destroyed by monsters & nature itself, but also America's 240th Birthday when it adopted the famed Declaration of Independence on this day in 1776, when the United States of America was freed from the British Empire & no more a part of it, hence its title. The area of the concert stretched from the Lincoln Memorial to the U.S. Capital, & even the White House itself. It was decorated with red, white & blue attire of all kinds, from flags, streamers & balloons to man-made replicated portraits of U.S. Presidents past & present. Large flat-screen televisions were set up for those who were too far away from the Washington Monument to see the Benice family perform live.
In their three-hour performance, the Benice family not only performed patriotic songs to celebrate the holiday, but also gave a quick speech/recap on how America was formed & gained its Independence. There were even songs of baseball which they performed, as it is often called 'America's Pasttime': tunes such as John Fogerty's 'Centerfield' & Bruce Springsteen's 'Glory Days' to Queen's 'We Are the Champions'. Eugene & Nathan even went so far as to redo the famous baseball comedy sketch 'Who's On First?', as done by iconic duo Abbott & Costello.
Many boisterous laughs came from the audience, especially as to how they performed the skit so expertly – as if Bud Abbott & Lou Costello were alive again.
Even Maximus & Pascal were enjoying everything: the Andalusian was wearing a saddle in the traditional red, white & blue colors, with a top hat to match. Pascal used his color-changing ability to resemble the American flag & held a miniature one in each hand.
Now, in conclusion of the concert, Patricia & Rapunzel – both attired in red, white & blue outfits – begin with a song that Neil Diamond made famous from his 1980 album 'The Jazz Singer', from the movie of the same name.
Ironically, the movie itself was a gigantic flop but the album was enormously successful.
The song was simply titled 'America'.
With Nathan on guitar, the song started with a violin intro before going into full swing with the girls on vocals:
We've been traveling far
Without a home
But not without a star
Only want to be free
We huddle close
Hang on to a dream
On the boats & on the planes
They're coming to America
Never looking back again
They're coming to America
Don't it seem so far away
Oh, we're traveling light today
In the eye of the storm
In the eye of the storm
To a new & a shiny place
Make our bed & we'll say our grace
Freedom's light burning warm
Freedom's light burning warm
Everywhere around the world
They're coming to America
Every time that flag's unfurled
They're coming to America
Got a dream to take them there
They're coming to America
Got a dream they've come to share
They're coming to America
They're coming to America
They're coming to America
They're coming to America
They're coming to America
Today, today, today
My country 'tis of thee (today)
Sweet land of liberty (today)
Of thee I sing (today)
Of thee I sing, today
The tune ended in an orchestra-like chorus before coming to a complete stop, & the audience cheered the Benices for a grand version of Neil Diamond's hit song that has become one of his most popular, especially during this time of year.
For their next & final number, it was a tune first recorded for the album 'Gravity' which was recorded by the so-called 'Godfather of Soul' James Brown, who passed away on Christmas Day 2006 at the age of 73. It was also featured in the fourth 'Rocky' movie, directed by its star Sylvester Stallone.
Giving Nathan & the rest of the band their cue, the song started out with a 1980s funk sound that mixed it with R&B & Rock & Roll – something James Brown all but excelled at in his career.
On this night, Patricia & Rapunzel Benice let out their own godfather of soul, singing to their heart's content & making the original as proud as can be:
Yeah, uh! Get up, now!
Knock me out, yeah!
Super highways, coast to coast
Easy to get anywhere
On the transcontinental overload
Just slide behind the wheel
How does it feel
(When there's no destination) – that's too far
And somewhere on the way,
You might find out who you are – wow!
(Living in America)
Ow! Eye to eye, station to station
(Living in America)
Hand to hand, across the nation
(Living in America)
Got to have a celebration
Rock my soul…heh!
Many miles of railroad track
All night radio, keep on runnin'
Through your rock 'n roll soul
All night diners keep you awake
Hey, on black coffee & a hard roll. Wow!
(You might have to walk the fine line)
(You might take the hard line)
But everybody's working overtime
(Living in America)
Heh! Eye to eye, station to station
(Living in America)
Hand to hand, across the nation
(Living in America)
Yeow! Got to have a celebration
Yeow! I. Live. In America
Help me out
But I. Live. In America
Wait a minute
You may not be looking for the promised land
But you might find it anyway
Under one of those old familiar names
Like New Orleans (New Orleans)
Detroit City (Detroit City)
Pittsburg P.A. (Pittsburg P.A.)
New York City (New York City)
Kansas City (Kansas City)
Chicago & L.A.
(Living in America) Yeow…hit me!
(Living in America) Yeah!
I walk in & out
(Living in America)
Now I. Live. In America
State lines, gonna make the prime
That I. Live. In America
Hey, I know what it means. I…
(Living in America)
Eddie Murphy, eat your heart out
(Living in America)
Hit me, I said now, eye to eye
Station to station
(Living in America)
So nice, with your bare self
(Living in America)
I feel good!
A raucous, boisterous roar of cheer erupted in the nation's capital, & the Benice family along with Maximus & Pascal were grinning proudly from ear to ear, celebrating the 240th Birthday of the greatest country in the world – one which is broadcasted from coast to coast.
Patricia & Rapunzel even blew kisses to the crowd, waving happily at those who've come down to greet them & enjoy the show. Nathan gestured for Eugene to come up on stage & was prompted further when Maximus gave him a slight shove, keeping his smile on his face. Even Pascal encouraged the one-time thief by gesturing with his hands that still held his mini flags.
Chuckling slightly at their antics, Eugene nodded & did as asked, taking a bow with Nathan for their remarkable – and utterly hilarious – 'Who's On First?' routine. Eugene also deserved praise for his rendition of the baseball song 'D-O-D-G-E-R-S (Oh, really? No, O'Malley)' as originally sung by Danny Kaye in 1962, along with 'A Dying Cub Fan's Last Request' as originally performed by singer-songwriter Steve Goodman, who died on September 20, 1984 at age 36.
He soaked up the attention like a sponge.
Patricia, Nathan & even Rapunzel deserves most of the credit, but it is nice to get myself some approval!, Eugene thought.
And he had to admit: he does have amazing talent to call his own!
Patricia made an announcement to the crowd on her microphone.
"Thank you all very much, ladies & gentlemen! It was an absolute JOY to be down here tonight in this wonderful nation's capital to honor its 240th year in existence! But don't you go anywhere just yet, because while the concert may be over, the fun still isn't! In just a few minutes, you're all going to be treated to an amazing fireworks show – one the likes of which you've NEVER seen! Are you ready?!"
The crowd's answer was an even louder cheer.
"Then prepared to be dazzled, folks, & GOD BLESS AMERICA!", Patricia finished.
Another raucous cheer came from the audience before the Benice family stepped off stage & headed for a seat over at the U.S. Capital to get the best view of the fireworks display that will start in minutes. When it did, the people were anything but disappointed: vibrant colors of various fireworks patterns, ranging from bright color flashes to spiral designs were the highlight in the evening sky. Choruses of 'ooh', 'aah' & 'wow!' filled the crowd with each stunning display, the show being its most awestruck as the nation celebrates a milestone.
Maximus neighed proudly whenever he saw a display he truly liked, & Pascal tried imitating the colors of every firework that did its magic in the night sky above.
Rapunzel, Patricia, Nathan and Eugene giggled at the little chameleon's antics.
The fireworks show lasted until ten in the evening.
The Benice family retreated back to the Westin Georgetown Hotel, located at 2350 M. Street NW of the nation's capital. Maximus stayed in his specially-made mobile stable parked across the street & enjoyed a nice helping of fresh apples for his supper, while Pascal went inside with Rapunzel & placed in the room but not before the family picked up several ready-made sandwiches & some side dishes to enjoy as their dinner. After they ate, each family member went & took a quick shower in their separate rooms: Patricia & Nathan in one, with Eugene & Rapunzel in another.
Dressed in their night gowns & sleep wear, Patricia & Nathan dry their hair before sharing a passionate kiss as the husband-&-wife musicians joyfully express their love.
At that time, Nathan's cell phone buzzed.
Taking it out of his travel bag, he checked it.
"What do you know, Patricia? It's a text…from Tajima!", he says with a smile which slowly turns into a frown.
"What is it, hon? What's wrong?", Patricia asks, worried.
"He wants me to put my cell phone on video chat mode. Says he has something he needs to discuss with us – and that it's very important."
"Knowing Tajima, it must be to call us at this hour. Better put him on."
Nathan nodded & dialed Tajima's number, putting his cell phone on video chat like the Japanese scientist asked.
After the first ring, Tajima's face appeared as Nathan held his device horizontally.
"Hello Nathan, Patricia", Tajima started. "My apologies for calling you both so late in the United States…"
"No worries, Tajima", Patricia said. "Judging by your text to my husband, we take it this isn't a social call."
"I only wish it was, Patricia. But judging by the severity of what I'm about to relay to you both, this really cannot wait."
Patricia & Nathan Benice face each other briefly before turning back to the latter's phone.
"What's the situation?", Nathan asked.
Tajima Sugimoto gave it to them in every detail, sparing none.
Five minutes later, Patricia & Nathan went over to Eugene & Rapunzel's room next door as the former knocked, seeing the two also in their sleep wear. Both former prince & princess from Corona saw the serious & worrisome faces on their adopted parents, they both began to worry themselves.
"Patricia? Nathan? What's wrong?", Rapunzel asked.
"Eugene, Rapunzel…there's something we need to tell you two about", Patricia said.
"Two somethings, in fact", Nathan added. "And it's best you both hear of this now."
"Of course. Come on in", Eugene said as the husband-&-wife musicians enter their room & closed the door.
Patricia & Nathan relayed to Eugene & Rapunzel what Tajima Sugimoto told of them only moments ago, from Gus & Merida's ordeal in Peleliu to their own in the Sea of Japan. Like the Japanese scientist, they spared no detail & laid it all out with nothing left unsaid.
When they were finished, emotions range high, from fear to downright rage – the latter of which Eugene was feeling very strongly of.
"I don't believe this!", he growled, pumping his fist into his hand but keeping his voice down. "Just when we all thought we've halted their progress, those North Korean rats continue to keep going with their nuclear weapons program behind the backs of the UN! Five minutes, that's all Kristoff & I ask – just five minutes with their leader Kim Jong Un, & we guarantee we'll teach him a lesson he'll never forget!"
Rapunzel went to calm her husband down before he could explode, be it intentionally or not.
Taking a deep breath, Eugene let it out & settled down on the side of their bed.
"Let's face it", he says in a much sooth tone. "They'll never stop until they succeed, & the lives they put in danger from their missile tests are all but irrelevant to these people – people who starve their own population & spend every cent on weaponry rather than what their residents really need, like food, medicine & better living conditions. And can you still remember how Emiko reacted when their first missile flew over Tokyo last month?"
"How could we forget, Eugene?", Rapunzel says, taking his hands. "She cried for over an hour, believing that first missile was going to hit their city & take out a chunk of it – particularly where she & her family occupy. The next two times weren't any better either, & it's gotten the whole family on edge. If only there was something that could be done to permanently end this horrible farce – because it really is getting to me just as much!"
"Eugene, Rapunzel – you know how Patricia & I feel about North Korea", Nathan said. "Not only are their nuclear missiles testing becoming a great danger to their neighboring south, Japan and the United States, but these people also sell some of their armament to places like Syria, Ethiopia, & Somalia. That's another factor why this isolated country – particularly its capital city Pyongyang – is so dangerous & has grown into a threat to world peace."
"They why aren't the militaries of the world doing something about them?", Rapunzel asked. "Sanctions alone are not enough."
It was Patricia that filled him & Rapunzel in.
"They're doing everything they can to prevent them from carrying through with their program, Rapunzel. Even if it is a long shot, they're hoping to try & negotiate with North Korea to give up its nuclear weapons before they have to resort to force. Can you even imagine the horrid consequences if an all-out war erupted with that country? The amount of lives lost would be astronomical, to say the least – with Tajima & his family caught in the middle of it. That's why they need to settle this in a political manner if even the smallest chance of it is possible."
"And if they don't?", Rapunzel pressed. "From what we've read on the internet about North Korea and of Kim Jong Un & his heartless regime, they're pig-headed, stubborn, & absolutely won't listen to reason. I'm not going to try & hide the fact that I'm more than a little scared – scared not just for us, Tajima & his family & everyone else in close proximity of them, but that we are going to have to go to war with these crazy people, even if we don't want to."
Patricia & Nathan were silent, unsure of what to say. They knew Rapunzel raised a good point: the people under Kim Jong Un's rule – his generals & military personnel in particular – have all but ignored the warnings of the United Nations, no matter how often they were relayed or how many sanctions they've slapped on their country. Since early June, North Korea launched five ballistic missiles, all in Japan's direction, & there's every indication that they'll likely be more in the coming days/weeks.
The husband-&-wife musicians placed gentle hands on Eugene & Rapunzel's shoulders & looked them straight in the eyes with a compassionate stare.
"Eugene, Rapunzel, no matter what happens, we will get through this", Patricia says in an equally compassionate tone. "Just give the sanctions & the United Nations more time. We'll reach a plausible solution with this somehow."
Whenever either or both of their adoptive parents speak to them in such a motherly/fatherly tone to them, it has a lasting effect on Eugene & Rapunzel, which also includes Maximus & Pascal.
It's one of their many special talents, & one of many reasons why the former residents of Corona love them so.
"We'll do our best", Eugene & Rapunzel said, smiling in appreciation.
The music duo smile themselves, happy they can always get through to them.
"But let's put the North Korean crisis aside for now, as we've got that other set of business to worry about", said Nathan.
"You mean about the blood/tissue samples of Godzilla those Russians took?", Eugene asked as Nathan nodded.
"On their way back to Tokyo before making a brief stop in Hiroshima, Tajima & Yoshi had gotten in touch with General Ronald Len Ernie, who is currently stationed within Japan's capital city to deal with the North Korean situation. After giving him a quick rundown, he then got in touch with Russian Ambassador Sergei Yeltsin & gave him all the details. He's arranged for all of us to be flown over to Russia & discuss the matter at hand at the Kremlin. Most likely we'll each be heading over there sometime tomorrow."
"'All of us'?", Rapunzel repeated. "You mean not only they're going to get flown over to Russia, but also…"
"That's right, Rapunzel", Patricia says. "We'll be joining Tajima & hisfamily, along with Gus, Elinor & Merida Fleming on this endeavor. More likely than not, we'll be getting a notice of sort from the Ronald Reagan International Airport sometime in the morning, so let's all try to get a good night's sleep, okay?"
With nothing else to go on or say, Eugene & Rapunzel nodded as Patricia gave each of them a kiss on the cheek.
Pascal went & jumped in her hands, receiving a kiss from Patricia as well.
It made everyone giggle.
"Of course I won't forget about you, Pascal!", she said joyfully as Pascal went to his master's shoulder.
"We'll see you all in the morning. Good night, kids", Nathan said as he & his wife exited the room.
"Good night", Eugene & Rapunzel said before the door closed, leaving them alone.
They looked at each other with nervousness, but also with eagerness.
"It would be nice to see everyone again despite the situation on hand, blondie", Eugene said.
"I was thinking the same thing, Eugene", Rapunzel said. "Let's do what Patricia suggests & get some sleep. We have another big day ahead of us!"
"Amen", Eugene finished, kissing his wife before they got to bed as Pascal did the same on a soft & comfortable mini towel that he used as a bed and blanket.
In no time, they were asleep.
The undisclosed location:
The giant life form was asleep in its chamber, its powerful fur-covered body at rest. Even fully immersed in the water of its cylindrical home, the creature did not drown: it was conceived by its creators to be amphibious & breathe underwater like a fish, despite its bipedal form. Far below, a group of people were studying it from a console, checking the vital signs of their test-tube 'baby'.
The one in charge stepped forward & stood next to the main scientist manning the readings.
When he spoke, it was in Japanese.
"How goes it, doctor? Is our pet in good health?"
"I'm very happy to say that he is", the top doctor replied. "His vital signs are all in the green, & there's no sign of abnormalities anywhere on his person, be they exterior or interior. The only thing he is displaying that's reading off the charts is an overwhelming desire to be out of his chamber & roam free of it. Even with the sedative, his animalistic & primal instincts have spiked on numerous occasions. If we continue keeping him locked up in this chamber of his any longer, he might become too berserk for even us to control."
"You needn't worry, doctor: our creation will have the chance to display his raw talents, in a few days. Until then, continue monitoring all of his vital signs & notify me at once if there's any change in them."
With his second-in-command by his side, the leader walked away from the large cylinder to allow the doctor & his staff to resume working.
They were just as anxious to see their creation be free & perform as the leader himself is.
They've waited more than a year to see the fruits of their success.
A few more days in waiting won't hurt.
Sheremetyevo International Airport, Russia, July 6th, 9:00 a.m.:
In their own perspective countries, the Benice, Fleming & Sugimoto families have each gathered up their personal belongings in preparations for attending their flight to the one-time Soviet Union. Since their estimated flight times & arrivals were all different due to the time zones of their countries, each family departed from their homeland's airports at individual periods.
The Benice family left Washington, D.C. at 5:00 p.m., their flight lasting approximately 9 hours & 40 minutes.
The Sugimoto family left Tokyo, Japan at 4:45 a.m., arriving at the Russian airport 10 hours & 10 minutes later.
Since Gus, Elinor & Merida resided in London, England, they were closest to Russia, having left a 2:00 a.m. & arriving after a 3-hour, 35-minute flight.
In fact, they were the first family to arrive on Russian soil & greeted the Benice & Sugimoto families when they finally showed up. Not since Gus & Elinor's wedding in Birmingham four months ago have these people from both the past and present been together for an occasion, with their brief move over to Los Angeles, California to keep Tajima & his family safe from Yakuza boss Hisashi Masahiro after invading (& thrashing) their home in Tokyo being the first.
The meeting of the three families was a reunion like no other, & they all greeted everybody with the very warmest of regards.
"Hidemi! Patricia!", a smiling Elinor Fleming called out, getting into a three-person hug. "How wonderful it is to see you all in the flesh again! Even though it was only four months previous, it seems like forever we've been together like this!"
"I agree, Elinor!", Hidemi said. "Between times when we do see each other, it seems like a long stretch, but when it finally does happen again, I know for certain that the wait will become well worthit!"
"I couldn't agree more, Hidemi!", Elinor said before her voice takes on a worried tone. "And forgive me for this, but…when we learned of that incident over at Saiko Lake with that Plesiosaur & Rhamphorhynchus, not to mention Rodan's sudden attack on Fukuoka on your birthday of all days, we feared the worst! And let's not forget what occurred at your concert in Honolulu, Patricia, what with that Manu Ahi creature that all but ravaged it!"
"We felt the same way about you people when that mutated octopus creature attacked London, Elinor…and on your own honeymoon, no less!", Patricia put in. "Were it not for those two gargantuan creatures Gaira & Sanda…"
"I know, Patricia: it was a harrowing experience on what should've been a joyous occasion. But I'm a strong girl, same as my daughter Merida: we've both been through experiences most people can only dream about, & no matter the situation, we always come out on top. Our experience with Hisashi Masahiro and the Black Hole Aliens just last year are two prime examples."
"Amen!", Patricia & Hidemi say, getting into another three-person hug.
The men – Tajima, Nathan & Gus – also get into a threesome, in the form of handshake greetings. Same as with Eugene & Kristoff, who did so in a more stylish fashion.
"Hey Kristoff!", Eugene says with a grin.
"Eugene!", Kristoff says in the same manner.
"How you doin'?", they say in unison, pointing a finger at each other before sharing a laugh & giving one another a grand patting on the back.
The girls were no different in greeting one another: Merida, Rapunzel, Akemi, Emiko, Anna & Elsa were giving each other warm hugs (ones that would make Olaf proud) & saying how wonderful it is to be seeing/being with each other in person, rather than cam chats & cell phone texts. Eugene, Kristoff & the adults found the scene as heartwarming as their own. Pascal was overjoyed to be seeing everyone back together, & like a frog he leaped at each person he had not seen since Gus & Elinor's wedding four months ago, from Gus & Tajima to Elinor & Hidemi & the former residents of 10th Century Scotland & 1788 Arendelle.
Each person the small chameleon landed on giggled in amusement,
"Good to see you too, Pascal!", they said simultaneously with a grin on their faces.
Landing on Rapunzel's shoulder, Pascal gave a bow of appreciation, inciting more giggles.
"Everybody has arrived! Most excellent!", said a Russian-accented English voice.
The three sets of other-time residents & their adoptive families turn to see a pair of men in light grey business suits, shoes & black tie walking towards them. One of these men had a fashionable set of hair with a light mustache & beard, while the other was nearly bald at the top & wore dark sunglasses. Each wore a smile on their faces & spread out their arms as if ready to give each member a hug.
They all smiled big when they saw who they were, being just as happy to see them as it is in reverse.
"Sergei! Nikolai!", they said as one, heading over to greet the Russian ambassador & his bodyguard/assistant.
"Dobroye utro, my friends…and welcome to our Mother Russia!", Sergei says proudly. "It is good seeing each & every one of you in person again! Four months can feel like eternity, no?"
"Oh yes!", the Benice, Fleming & Sugimoto families say together, inciting laughs from all.
"Nevertheless, it gives us great joy to have all you people in visiting our homeland just as we did back in America this past Christmas season!", Sergei continued. "To have good look at all these wonderful faces, & in my neck of woods, is the greatest gift I could ask for…especially you, Emiko, my lisichka!"
The youngest member of the Sugimoto family grinned with the Russian ambassador.
"Hai, 'little fox'…I remember it well, Sergei!", she says, going to him & planting a kiss on his cheek as Sergei gave her a warm hug. Emiko's family & the rest received a flitter of joy in their hearts in viewing the beautiful scene.
Like everyone else, Sergei felt a great surge of sympathy for the young Japanese girl after learning that the Black Hole Aliens used/manipulated her good friend Ayana Tazaki in piloting the cyborg monster Mecha-King Ghidorah in order to kill Godzilla, believing it was he that killed her parents. With Emiko's coaxing, Ayana learned the truth & thus turned on her alien masters, ramming her cyborg monster into their ocean-voyaging headquarters, killing everyone on board, including herself & almost Gus & Merida.
The incident tugged at Sergei & Nikolai's heart strings, & it's why they share a special bond to the young girl from Japan. It was something Emiko became quite proud of.
"Even though we wish the circumstances could be a little better, Sergei, it's still a pleasure for us all to see both of you once more", Emiko says, releasing her hold.
Sergei & Nikolai nodded.
"We agree, Miss Sugimoto", Nikolai said in English. "But you can rest assured: this trip you all have made here won't be entirely business without pleasure."
"Speaking of…", Sergei says, walking over to the Japanese scientist. "Professor Sugimoto, I have contacted the officials over at the Kremlin after consulting with General Ernie of your situation. The meeting will take a few days to conduct, but it will take place. Period."
"Domo arigato, Sergei", Tajima said. "If it's all the same, we'd all like to gather our luggage – not to mention our animals – and be brought over to our hotel rooms. It's been a long flight for most of us, particularly my family."
"That goes for mine as well", Nathan said. "Even though we slept on our flight most of the time, we could use a little more rest to shake off this leftover jet lag."
Everyone else in the Benice, Fleming & Sugimoto family nodded.
"Da. Let's get you all to a waiting Marshrutka & take you to the hotel which Nikolai & myself, along with another, have set you all up in. Shall we?"
"Lead the way, comrade", Gus said.
Both men grinned at the British agent's remark as Sergei gestured to where they can gather their luggage before heading down to ground level & approaching a pair of white mobile stables attached onto the rear of a black SUV with tinted windows & a light blue Marshrutka – a privately-owned minibus taxi that was capable of holding an amount of 15-20 people. They were welcomed by a woman who stood six feet tall in height attired in black dress pants, shoes, white dress shirt & black tie. She had a head of short-styled crimson hair with lips to match, & her blue eyes had shown both a glamour & strong warrior's spirit in them.
Her appearance was immediately noticed by the group.
"And who might this be, Sergei?", Elinor asked. "Another assistant?"
"Not exactly, moy sladkiy", Sergei replied. "Folks, I want you all to say 'privyet' – hello, or hi – to Miss Malvina Semenov, a high-ranking colonel in the Russian Red Army. It was her that lead the attack upon the bat creature called Bagorah when it invaded Volgograd this past December."
"The very same beast in which Mothra & Rodan assisted us in defeating", Malvina said in English. "Greetings to all of you – Sergei & Nikolai have told me all about you fine folks."
Her statement caused the three families to stop in their tracks, their faces reacting accordingly.
"By that, you mean to say that you know about where Elsa & the others…", Gus started to say.
"Where she & her friends originally came from, & what the two of you are capable of, da", Malvina finished.
Sergei stepped in before anyone else could intervene.
"Please forgive my revelation of your secrets to another without your consent", he addressed sincerely. "But both Nikolai & myself strongly felt that with this situation, we would need somebody most trustworthy in helping us to get through it. Malvina here is that somebody: she's tough as nails on & off the battlefield, yet she has a humane side to her that garnered her high remarks among her peers & superiors. If there's anyone capable of being entrusted with your secrets, it'd be her. Believe me when I say that you will find her to be a most valuable commodity & asset to our group. If I thought otherwise, I would never relay such precious information upon her, especially not without good reason."
The three families faced each other in silent consult: having Sergei unveil that he's told another of Elsa's snow & ice powers & Rapunzel's magical healing hair, along with the fact that their groups & the former DunBroch rulers were from centuries past that were thrown & reawakened into the 21st Century did come as a shock to them. Then again, Rapunzel was forced to reveal her hair's healing power to Gus, Patricia & Nathan after first arriving in this era when the men were shot. That also went for Elsa, who revealed her abilities to not only Sergei & Nikolai, but also to General Ronald Len Ernie of the United States Army in his office when Mechagodzilla's Absolute Zero Cannon was brought up. Olaf was even shown to the three men, & though it took them off-guard, they've each accepted the reality of it all.
What's more, in all that time, not one of them have unveiled their secrets to another, just as they've kept the secret location of the General's hidden Army base exactly that – secret.
If Sergei revealed their true origins to Malvina, then they believe she must be very trustworthy of keeping it all to herself.
After three seconds, they face their Russian friends again.
"No worries, Sergei", Elinor said. "For all this time, you've kept our true natures confidential. We all but trust your judgment, so if you really have that much confidence in Malvina, then there's only one thing to say."
The three Russians waited until the entire group answered as one.
"Glad to have you aboard, Malvina Semenov!"
Malvina, Sergei & Nikolai smiled brightly, happy that the Russian colonel has just joined the family.
"Spasibo, everyone", Malvina said. "Let's get your luggage all loaded in the SUVs & head for where you'll be staying, shall we?"
Nodding, they all followed her to the black vehicles where the stables waited in the rear.
Afterwards, Kristoff, Eugene & Merida went to the rear of the stables & opened up a portion of the back to see the animals waiting inside: Sven was placed in one, while Maximus & Angus shared the other, having room enough for both.
"Sven!", Kristoff said. "How was your trip over here?"
"It was a loooooong flight from Tokyo", Kristoff said in the voice he uses for Sven. "But at least I was well-fed along the way."
"Glad to hear it, buddy!", Kristoff said normally. "Hope you like Russia like you did America!"
"We'll soon find out, won't we?", he said in Sven's voice.
Grins of amusement came from each, including the trio of Russians, finding it jolly when Kristoff speaks for his reindeer friend.
"Hey…what about me?", Olaf said, his voice muffled by the duffel bag in Sven's stable.
"Not yet, Olaf", Kristoff said, sticking his head in slightly. "Just stay in there a little longer, okay?"
"Okay, but hurry…it's starting to stink in here, & not just in this bag!"
Sven grunted in mild annoyance as Kristoff shook his head sadly with a sigh.
Maximus & Angus were greeted just as kindly, with Merida patting her steed's mane as Eugene – joined by his wife – did the same with theirs. Both animals neighed softly in appreciation.
"Such wonderful animals they are – the Andalusian & Clydesdale", Malvina said, patting both & getting the same response from both steeds.
"You have no idea!", Eugene, Rapunzel & Merida say as one, sharing a giggle with the Russian colonel.
"Just hold on a little longer, you guys", Eugene said. "Once we get settled in, you'll be able to stretch your legs after a long flight."
"And with the licenses we've made for your animals, they would be permitted to stand out in public so they won't be impounded by the authorities", Nikolai said, showing them said objects attached to the animals' collars, its contents in Russian.
Kristoff, Eugene, Rapunzel & Merida nodded in appreciation.
"Spasibo, Nikolai", they said together.
The man couldn't help but to grin.
"Let's all climb inside the Marshrutka & get you folks to your hotel rooms", Malvina said.
"We aren't getting any younger, Malvina!", said Elinor, making her smile.
Within minutes, their luggage was within the two SUVs as they went inside the minibus taxi.
Nikolai took the wheel, with Sergei & Malvina sitting diagonally behind him.
They were off, leaving Sheremetyevo International Airport & heading south.
Moscow, Russia, 11:40 a.m.:
Traveling along the M-11 freeway, the Benice, Fleming & Sugimoto families saw the vast open lands of Russia, clicking photos with their cell phones at everything intriguing they come across. When Sergei announced that they were fast approaching the Moscow Canal, they hurried to take a photo before & during going over the bridge, capturing the moment as it happens. In the Khimki District, they could see buildings past the border wall, & once they crossed over the Mkad 77 Kilometr freeway, Sergei made the grand announcement.
"We have arrived, ladies & gentlemen!"
"You mean that we're finally in…", Anna started to say.
"Yes indeed!", Malvina said as she & Sergei turned to face their honored guests, smiling. "To all our dear friends from another time and their adoptive families…"
"Welcome to Moscow!", Malvina & Sergei said in unison.
The faces of those originally from 10th Century Scotland, 1788 Arendelle & Corona went wide with excitement as they peered through the windows of their Marshrutka in amazement at the sight that is Russia's capital: tall buildings on one side rose above the border wall, & while they may not be standard to Tokyo or even Los Angeles, they were still impressive to behold. The same went for Tajima, Hidemi, Akemi & Emiko, having never set foot on the soil of the former Soviet Union; Gus, Patricia & Nathan themselves have been to Russia before, but still found it mind-blowing & such a wonderful place.
Pascal made a sound that was equivalent to 'wow', while Sven, Maximus & Angus were able to see things from the rear, having the top latch opened & enable them to see the sights as their human friends are.
As they marveled at the sights, Nikolai got off the M-11 & onto the Ulitsa Taldomskaya expressway until reaching the Dubninskaya Ulitsa & headed south again. Traveling down to the Dmitrovskoye Shosse, Nikolai guided the two SUVs & their mobile stables onto the Sadovaya-Karetnaya Ulitsa, heading east even as several vehicles have honked in protest when he cut in front of them getting to the other side.
Nikolai smiled to himself as he made the maneuver, having performed it many times before.
Making a left on Academician Sakharov Avenue, they have finally arrived at their destination several blocks down: the Hilton Moscow Leningradskaya Hotel, off the corner of Kalanchevskaya Ulitsa.
"And here we are, comrades!", Nikolai stated once he stopped the Marshrutka with the two SUVs coming in right after within the parking lot. "You will all find this place very much to your liking!"
"Considering how amazing your country is so far, Nikolai, I'm betting that we shall!", said Akemi said, making him smile in gratitude.
"Let's get you all to your rooms, da?", Sergei asked.
Nodding, they all exited their ride & gathered up their luggage as Malvina allowed Sven, Maximus & Angus out of their stables to stretch their legs after so many hours of traveling. She simply laid out a few rules in order for them to remain within city limits, meaning doing their business only inside their stables & being on their best behavior. If by chance their owners should take them for a ride, they'll need to obey city laws like stopping at traffic lights & such.
Maximus & Sven nodded & even saluted the Russian colonel with a hoof, making her grin.
Angus simply gave her a neigh with a bob of his head, indicating that he, too, understood.
Remarkable animals, they are, Malvina said to herself.
After giving Sven a trio of carrots he bought at the airport, Kristoff took the bag that held Olaf within.
Once they all got inside, the group became astonished at the hotel's interior, from the main desk to the fine dining establishments. As Sergei, Nikolai & Malvina got everyone checked in, Elsa & company soaked up the beauty of the Russian hotel, giving her, Anna, Kristoff, Eugene, Rapunzel, Elinor & Merida a reminiscence of their own castles back in Arendelle & Corona.
"Look at it, sis!", Anna says without facing her. "It's almost like a true 'blast from our past'!"
"I know what you mean, Anna!", Elsa says. "It's similar to the ballroom we used to play in as kids!"
"And I thought your home was a wonder to behold, Rapunzel!", Elinor said. "Mine was nothing compared to yours, or even to this!"
"Aw Mum", Merida says. "Our old home wasn't all that bad! It did have its own feminine charm!"
Elinor thought about what her daughter said & nodded with a smile.
"No argument there, dear", she said as Merida smiled herself.
"I have to say, Rapunzel: your parents would be tickled pink if they could see this place!", Eugene said.
"You've certainly read my mind, Eugene!", Rapunzel replied. "Like me right now, they'd be lost in its beauty!"
"It's also a place the Stabbingtons would rob blind", Eugene whispered in his wife's ear.
"Not to mention you…back in your Flynn Rider days", Rapunzel whispered back.
Both shared a giggle on amusement.
"Royalty in its finest!", Kristoff said. "Our Russian friends spared no expense for our stay in their homeland!"
"It was our pleasure, iceman!", Sergei said as the adults rejoined Merida & company.
"Everything's all set, kids", Gus said. "We've just checked in, so let's take a peek at our living quarters for the next couple of days, shall we?"
They all nodded & headed for the elevators with their luggage.
Their floor/suites were close to the spire at the top of the building, giving everyone a bird's eye view of Moscow. Each room mostly had four occupants: Tajima, Hidemi, Akemi & Emiko in one, Gus, Elinor, Patricia & Nathan sharing another, & Merida, Rapunzel, Anna & Elsa in a third. Eugene & Kristoff would be sharing a room to themselves, with Olaf: they were a bit skeptical about the living snowman staying with the boys but found there really was no place else in the hotel to put him.
A flash of charm from the ladies didn't hurt either: when Rapunzel & Anna gave Eugene & Kristoff the little girl eyes look, they melted like butter on a hot day & gave in.
Now all they had to do was unzip the bag to let him out.
"All right, Olaf…now you can come out!", Kristoff said, unzipping the bag as Olaf popped out like a snake in one of those novelty nuts cans.
"Well, it's about time!", Olaf said as he landed on the rug. "I was starting to smell like reindeer in that bag! And don't even get me started on his constant gas passing while I was cooped up with Sven in that crate of his! You think he'd learn better manners by now!"
Eugene & Kristoff just stared at him with expressionless faces.
Olaf was so adamant on bragging on about his occupancy with Sven that he failed to notice the three Russians in the room – with two of them being familiar to the living snowman.
Olaf gasped in excitement.
"Sergei! Nikolai!", he cried joyfully as the two Russian men smiled upon seeing him & got down on one knee.
"Hello again, little snowman!", Sergei said, taking Olaf's hand & shaking it like they did last time, followed by Nikolai. Again, his arm stayed right where it was & didn't break off.
"It feels like forever since I last saw you guys!", Olaf said, noticing Malvina for the first time. "And look…you even got yourselves a girlfriend! Isn't that nice?!"
Kristoff & Eugene buried their heads in their hands in total embarrassment.
Sergei & Nikolai laughed as they rose from the floor, while Malvina simply grinned.
"I'm afraid you're a bit mistaken, little snowman", Malvina said, bending down to Olaf's level. "The men & I are not as you think we are: my name is Malvina Semenov, & I am a colonel here in Russia's Red Army."
The revelation hit Olaf & he ran over to the window, pulling away the blinds to look at the street/city below.
He gasped in astonishment.
"We're in Russia?!", he asked as Malvina nodded.
"Welcome to our homeland!", she said.
"Woo-hoo!", Olaf cried out, raising his arms before running around the room. "I'm the first snowman to set foot on the former Soviet Union! And I got Eugene and Kristoff as my roomies! This is going to be great!"
The two young fellas stared at each other with agape eyes & mouth.
"We'll leave you three to get settled in. See you soon", Sergei said, making for the door with Nikolai & Malvina.
After the three exited, Olaf cheered even louder & stood in front of the guys.
"Hey fellas, I'm feeling a bit dirty, so I'm going to go take a quick shower", he said. "Why don't you two order us some lunch in the meantime?"
Before either of them could speak, Olaf entered the bathroom & shut the door behind him.
"Oh look…mini shampoos & soap!", he cried out in excitement, his voice muffled by the walls & door. "I tell you…this is the life, am I right?!"
Eugene & Kristoff stare at one another again, their faces still in shock.
"Think it's too late to have him shipped back to Tokyo?", Eugene asked.
"We should be so lucky!", Kristoff simply said.
The guys stared back at the bathroom door when they hear Olaf turning on the water.
Both of them went to their beds & plopped down on them like rag dolls.
For them, it was going to be a long couple of days!
On street level:
Across the street of the Hilton Moscow Leningradskaya Hotel, a black van with tinted windows was parked with a quartet of passengers including the driver. A fifth man was inside, masquerading as a Russian officer stationed in the lobby/main desk. Like his men, he watched as the Russian ambassador, his bodyguard, Malvina & all of their guests entered the hotel & checked into their rooms. Unbeknownst to the new arrivals or even the Russian Ambassador & his party, they've been keeping tabs on everyone since setting foot on Russian soil.
It was all part of a covert operation orchestrated by one Pyotr Lipovsky, one of the most-feared/powerful bosses of the Russian Bratva. Pyotr was a mountain of a man with a height of 6 feet & 5 inches, a head with spiked blonde hair on top, & a face/body that looked like it was carved from stone. A former heavyweight boxer, Pyotr rose to power by both brains and brawn, literally pounding the competition & achieving high standards among his fellow Bratva, doing business both domestic & international, earning huge profits of over 50 million in his first year alone.
Not bad for a man who started out living in the poverty slums of the former Soviet Union!
His current office resides in the Eurasia 'Steel Peak' Tower in Moscow's International Business Center, which is located in the Presnensky District of the city.
Sitting at the desk of his private apartment with his laptop computer in front of him, Pyotr was concentrated on the transmissions he was receiving on his radio from his men.
"Are you certain they left the hotel?", Pyotr asked.
"Da. They just left the entrance & are now heading out in the two SUVs that pulled the stables", came the reply. "Do you wish for us to follow them?"
"Nyet. Leave them be for now. We'll deal with them when the time is right. For the moment, your man inside as an officer is to monitor their progress but without being suspicious, & in no way is he to engage any of them under any circumstances. All he is to do is simple surveillance, nothing else. Is that understood?"
"Da. We'll relay your orders to him immediately, & that he is to follow them to the letter."
"Good. Once you do, get yourselves away from there & back to your own hotel before you arouse suspicion by the authorities. I'll contact you again in a few days. Out."
Pyotr cut the transmission off before a reply from his men could be uttered. Placing the radio down, he turned to his laptop & typed in the new guests at the Hilton Moscow Leningradskaya. Photos & files scrolled across his screen as each name offered personal information.
At least, most of them did: he already knew about Japanese scientist Tajima Sugimoto, his wife Hidemi & their daughters Akemi & Emiko, and of popular husband-&-wife singers Patricia & Nathan Benice. He even knows about British agent Gus Fleming, along with his many successes through the years.
But the other names he came up with on his list, they were a complete enigma to him: Elinor & Merida Fleming, Eugene & Rapunzel Benice, & Kristoff, Anna & Elsa Sugimoto. All Pyotr could discover from them was that Eugene & Rapunzel are also a married singing pair, that Gus' daughter Merida also joined him in the field during missions, & that Elsa Sugimoto is a member of the Mechagodzilla crew, having fought in Godzilla's robot double alongside the real deal against Gigan & Mecha-King Ghidorah in Los Angeles last year.
However, aside from locations & photos, they & the rest had absolutely no further background to their names, & even the animals they keep baffled Pyotr: a reindeer, Andalusian & Clydesdale horse, & even a small chameleon.
Anyone having those kinds of pets in their possession was mysterious enough without having to discover a nearly-empty file of one's self.
Pyotr Lipovsky was never fond of mysteries, not even in fictional culture.
Even with their files in plain sight, it was like these people don't even exist.
Where on Earth did you people come from?, Pyotr thought, his brain going a mile a minute.
Not wanting to mull over it all day & into the night trying to figure it out, Pyotr closed his laptop & headed over to where his personal stash of exotic liquor was stored – in a hidden compartment behind a heavy bookcase.
He decided to let things take its course: when it came time, he can allow them to tell him where they originated from, & if they choose not to give him the information willingly, Pyotr has his ways of making people talk.
It's one of the many reasons why he is a man to be greatly feared, even among his fellow Bratva.
Pyotr poured himself a drink as he stared out the window over the city below.
He downed the contents in his glass with one gulp.
Northern bank of the Moskva River, July 7th, 10:10 a.m.:
Despite the jet lag that infected everyone (and Olaf's crazy shenanigans for Eugene & Kristoff), they all rested peacefully & even had energy to enjoy a late dinner before retiring officially for the night. When morning came, they all felt relaxed, refreshed & ready to take on whatever awaited their second day in Russia's capital city: having a heart-filled breakfast in the main dining room, the Benice, Fleming & Sugimoto families were greeted by Sergei, Nikolai & Malvina, each of whom joined them for the first meal of the day. When Kristoff, Eugene & Merida were finished with breakfast, they each went over to Sven, Maximus & Angus' stables to give them theirs: a fresh serving of carrots, apples & bagged oats the redhead bought the other day for her black-&-white-furred steed.
Merida, Eugene & Kristoff also wanted to give their stables a quick cleaning but believed it could wait until the evening hours when they return for dinner.
On the plus side, the three animals – and even Pascal – will be going along on their first full-fledged tour of the city, this time without being in their stables.
The notion of being able to roam Moscow on their own hooves was exciting for the two steeds & reindeer.
When it was time to begin, Eugene, Kristoff & Merida each boarded their respected animal as the rest went with Sergei, Nikolai & Malvina in the rented Marshrutka.
When asked if they were ready to see Moscow on a more personal level, Sven & Maximus neighed & bellowed loudly in eager anticipation. Angus merely neighed normally with a nod, indicating he was just as anxious.
Nikolai, again, was behind the wheel.
The bodyguard/assistant to the Russian ambassador stated to 'try & keep up' in a jokingly manner to the animals & their riders. Eugene, Kristoff & Merida simply smirked as they took off to start their day.
Sven, Maximus & Angus followed the minibus taxi closely, obeying all traffic laws/lights/signs like any vehicle on the road. Malvina & Sergei smiled proudly that the three animals were as obedient as they were smart & adorable.
Their first major stop on their agenda – the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour, located on the northern bank of the Moskva River. Everybody exited their vehicle as Eugene, Kristoff & Merida got down from their animals as they got a good, close-up look of the exotic 103-meter tall church that is said to be the tallest Orthodox Christian Church of all time.
Sergei & Malvina gave their guests/friends the church's glorious history as they walked along the grounds & going inside for a look at its interior: having taken over 40 years to build the first one in the 19th Century, it became the scene of the 1882 world premiere of the 1812 Overture, written by composer Tchaikovsky. In 1931, it was destroyed by Soviet leader Joseph Stalin in order to make way for the Palace of the Soviets to house the country's legislature, the Supreme Soviet of the USSR. Construction began in 1937 but got postponed in 1941 when the country was invaded by Germany's Nazis during World War II. Due to its steel frame being disassembled the following year, Stalin's palace was never built. Following the dissolution of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s, the church was consecrated & rebuilt from 1995-2000, where it stands to this day.
Each family member took pics of this historical landmark with their cell phones, getting fabulous angles.
Next on the tour was a trip over to the Bolshoi Theatre in the Tverskoy District, not far from where the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour is. The building, originally designed by architect Joseph Bove, was built from 1821 & 1824, with a grand opening the year after. In the years since, it has gone through numerous renovations to the wonder it is today.
It even suffered bomb damage during the Second World War, which was promptly repaired.
The inside of this historic Century treasure was just as impressive, with the main auditorium becoming the most dazzling sight of all: a huge room with one side sporting curved seating on the opposite wall of the main theater, rising six levels from the floor. Many of Tchaikovsky's famous works were performed in this very room, from 'Swan Lake', 'The Sleeping Beauty' & 'The Nutcracker' to notable works like Adam's 'Giselle', Prokofiev's 'Romeo & Juliet', & Khachaturian's 'Spartacus'.
Malvina added that, aside from its lush history of opera & the like, the Bolshoi Theatre also had its share of some controversy, most notably when many of its dancers defected from the country. Among these were Valentina Kozlova, Leonid Koslov & Alexander Godunov, the latter of which became a Hollywood actor & starred in high-profile films such as 1985's 'Witness' with Harrison Ford & Kelly McGillis, 1986's 'The Money Pit' with Tom Hanks & Shelley Long, & the first 'Die Hard' film from 1988, with Bruce Willis & the late Alan Rickman, who passed away earlier in the year on January 14th from pancreatic cancer at age 69.
Alexander Godunov died on May 18th, 1995 of complications from hepatitis due to chronic alcoholism.
He was only 45 years of age.
Personal tragedy/incidents aside, the Benice, Fleming & Sugimoto families were loving their visit over at Russia's most renowned/beloved theater house, which is stated as to having the biggest ballet companies in the world, sporting more than 200 dancers in its roster. Cell phones clicked constantly in capturing the beauty of both interior/exterior of this landmark of a building that had frequent changes through the decades.
Their only regret was that there were no scheduled shows for the day, leaving the group somewhat disappointed: each of them was pretty much hoping to see a Russian ballet & view the set pieces/performers, which would've been no doubt a marvel to witness.
Sergei said that if they're lucky enough, they might see a ballet showing just before they head for home.
It was something for the families to hope for, & to see a working or two of Tchaikovsky – a favorite of theirs.
Because it was a short walk to their next destination, Sergei, Nikolai & Malvina decided to leave the Marshrutka where it was parked & head over to the Red Square Center on foot. Along the way, they made a quick stop over at the Petrovskiy Fountain, which is said to be the oldest existing fountain in all of Moscow, having been built in 1835, along with the Nikolayevskiy Fountain that same year. Since it contained two basins that provided drinking water for horses, Maximus, Angus & Sven all took their fill of a cool, refreshing treat in the blistering Russian summer.
Everybody smiled at the scene, having bear witness the animals getting themselves rehydrated.
Pascal even went & took a sip, enjoying the water's coolness & even splashed some of it on his person using his hand like a cup. Rapunzel giggled at the sight, as did the other girls.
On their arrival at the Red Square, they took a good look at the State Historical Museum in all its glorious splendor before entering inside to get a closer look at the history of not only Moscow, but also of the Russian motherland. From the times of their Slavic tribe ancestors & periods of time throughout such as the reign of Ivan the Terrible, the French Invasion of Russia by Napoleon, the country's involvement in both World Wars & onwards, the museum was chockfull of information that got absorbed by the group.
Those from centuries past – Elsa, Rapunzel & Merida's parties – found the info even more intriguing.
A full two hours was spent inside the museum, & even that was not enough to fulfil their desire to learn more of Russia's past. Sergei, Nikolai & Malvina grinned, happy that the ones from centuries ago who arrived in the 21st Century wish to absorb more knowledge. Even those who were born & raised in modern times were intrigued by Russia's past, despite having already been taught much of it during their school years.
To actually be in a particular foreign country & learning of its past was a treat no school/university/college could ever achieve.
After traveling non-stop for many hours, the group decided to get some refreshments within the square. As they do, Sergei adds that Moscow's Red Square served as a venue for many high-profile concerts performed by artists such as Shakira, The Scorpions, Red Hot Chili Peppers & Paul McCartney who were among the handful that have played in the heart of Russia.
Eugene & Rapunzel noted to Patricia & Nathan that they need to do a show in Russia's Red Square, with Pascal nodding his head in full agreement. Gus, Tajima & all the others shared their enthusiasm on the idea, & the husband-&-wife singing couple smiled saying that they completely concur.
One way or another, they'll be sure to set up a date.
Their last stop before calling it a day was over at the Saint Basil's Cathedral, located on the opposite side of the State Historical Museum in the Red Square. Built from 1555-1561 on orders from Ivan the Terrible that commemorated the capture of Kazan & Astrakhan, it became the city's tallest building until the completion of the Ivan the Great Bell Tower in 1600. It was a cacophony of nine chapels all built upon a single foundation, with a bronze statue of Dmitry Pozharsky & Kuzma Minin located in a garden at the front of the structure. It was displayed to honor both men as they rallied Russia's volunteer army against the Polish invaders during the Times of Trouble period in the late 16th & early 17th Centuries. Inside was a volley of galleries that connected each chapel, narrow stairways lead to every level of walls painted in beautiful floral/geometric patterns.
Narrow as the interior was, they were still wide enough for people to travel through & give others good elbow room.
As they exited the cathedral, Sven, Maximus & Angus were waiting patiently as several people – including young children & adults – were admiring the trio of animals, many of which have never seen a reindeer, Andalusian or even a Clydesdale in person, let alone up close. Pats & kind caresses greeted each one, with some taking photos by cell phone and/or digital camera.
Watching the spectacle, Eugene joked that their animals have achieved fame on their first trip to the former Soviet Union. Giggles/snickers of amusement ensued.
The spectacle lasted for several more minutes before Sergei went & politely broke it up.
Heading back to the Marshrutka, Nikolai drove the group back to the Hilton Moscow Leningradskaya Hotel in a matter of under an hour. As Maximus, Sven & Angus returned to their mobile stables, everyone else went inside to get cleaned up in their rooms to enjoy a hearty meal after a day of seeing the sights in Moscow.
When Eugene & Kristoff enter their room with Sergei, Nikolai & Malvina behind them, they catch Olaf doing a plethora of weird dance steps as the television he watched displayed various movements.
Upon seeing them enter, the snowman muted the TV & smiled.
"Oh hey, you guys!", he said. "How was touring Moscow today?"
Swell…until we remembered that you're living in our room!, Eugene said to himself.
"Uh…illuminating, to say the least", Kristoff says, doing his best to sound nonchalant. "What have you been up to while we were gone?"
"Oh boy…even if I can't speak or understand a word of Russian, I've been watching them dancing on the TV!", said the snowman. "And I've been studying their techniques pretty good, too…here, watch this!"
On cue, Olaf did a number of dance moves of the popular Kalinka & Preesyadka/Cossack kind, the latter of which is when a person bends down at the knees & does a kicking maneuver in rapid succession while keeping their arms in a crossed position over their chest.
Malvina, Sergei & Nikolai softly chuckled at his antics while being highly amused at the same time.
Kristoff & Eugene, on the other hand…not so much!
"Yeah well, while you continue to dance your cares away, Kristoff & I are going to go &…", Eugene started to say when Olaf's bottom half suddenly flew off from the rest of him when he did his Cossack kicking a little too hard – which landed directly on the faces of both guys. It fell in their hands as they caught in, their faces disgruntled & clearly unhappy by the experience.
"Uh, sorry about that…what were you going to say again?", Olaf asked.
"Eugene & I were saying…", Kristoff said taking the reins. "While you dance your little dance, we'll be hitting the showers & get ourselves ready for dinner with the others."
"Oh…okay! Have fun tonight, & give warm hugs to everyone for me! But, before you gentlemen do that…can I please have my legs & butt back?"
From behind the men, Sergei, Nikolai & Malvina let out a burst of laughter & nearly collapsed to the floor.
Eugene & Kristoff grunted in annoyance as the latter tossed said appendages to the snowman before heading into the bathroom to begin his shower, with Eugene doing the same once he was finished.
Sergei, Nikolai & Malvina were long gone before both men were done.
July 8th, 10:30 a.m.:
The previous evening's dinner went well despite Olaf's little incident: eating some of Russia's finest cuisine with very tasty dessert afterwards. Each one spoke of their trip in their own way with their three Russian guides, having such a swell time in seeing the sights even though their true purpose in Moscow was on business. Sergei informed them that Tajima's meeting in the Kremlin of what he & his family witnessed will take place in another 2-3 days, giving him, his family & friends more time to get further sightings of the city.
On this morning of Friday, July 8th, 2016, Nikolai drove the group straight over to one of Russia's most cherished achievements – the area of the MIBC, which stood for Moscow International Business Center.
It is also known as Moscow City, & is located east of the Third Ring Road in the Presnensky District.
Upon seeing this marvel of a metropolis, the group stared at it with huge expression & took as many photos of it as they could.
"So, friends…what do you think?", Sergei asked, gesturing to the breathtaking towers that stood erect.
"They're amazing, Sergei!", Emiko said. "It reminds us of our very own Shinjuku District in Tokyo!"
"Funny you should mention that, Emiko", Nikolai said. "The skyscrapers of Shanghai, Hong Kong, Chicago, New York and Tokyo were literally huge inspirations for these towers. What we've done thus far is still just a prelude of what's to come, with several buildings stull under construction & four in the early design stages."
"If they'll be as impressive as these are, Moscow will truly become something of a 'city of tomorrow'!", Nathan puts in. Everyone nodded to that.
"How long has this crowning achievement been planned for & since bore fruit?", asked Elinor.
"The project was first conceived in 1992", Malvina explains. "When fully completed, we estimate that an amount of between 250,000-300,000 people shall be working, living in & visiting this futuristic complex. Six of our skyscrapers already measure a maximum height of 300 meters or more, & this area is one of the largest financial centers in all of Europe – with the best still to come."
"You definitely spared no expense on it, love!", Gus said as his wife & daughter nodded, followed by everybody else.
"And you, my friends, get to have a grand tour from within some of these structures", Sergei said. "And one of the best places to start would be…there!"
The Russian ambassador pointed to a building that looked to be twisted like a piece of taffy candy or a pretzel.
"Wow!", Anna exclaimed. "What kind of building is that called – the Twister?"
Nikolai, Sergei & Malvina chuckled at Anna's little joke.
"Nyet, my dear. It's called the Evolution Tower", Nikolai says. "It was completed two years ago, with a helipad on the top & an open observation roof deck on Level 52. Shall we pay it a visit?"
"Lead the way!", Rapunzel, Elsa & Patricia said.
That said, Nikolai & company do just that.
"You four remain here & keep an eye out, okay boys?", Eugene said to Maximus, Sven, Angus & even Pascal at the entrance, with the former two & little chameleon nodding/saluting as Merida's Clydesdale nod with a neigh.
Good boy, Angus, Merida thought before entering with the rest.
Once inside, the group was taken aback by the sheer beauty of the tower's interior, soaking in everything they've witnessed & snapping photos of it. Despite the helipad being off-limits even to Malvina & Sergei, nobody was the least disappointed: they opted for the observation deck that gave a good view of Moscow from their vantage point, getting a bird's eye of wherever they looked at, from the Moskva River to the city's outer perimeter.
They could even see the places they visited the other day from where they stood, from Bolshoi Theatre up to Red Square.
Having their share of exploring the Evolution Tower, Sergei & company took them all next over to the Imperia Tower, where they stopped to enjoy a quick lunch before heading over to the fitness club area, where a reservation was already lying in wait for them. For the next hour & a half, the guests of the Russian ambassador all enjoyed the various activities: Anna, Elsa, Akemi, Emiko, Rapunzel, Hidemi, Patricia, Elinor, Nathan & Tajima hit the vast swimming pool in their bathing suits & going numerous laps while Eugene & Kristoff hit the weights to help build up their physique.
Gus & Merida, on the other hand, hit the mats to perform with each other & keep their fighting prowess witty & sharp. With a vast array of kicks, punches & other maneuvers faster than the eye can see, the British agent & his adopted Scottish daughter stay on their toes while throw everything they have at one another – exactly as they do at their home in London, & whenever they're out in the field against a single enemy or a plethora of them.
Like Sergei & Nikolai, Malvina watched them with fascination & amazement, seeing how a teenage girl from 10th Century Scotland could still hold her own against a full-grown & highly-trained British agent despite having been twice thrown from her original time of over 1,000 years.
But then, she lives in a world where giant monsters still run rampant, has been a target for various alien races that tried to conquer it repeatedly, & has even survived a brush with death from a giant bat monster seven months ago in the city of Volgograd.
Why would the Russian colonel have any trouble believing that several of her new friends are from centuries past who've found new lives with adopted families that all but love them, & vice versa?
Gus & Merida cease their activities & watch as Malvina approach.
"Very impressive", the colonel says. "Do you have room for one more?"
British father & Scottish daughter look to each other & back to Malvina, seeing that she wants to spar.
"Be our guest, love", Gus said, gesturing to the mat.
"Let's see what you're made of!", Merida says.
Malvina simply smirked as she stepped on the offered mat.
"Give me everything you two have got!", she says, getting into a defensive position. "Don't hold back!"
Nodding, Gus & Merida came at her.
Both were taken by surprise by the woman's fighting prowess: Malvina blocked several blows & kicks that Gus & Merida threw at her, timing each strike & deflecting/dodging each one her quarries attempted, keeping them on their toes & nearly getting in some licks herself. From the pool & where Eugene & Kristoff were spending their time at, the group watched in stunned fascination that Malvina Semenov was giving Gus & Merida one of the finest workouts of their lives. The quarrel reminded Elinor of when Merida faced & fought the malevolent sorcerer Asarlai back in their own time when Maudie & her triplet sons Hamish, Hubert & Harris were held hostage by the vile enemy.
Even in a training exercise, Merida & Gus didn't hold back & gave Malvina everything they could muster at the Russian colonel, hence her request.
Then Malvina gets in a lucky shot: with a swift right foot, she hits Gus in the chin that stunned the British agent & sent him hitting the mat on his back. Merida gasped as she saw the maneuver, giving Malvina the opportunity to grab her arm & pin the Scottish girl on her back, locking eyes with her.
"A piece of advice, Merida: in combat, never let yourself get distracted by even the smallest things", Malvina said. "It could prove all but fatal on the battlefield."
"Good point, Malvina. Here's another…", Merida says, just before flipping Malvina on her back & putting her elbow underneath her chin in a firm hold. "Never mess with a young girl's family – especially whose love for them is undying in every way!"
Malvina looked up at the Scottish girl & smiled.
"Point taken. I yield", she says as Merida relents & releases her.
Rising to their feet, everybody in the room – friends & strangers alike – applauded the trio as Merida, Malvina & Gus took a bow of appreciation.
"Excellent workout, you two!", Malvina told Gus & Merida. "One of the best I've ever had!"
"That makes three of us!", Gus & Merida say in unison, inciting a grin from the Russian colonel.
"It was certainly a more thorough workout than our swimming laps in the pool", Hidemi says, exiting the water with Patricia, their husbands, & the girls as they use towels to dry off. "But it still does a body good nevertheless."
"Absolutely, Hidemi", Malvina said. "It helps to build a strong/healthy physique as any other form of exercise, so it should never be brushed off or deemed as a waste of time & energy."
"Never", Nathan said. "Come on, folks: let's hit the showers really quick & get all of this chlorine off ourselves, shall we?"
"Great ideas, Nathan!", Anna, Rapunzel, Elsa, Akemi & Emiko said as they & everyone else who swam in the pool headed directly to the rear of the room, getting themselves thoroughly rinsed with warm water & soap before they dried off & put on their regular clothes.
Getting to street level, Sergei took them next over to the City of Capitals towers, whose top floors are taken up by a huge entertainment complex where the group can enjoy all kinds of activities, from computer/video games to more hands-on physical activities. There was so much to do & experience that the Benice, Fleming & Sugimoto families felt it would take years to try everything.
For the Japanese family, it felt like the Shibuya District in Tokyo, one of the most popular places in all of Japan as a bustling highlife area/entertainment center.
Even Sergei, Nikolai & Malvina joined in on the action, feeling like kids again as they frolicked & contended with each other in a friendly manner; it's been said that there's a little boy/girl hidden within every adult, & their playful manner in the City of Capitals' entertainment district was proof that even those of the highest authority can release his or her inner child.
The scene was amusing & wonderful to the three families, & they smiled happily.
Over two hours was spent within this area of the MIBC before heading back down to street level to rejoin with Sven, Maximus, Angus & Pascal.
But when they did, they were met with an unexpected surprise: a group of no less than four Russian police officers were circling the animals & taking notes. With the Russian ambassador in lead, the group headed straight for outside.
"Officers…is there something wrong?", Sergei asked, opening the doors & addressing the men in his tongue.
When the men in uniform saw who it was, they straightened themselves out & at attention.
"M-Mr. Ambassador!", said the officer who was in charge. "Are these animals yours, sir? If so, we did not realize it, & apologize for causing such an inconvenience!"
The lead officer was a firmly-built man with a powerful physique, & his shoulder insignia showcased red lines with three stars at the bottom. Unlike his fellow officers, he wore a cap on the top of his head as his ranking shows.
Sergei simply smiled & waved it off as he approached the man.
"You & your men have nothing to apologize for", he says, easing tensions. "None of you could have known."
When next Sergei spoke, it was in English as he faced his friends.
"Folks, I'd like for you all to meet Boris Romanoff, a high-ranking police colonel & one of the best Moscow ever had the pleasure of helping to keep the peace in our fair city."
The Benice, Fleming & Sugimoto families all greeted Boris with charm as Tajima, Nathan & Gus had introduced each member of their families in the most gracious manner, including the names of their animals from Sven to Pascal, the latter of whom gets back onto Rapunzel's shoulder.
Convinced by more than just the presence of the Russian ambassador, Boris told his men to be put at ease, which they did.
"My men & I are pleased to be meeting you all, & welcome to Moscow", Boris said, getting grins from all. "For how long will you be staying here in our fair city?"
"Simply put, Boris, we're really here for business reasons", Tajima says. "It's scheduled to be taking place over at the Kremlin in a few days. We're enjoying the sites in the meantime until then."
They all nodded.
"The Russian ambassador & I will be glad to tell you about it, Boris", Malvina said in her mother tongue. "Give us until later on this evening to fill you in on all the details."
"Of course, Miss…", Boris started to say.
"Malvina Semenov, colonel of the Red Army."
"Miss Semenov, Mr. Ambassador, if there's anything my men & I can do to help with in this endeavor, you need only to say the word, as we are at your service."
"We are very happy to hear that, Boris", Sergei said. "Once we fill you in on the situation, whatever your people can dig up for us will be most appreciated, & hopefully we can…"
Maximus & Sven suddenly get a strange scent, & they snort in response as everyone turned to the Andalusian & reindeer.
"Sven? What is it?", Kristoff wondered.
"Hey Max, you okay?", Eugene asked.
Said animals looked behind them to see a man in black attire, hair & thick pointed mustache. The Andalusian let out a snort that caught the man's attention, tracing the bad vibes he & Sven were getting from him. Even Angus started to get this same feeling, & he also faced the man, letting out a snort of disdain.
Upon seeing the animals staring at him suspiciously and of the officers, the man's eyes widened which gave the police & Boris all the excuse they need.
"You there…stop!", Boris said in his tongue as the man in black bolted & headed for his ride – a dark grey van with tinted windows.
Boris & his three men broke into a deep run after the man, who managed to get inside the van behind the wheel & closed the door, locking it. He was barely able to get his keys out when one of Boris' men busted the window with his baton, shattering it & unlocking the door. Opening the door, Boris' men grabbed the man & forcefully threw him out of the vehicle.
"Go! Take off!", the man in black shouted as he struggled on his feet with four officers on him.
The rear doors of the van opened up, spilling half a dozen others as they took off running, heading straight down for Presnenskaya Naberezhnaya Street. Boris' three officers ran off after the fleeing suspects, leaving him alone to deal with the ringleader.
"Oh no you boys don't! Angus…!", Merida said.
"Max…!", Rapunzel & Eugene said.
"Sven…!", Kristoff, Anna & Elsa said.
Immediately the three animals took off running after those that fled on foot as Gus ran towards the suspect Boris was wrestling with & threw him off the Russian police colonel as he hit the ground hard & gasped for breath.
"You all right, mate?", Gus asked as Boris got back on his feet.
"I'll live, comrade!", Boris said. "Do me a favor: keep him busy while I call for backup!"
"You got it!"
Boris immediately got on his radio for assistance while Gus made sure the suspect didn't leave the area.
Maximus, Sven & Angus raced after the fleeing suspects along with Boris' men: they managed to capture three of them, leaving the animals to deal with the last trio. Angus & Maximus each caught a suspect with their teeth & gave them a jerk which threw them onto the asphalt. As for Sven, the reindeer used his antlers to knock his suspect onto the pavement. Each one used their hooves to keep their captured prey where they were, with Sven & Maximus also baring their teeth in anger, putting a big scare into them.
In no time, the sirens of more Russian police arrived in their vehicles & poured out to apprehend the suspects in which Maximus, Sven & Angus have caught, each one backing away to allow the police to do their jobs.
Several others ran after the one Gus was keeping at bay, who saw the approaching reinforcements & backed away to let Boris & his men handle the ringleader. But even with Boris & six officers piling upon him, the man in black still didn't go quietly & put up a rather fierce fight, raging & getting as violent as a wild buck in the rodeo. Several officers used their batons on the man, who seemed impervious to their blows as two grabbed his right arm & twisted it.
Only then did they get a response from the man as he screamed in pain from having the muscles in his arm twist in an unnatural angle, causing him to finally lose his balance & allow the officers to get him on his side, with one of the officers giving the suspect several swift, hard kicks to the chest before putting him flat on his face & being able to get handcuffs on him before hauling him up & taking him over to a waiting car & placed in the back seat.
With the suspect & his accomplices all in custody, Boris & his people can finally take a look inside the van.
A number of four large wooden crates were placed across the floor, & Boris' people had begun tearing them open with crowbars.
"What could be inside those crates that would cause that man to get so violent like that & his accomplices running scared?", Elinor wondered.
"Knowing Russia's criminals, it probably isn't anything good, love", Gus said.
"You are most correct, comrade!", Boris said, turning to display a most disturbing sight: an AK-74M & SR-3M assault rifles, making the group gasp in shock.
Other officers displayed removals of various pistols, ranging from Makarov to Serdyukov, with plenty of ammo to load each one. The police also found a cache of RGO/RGN hand grenades, & even a trio of RPG-26 rocket-propelled grenade launchers. Add to that a cache of survival knives with blades measuring nearly a foot long, plus ammo for their rocket launchers.
Many members of the Benice, Fleming & Sugimoto families whistled at the mere sight of the suspect's arsenal.
"Good god! What were they going to do with all that armament – start a war?", Patricia wondered.
"Either that, or have it sold to the highest bidder somewhere, preferably on the black market", Nathan guessed.
"We'll know soon enough when we get him & his cohorts down to the station", Boris said as he & the others turn to the man in black, who looks to be having a panic attack in the back seat of the patrol car he was placed in.
"That's right, fella…you ought to panic!", Anna said as Elsa giggled slightly, making her sister grin.
"The man has good reason to panic", Sergei said. "What he & his associates have done is broken a very strict & constitutional law. For you see, here in Russia, only the police & the military have the right to bear arms. Once they get convicted, they can expect to stay within a Russian prison for a very long time – without the possibility of parole."
"Sergei, your gun laws are somehow similar to our own in Japan", Emiko said. "Very few civilians own guns, & the strictness of that law gets updated each year, which helped to virtually wipe out shooting deaths, compared to those which take place in the United States."
"It's been enforced ever since our country's been defeated in the Second World War", Akemi adds. "Starting in 1946, it's been police who mainly have possession of them, followed by our Self-Defense Forces in 1954. Because of a strong trust between law enforcement & civilians, there's really no need for us to arm ourselves, especially in fear."
"Even with the threat of the Yakuza still looming over your heads in your homeland?", Sergei asked, remembering being told of the siege at their home by Hisashi Masahiro's men in an attempt to abduct Tajima & Elsa.
"Hai, Sergei", Hidemi said. "Like my family have explained to Kristoff, Anna & Elsa, we've forsaken our warlike state since our country surrendered on August 15th, 1945 after Hiroshima & Nagasaki. All we Japanese have ever wanted to do afterwards was live in a peaceful nature & having strict gun laws enforced in Japan has helped us accomplish that indefinitely. And though we still live in fear of the Yakuza & even giant monsters like Godzilla, we wouldn't want it any other way."
Tajima, Akemi, Emiko & the Arendelle trio nodded in full agreement.
"That is very understandable, Hidemi", Malvina said. "Before the bombs were dropped on your cities, you people were a war-mongering race that killed thousands, preferably in China, Singapore, & many other areas. Seeing Japan in a new tranquil state for over 70 years now is nothing short of a relief, da?"
The Sugimoto family all nodded again.
"If only the rate of crime could be in that particularly tranquil level here in Russia, hence the arrest Boris & his people have just made", Elinor said. "And, not to tell an officer his job per se, but was getting all that rough with your suspect really necessary?"
Boris chuckled before he answered in English.
"No matter what country an officer hails from, Miss Fleming, he or she is entitled to use physical – and sometimes even deadly – force should a suspect ever get violent & fights back and/or resists arrest. It's just that, in this country, it has been a factor for a good long time. Yes, it may seem brutal, especially to foreigners, but here in Mother Russia, this is how things are done."
"Every country has its customs, Elinor", Patricia says.
"I guess so, Patricia", Elinor replied back. "Thankfully, in England, their gun laws are strict like Japan's own, so we don't have to worry too much about fatal shootings. If only America could possess such a thing: I remember what happened to many innocent people including certain celebrities like John Lennon, Martin Luther King Jr., & even John F. Kennedy, to name but a few."
"We'll be honest, Elinor", Nathan adds. "We do wish the United States did have stricter gun laws like Japan & your home does. But no matter how much they try to enforce them, people are always finding ways of getting firearms in their possession for reasons known only to them. One reason for it could be because of the Constitution, permitting a person the right to possess them like they can most anything else…under certain conditions, of course."
Elinor simply nodded but being the diplomat that she was from her original time, she still had something to say.
"At least those hoodlums won't be possessing any more weapons where they're going", she stated, staring at the men Boris' people were placing in their squad cars, each one handcuffed.
"And won't be seeing the light of day for many years to come, love", Gus adds.
Just then, Maximus, Sven & Angus returned as their owners/friends went to greet them.
"Good job, Angus!", Merida said, caressing her horse's mane. "You & the others helped gave the Russian police the break they needed to catch those thugs & bring them to justice!"
"And how, Merida!", Eugene said, petting Max's mane a bit with his wife. "You can take the horse away from the royal guards…"
"But you can't take the royal guard out of the horse!", Rapunzel finished for him.
Maximus neighed loud & proud.
"Excellent work, Sven!", Kristoff said, patting his friend on the head. "Thanks to you, Max & Angus, justice is going to be served!"
"It felt great to help the Russian police!", Kristoff said in his voice for Sven. "Here's hoping I can do so again!"
"Let's all keep our fingers crossed, buddy!", Kristoff said in his regular voice. "You never can tell!"
Snickers of amusement erupted from the group & included Boris, who found the young man's antics flattering in believing his animal can speak like anybody else.
"I myself must offer my congratulations and appreciation in your animals' attempts in assisting my men & I to keep the suspects at bay until backup arrived", Boris said, giving each steed a gentle pat upon the head & caress of their manes. "They are very well-trained – and quite brave in the face of danger."
"They were definitely trained to be that way, Boris", Tajima said, getting nods from all.
"Da. Sometimes an animals' courage can put that of a human being's to shame. But now that this little scenario has been dealt with, would it be too much to ask as to why you've been summoned to meet over at the Kremlin, Tajima Sugimoto?"
The Japanese scientist was about to speak when Sergei intervened.
"Boris, why don't you let Malvina & I fill you in on the situation as we take our friends here back to their hotel in the Marshrutka we've rented?", he says in his tongue. "There's a place I'd like to take them to for dinner after they get themselves cleaned up."
Boris Romanoff gave it thought & nodded.
"That would be much appreciated, Mr. Ambassador", the police colonel replied, also in his tongue before he goes & addresses one of his men over. "I will be occupied with another matter, so I shall not be accompanying you down to the station. See to it that these men get there & take care of the necessary paperwork."
"Yes sir", the man said before saluting his superior & heading off to perform his duties.
"Follow us, if you please", Malvina said in her tongue to Boris, who nodded.
The Hilton Moscow Leningradskaya Hotel, one hour later:
As Kristoff, Eugene & Merida rode on their animals on the way back to their hotel, Boris did so with the rest in Nikolai's rented vehicle. Inside, Tajima explained the reason as to why he traveled to Russia, revealing his witnessing of a Russian fishing crew in obtaining blood/tissue samples of Godzilla just before the monster caused it to be destroyed with all hands lost but their cargo still hauled away by helicopter.
When asked if Tajima knew what was on the side of the whirlybird, the scientist said he didn't but had it recorded along with everything else.
Nikolai pulled into the hotel's parking lot as Maximus, Sven & Angus head over to their stables after their riders dismount.
"I will definitely see what I can do on my end, professor Sugimoto", Boris says as they all exit the Marshrutka. "I am glad this has been brought to my attention. I may even join you at the Kremlin if it will be helpful."
"We're very grateful to you for it, Boris", Tajima said. "Any insight on who the masterminds are in this would be a huge help in this case, as we have no inkling so far on…"
Tajima got cut off from the sound of a young lady getting roughly grabbed by the arm as a group of young men were trying to put the moves on her, who clearly had no interest in any of them. No matter how hard she tried, the girl couldn't tear herself away from the men, who counted six in all. It reminded Merida of when the young girl Roxy was harassed by Harry & his gang when she & her parents went to Wembley Stadium on their honeymoon.
It angered Merida then, & this particular scenario has that same effect on her now.
"Hey you!", she barked, walking towards the boys as they & the girl faced her. Merida stopped a foot from the group. "If you can understand what I'm saying, then you'll do best to release that girl before things get ugly!"
The boys looked at each other before they broke out laughing.
"I'm afraid you don't understand, little British girl!", the leader said in accented English. "There be six of us but only one of you, so when you think about it – assuming you can think – then perhaps you ought to turn tail & leave here before things do get ugly – for you!"
All six boys smile fiendishly before laughing again.
Like a striking snake, Merida reached out & karate-chopped the leader's arm, causing it to release the girl's own & freeing her from his grip before the redhead gave him a hard kick to his solar plexus, knocking him to the ground.
Expressing her gratitude to Merida in her tongue, the girl quickly left to escape her would-be tormentors.
The leader of the group stared hard at the former DunBroch princess with resentment at being pushed around by a female, especially one who's from another country.
"You will pay for that mistake, little girl!", he said with venom in his voice.
"By you? I've fought tougher men – ones twice your size!", Merida replied with equal venom.
"Funny you should mention that!", the leader said as he called out a name. "Mikhail!"
From around the corner came a teenager who was about 14-15 inches taller than the group's leader & was a very muscular one at that. His head was shaven, & he had eyes that were nearly as cold as Elsa's ice.
When Mikhail approached, the boys parted to allow him easy access to the redhead.
Both combatants stared firmly at each other, with neither shifting their gaze.
Boris wanted to stop the fight before it begins, but both Sergei & Malvina placed a hand on his chest, saying it was quite all right. Reluctantly, the police colonel stayed put.
"Mikhail…be a gentleman & say something sweet to the lisichka!", the leader said in his mother tongue.
Mikhail also spoke in Russian before the leader translated it into English.
"He says that once he gets done with you, he's going to stick your head into a bucket of water & mop the floor with it!"
The other boys laughed, imagining the scene in their minds.
Merida gave Mikhail a 'come & get it' gesture with her hand, inciting the large Russian teenager to do just that.
Raising his left fist, Mikhail swung at Merida with all his might as the boys cheered him on, chanting his name. He missed as the redhead stepped out of the way before the blow could connect. She double-fisted her opponent upon his back below the shoulder blades, feeling to Mikhail like he was hit by a rock. Merida followed it up with a hard kick to his side that stung even him, causing Mikhail to cry out. Lashing out in fury, Mikhail struck Merida with the back of his hand to her face, causing her to briefly see stars as a thin stream of blood dripped from her lips on the left.
Elinor gasped upon seeing her daughter hit, but Gus patted her hands in reassurance.
Patricia, Nathan & the rest were just as worried, but kept their composure as the scuffle resumed.
Wiping the blood from her mouth away, Merida dodged fist after fist which Mikhail sent her way, never hitting her once. The next fist he swung Merida caught with her hand before giving him a hard kick in the solar plexus. Even though it stunned him, it did not stop Mikhail & he swung his right fist at Merida's face, wanting to end this silly farce.
It was funny: Merida had the same idea in mind.
As it got into range, she grabbed his arm & twisted it with all her might before shoving her foot into Mikhail's leg that made it numb & forced him to get down on one knee. Placing his arm in a painful position behind his back, the redhead gave his chest a swift kick, making him see stars. No matter how hard Mikhail tried, he could not get free from Merida's iron grip.
She has him right where she wants him!
"Chin up!", she barked at him.
Mikhail did not comply with her order.
"I said. Chin! Up!", she repeated more forcefully.
Once again, Mikhail didn't obey as it was clear he didn't understand English, unlike the boys.
Malvina stepped in by speaking to him in her mother tongue, finally getting a response as Mikhail raised his chin as high as he could.
Merida gave it a hard right fist with a 'crack' that was heard by all, falling Mikhail to the ground with it as he put a hand under his chin. The boys stared with agape eyes & mouths, who were all but stunned at seeing their strongest member getting beaten by a foreigner – and by a girl, no less!
Merida's performance even stunned her friends, despite the fact they'd seen her fight before.
Elinor & Gus simply smiled proudly, their arms across their chest.
Nikolai, Sergei, Boris & Malvina were all impressed by Merida's performance.
The former DunBroch princess now stared at the boys with eyes that were as flaming as her own hair.
"Now…the rest of you stupid wankers got five seconds to clear out of here before you…", Merida started to say.
"Just a moment, Merida: Boris & I have something better in mind!", Malvina cut in as she & Boris approached the boys as the Russian Red Army & police colonel addressed them in their mother tongue.
When they finished, the boys nodded & ran off, with some of them even saluting.
Soon, Mikhail was back up on his feet as he spoke in a more softer tone than before. Boris & Malvina addressed him before he, too, headed off in the same direction as his comrades. But after a few steps, he turned to Merida & spoke to her in his tongue, smiling & winking at her before resuming his trek.
"What did you say to them, anyway?", Merida asked.
"To the boys, we told them that their actions were recorded for prosperity, & that either they report for military training or we tell their parents of their behavior before shipping them off to Juvenile Hall", Boris said.
"And for what Mikhail said to you just now, he replied that his fight with you was one of the best he's ever had, & that he praises you for it", Malvina adds. "He also said you have a fierce warrior's spirit – something he can respect in anybody."
Merida couldn't help but to smile at that, with Boris & Malvina doing the same.
From behind them, Sergei, Nikolai, the Benice, Fleming & Sugimoto families clapped at Merida's performance as they walked up to her.
"Yzumitelno, moy sladkiy Merida!", Nikolai praised in his tongue, meaning 'marvelous, my sweet Merida!'.
"Looks like somebody saw 'Heartbreak Ridge'!", Sergei said with a smile.
"You just gotta love that Clint Eastwood!", Merida says, smiling herself with her arms folded across her chest.
Her joke caused everyone in the group to unleash a heartfelt laugh, as Merida's predicament was reminiscent of Clint Eastwood's 1986 Marines drama in the scene where his Sergeant Tom Highway went up against Sergeant 'Swede' Johanson, played by former football player Peter Koch when his party refused to fall out as ordered.
Sometimes, life does imitate art!
"Well, now that we've had our fill of late afternoon entertainment, what say we all head inside & get ourselves a shower & fresh change of clothes?", Malvina says. "Sergei & Nikolai have a special place planned for dinner later this evening – one you're all bound to enjoy."
"Eugene & I will go do that shortly – after we make Sven & Maximus' stables a little more presentable", Kristoff says as Rapunzel's husband nodded.
"Good idea, you two! I think I'll do the same with Angus'!", Merida said, heading over to her Clydesdale's stable & began cleaning it along with the boys.
Grins came from each face as they admired their compassion for the animals.
"Fair enough, kids. We'll see you inside", Nathan says as they entered the hotel while Eugene, Kristoff & Merida worked on cleaning the stables like they always do.
"Great performance back there, Merida!", Eugene said. "But for the record…Kristoff & I could also have taken Mikhail without too much trouble."
He punctuated his statement with a wink.
"Of course you could!", Merida said, smiling before the trio broke into a giggle.
They continued cleaning the animals' stables in silence, finishing up in fifteen minutes before heading inside the hotel themselves.
First Karaoke Club, Shabolovka Street, Yakimanka District, 9:00 p.m.:
Like the others, Eugene & Kristoff took about ten minutes each in the shower & getting into their best outfits for the night. The smell they took in from cleaning out the animals' stables were hardly noticed by Olaf, who couldn't smell anything for real on account that his nose is a simple carrot with no nostrils. They went in one at a time after Malvina had taken one while they were outside, given full permission from the guys to use theirs even before they arrived at the hotel. Sergei was also given permission & was done in only five minutes.
Boris Romanoff would not be joining the party but wished everybody well before given a ride by a passing patrol car that gave him a trip back to his station.
It was very likely they would be seeing him again before too long.
For right now, it was a night to unwind.
The place Sergei & Nikolai had in mind for their honored guests/friends was the First Karaoke Club, located over at the Yakimanka District of Moscow. Inside were plush seats that comforted everybody as they sat, with a variety of foods to satisfy their tastes, ranging from burgers to seafood platters. When they arrived, there were several other people already eating & singing on stage, performing songs from both their country to those from abroad.
Everyone clapped at the performers' attempts at imitating their favorite artists as best they could.
When they saw their chance to go up, Kristoff Sugimoto was the first & chose a few songs from the King of Rock & Roll Elvis Presley, including this tune from 1970 that was released as a single, written by the late Eddie Rabbit.
Like the others before him, Kristoff had English-speaking female vocalists backing him up in spots.
He performed this beautiful rock ballad as any true Elvis Presley fan would:
Seven lonely days
And a dozen towns ago
I reached out one night
And you were gone
Don't know why you'd run
What you're running to, or from
All I know is I want to bring you home
So I'm walking in the rain
Thumbing for a ride
On this lonely Kentucky back road
I've loved you much too long
My love's too strong
To let you go, never knowing what went wrong
Kentucky rain keeps pouring down
And up ahead's another town
That I'll go walking through
With the rain in my shoes (rain in my shoes)
Searchin' for you
In the cold Kentucky rain (cold Kentucky rain)
In the cold Kentucky rain
Showed your photograph
To some old gray bearded men
Sitting on a bench
Outside a gen'ral store
They said 'Yes, she's been here'
But their memory wasn't clear
Was it yesterday,
No, wait, the day before
Finally got a ride
With a preacher man who asked
'Where you bound on such a cold dark afternoon?'
As we drove on through the rain
As he listened I explained
And he left me with a prayer
That I'd find you
Kentucky rain keeps pouring down
And up ahead's another town
That I'll go walking through
With the rain in my shoes (rain in my shoes)
Searchin' for you
In the cold Kentucky rain (cold Kentucky rain)
In the cold Kentucky rain (cold Kentucky rain)
In the cold Kentucky rain (cold Kentucky rain)
In the cold Kentucky rain (cold Kentucky rain)
In the cold Kentucky rain (cold Kentucky rain)
The crowd gave Kristoff & company a round of applause when his number (& turn) was finished. Giving them a standard 'thankewvermuch' in true Elvis fashion, he turned the stage over to the next performer – Eugene Benice.
He decided to go for a country flair this evening, & chose to do a couple tunes from none other than Mr. Kenny Rogers, which included this nice ballad when he performed with the First Edition in 1969, written by Mel Tillis:
You've painted up your lips
And rolled & curled your tinted hair
Ruby are you contemplating
Going out somewhere
The shadow on the wall tells me the sun is going down
Oh Ruby, don't take your love to town
It wasn't me that started
That old crazy Asian war
But I was proud to go
And do my patriotic chore
And yes, it's true that I'm not the man I used to be
Oh Ruby, I still need some company
It's hard to love a man whose legs
Are bent & paralyzed
And the wants & the needs
Of a woman your age…Ruby, I realize
But it won't be wrong
I've heard them say until I'm not around
Oh Ruby, don't take your love to town
She's leaving now
'Cause I just heard the slamming of the door
The way I know I've heard it slam one hundred times before
And if I could move I'd get my gun & put her in the ground
Oh Ruby, don't take your love to town
Oh Ruby…for God's sake, turn around
The tune ended with guitar that sounded like a horse galloping, & Eugene took a bow from the crowd's applause.
Next up was Anna Sugimoto, who opted to do some songs from Belinda Carlisle, former lead singer of the 1980s girl group the Go-Go's, having developed a taste for her music since doing her rendition of the holiday tune 'God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen' during the Christmas show in Los Angeles in December. Titles like 'Heaven Is A Place On Earth' & 'I Get Weak' were among the songs she sang, including this rock ballad from Belinda's 1987 album 'Heaven On Earth', her most successful album to date.
Again, she makes Miss Carlisle proud with her rendition with help from the female backup singers:
Sundown all around
Walking through the summer's end
Waves crash, baby, don't look back
I won't walk away again
Oh, baby, anywhere you go
We are bound together
I begin, baby, where you end
Some things are forever!
Circle in the sand
'Round & 'round
Never-ending love is what we've found
And you complete the heart of me
Our love is all we need
Circle in the sand (Circle in the sand)
Circle in the sand (Circle in the sand)
Cold wind, tide moves in
Shivers in the salty air
Day breaks, my heart aches
I will wait for you right here
Oh, baby, when you look for me
Can you see forever?
I begin, baby, where you end
We belong together
Circle in the sand
'Round & 'round
Rising of the moon as the sun goes down
And you complete the heart of me
Our love is all we need
Circle in the sand (Circle in the sand)
Circle in the sand (Circle in the sand)
Baby, can you hear me?
Can you hear me calling? (Can you hear me calling?)
(A musical interlude occurs as Anna does a few dance moves in conjunction with its rhythm before resuming vocals)
Oh, baby, anywhere you go
We are bound together
And I begin, baby, where you end
Some things are forever!
Circle in the sand
'Round & 'round
Never-ending love is what we've found
And you complete the heart of me
Our love is all we need
Circle in the sand (Circle in the sand)
Circle in the sand (Circle in the sand)
Circle in the sand (Circle in the sand)
Circle in the sand
The song fades with the brief sound of birds chirping, Anna gets applauded for her powerful & charming vocals as she took a bow & sends for Rapunzel Benice to take her place on the karaoke stage. The brunette girl with the magic healing hair did songs from Denice Williams' 1982 album 'Niecy' – which is basically the singer's nickname.
This next song Rapunzel does is her favorite – a reworking of the Royalette's 'It's Gonna Take A Miracle', which they did in 1965.
With a male-backing chorus this time & a soothing musical intro, Rapunzel sings it just as Niecy did in 1982:
Loving you so
I was too blind to see
You letting me go
But now that you've set me free
It's gonna take a miracle
Yes, it's gonna take a miracle
To make me love someone new
'Cause I'm crazy for you ohhh
Didn't you know
It wouldn't be so easy (doo-wop)
You lettin' me go
You can be sure that now
It's gonna take a miracle
Yes, it's gonna take a miracle
To make me love someone new
'Cause I'm crazy for you ohhh
Tho' I know I can't forget about you
I'm gonna try to show you how much you're
Turning me around, destroying me
I'll never be…the same anymore oooh
You must realize
You took your love & left me (doo-wop)
Quite by surprise
You can be sure that now
It's gonna take a miracle
Yes, it's gonna take a miracle
To make me love someone new
'Cause I'm crazy for you
Yes, it's gonna take a miracle
Yes, it's gonna take a miracle
To make me love someone new
'Cause I'm crazy about you
(Gonna take a miracle) oooh baby
(Gonna take a miracle) uh-huh
To make me love someone new
'Cause I'm crazy about you
(Gonna take a miracle) uh-huh
(Gonna take a miracle)
(To make me love someone new) oooh baby
('Cause I'm crazy for you) baby
Yes, it's gonna take a miracle
Yes, it's gonna take a miracle
Oooh baby (To make me love someone new)
('Cause I'm crazy for you) baby
(Gonna take a miracle)
Yes, it's gonna take a miracle
To make me love someone new
'Cause I'm crazy, crazy, crazy about you, boy yeah
(Gonna take a miracle) mm-hmm
(Gonna take a miracle)
Oooh baby (To make me love someone new)
('Cause I'm crazy for you) baby
(Gonna take a miracle)
Yes, it's gonna take a miracle
The audience clapped at Rapunzel's performance as her time on the stage came to a conclusion. She smiled her warmest before letting the next performer do her bit – Elsa Sugimoto.
On her roster, the Snow Queen did songs from Gloria Estefan, some during her solo career, others with her Miami Sound Machine group. This next song she did featured the latter, having the male backup vocals act as Gloria's one-time band. It was a single from Gloria's 1985 album 'Primitive Love', released in October 1986.
This rock ballad starts out began with an orchestra-like sound before Elsa lets out her inner Gloria in vocals:
Two of hearts, lace & satin, something in the air
Feel like another crook that's been captured by your stare
(Falling in love, falling in love again)
Uh-oh, uh-oh (And I don't wanna no, no, no)
Uh-oh, uh-oh (Falling in love, falling in love again)
Uh-oh, uh-oh, falling, falling
Jealous feelings, reappearing, such a wicked dare
I'm just so danged confused & I wonder, do you care?
(Falling in love, falling in love again)
Uh-oh, uh-oh (And I don't wanna no, no, no)
Uh-oh, uh-oh (Falling in love, falling in love again)
Uh-oh, uh-oh, falling, falling
Like walking in the park
Or dancing through the dark
Just wanna hold you throughout the night
Prince of fire, sweet desire, with your devil-may-care
Release me from your spell
I don't want this, love ain't fair
(Like her sister Anna had, Elsa danced to the musical interlude accordingly before resuming with her vocals)
I'm falling in love again
(Falling in love)
Uh-oh, uh-oh, falling, falling
Uh-oh, uh-oh (Falling in love, falling in love again)
Uh-oh, uh-oh (Falling in love, falling in love again)
Uh-oh, uh-oh (Falling in love, falling in love again)
Uh-oh, uh-oh (And I don't wanna no, no, no)
Uh-oh, uh-oh (Falling in love, falling in love again)
Uh-oh, uh-oh, falling, falling
Uh-oh, uh-oh (Falling in love, falling in love again)
Uh-oh, uh-oh (And I don't wanna no, no, no)
Uh-oh, uh-oh (Falling in love, falling in love again)
Uh-oh, uh-oh, falling, falling
Uh-oh, uh-oh (Falling in love, falling in love again)
Uh-oh, uh-oh (And I don't wanna no, no, no)
Uh-oh, uh-oh (Falling in love, falling in love again)
Uh-oh, uh-oh, falling, falling
Elsa smiled proudly as she was cheered by the patrons of the club, with her & her party becoming the life of the evening's as the Snow Queen & company were practically stealing the show to everyone's delight.
Merida Fleming became the next person on stage, wearing a white long-sleeve dress shirt & beige slacks/shoes as she did songs which fit her rambunctious/rebellious nature, & she picked tracks to sing from Tim Curry's 1979 album 'Fearless', which included this fun rock tune that Merida performs exactly as Mr. Curry did in the video to it.
With a few improvised moves, Merida does 'The Rock' with a grand guitar opening:
Edith Sitwell giving readings 14 Moscow Road
Osbert's giving champagne parties, Sachie's got a cold
Gertrude's hanging pictures, Alice making tea
Me, I do the only thing that still makes sense to me
I do the Rock
I do the Rock, Rock
John & Yoko farming beef raising protein quota
Sometimes they make love & art inside their Dakota
Rodney's feeling sexy, Mick is really frightfully bold
Me, I do the only thing that stops me growing old
I do the Rock
I do the Rock, Rock
I do the Rock, Rock, Rock
Well, it's stimulating
Solzhenitzin feels exposed, builds a barbed-wire prison
Nietzsche's six feet under, but his babies still got rhythm
Einstein's celebrating ten decades, but I'm afraid philosophy
Is just too much responsibility for me
I do the Rock
I do the Rock
Baby Ruth & Dizzy Dean, Best & Colin Cowdrey
Little Mo, Virginia Wade, Pistol Pete & O.J.
I've always liked DiMaggio, & Rockne's pretty knute you know
I could never whack a ball with such velocity
I do the Rock
I do the Rock
I do the Rock
When I can get it
It's stimulating – I'm a keen student
(Merida dances to the rock music interlude & does so as Tim Curry did & more before resuming vocals)
Liz & Dick & Britt & Liza, Jaclyn, Kate & Farrah
Meg & Roddy, John Travolta, Governor Brown & Linda
Interview & People Magazine, Miss Rona & the Queen
It must be really frightful to attract publicity
I do the Rock…myself
I do the Rock
Carter, Begin & Sadat, Brezhnev, Teng & Castro
Every day negotiate us closer to desastro
Idi Amin & the Shah & Al Fatah is quite bizarre
I could never get the hang of ideology
I do the Rock
I do the Rock
I do the Ro…
I do the Ro…
I do the Ro…
I do the Ro…
Do the Ro…
Do the Ro…
I do, I do, I do, I do
Do the Rock
Sunshine, sunshinin' in
Well, you can't get enough of it, man
Oh, we got the top down now
If you don't have the top down, pull the top down
How often do you get a sunny day
Come to the rock, the rock will cure your ills, man
Been a really hard winter, man
You deserve it, ya know
Everybody do, everybody do, everybody
The audience cheered the loudest at Merida's performance, giving little doubt that they enjoyed hers the best out of all the ones from Kristoff, Eugene, Anna, Rapunzel & Elsa had done. Just like their adoptive families, Sergei, Nikolai & Malvina wore big smiles on their faces throughout their times up on stage, listening to their lovely voices as they all sing to their heart's content. For Sergei & his bodyguard/assistant, it was reminiscent of seeing them at the amphitheater in Los Angeles in December, hearing them for the first time.
It was a powerful & wonderful memory then, & tonight's attendance at the First Karaoke Club brought it back.
With a vengeance.
Other patrons tried their hands at singing, & the group remained until between 11:30 & midnight.
It will be a night to remember!
South Pyongan, North Korea, Saturday, July 9th, 5:30 a.m.:
Since its establishment & ruling by Kim II Sung in 1948 right up until his death on July 8th, 1994 at the age of 82, the country of North Korea became a land of dictatorship that lasts to the present day: from 1910 to 1945, the land was ruled by the Japanese & endured many cruel hardships until the country's defeat in World War II. Three years later, Korea was split into two nations – the North & the South, which caused the Korean War, authorized by Kim II Sung himself, that lasted from June 25th, 1950 to July 27th, 1953. The conflict ended in a truce, not a peace treaty, & thus the Korean Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) was erected between the borders that still stands even more than 60 years since the war between nations ended.
When one thinks about it, the two Koreas are still at war with one another.
Over the years, the citizens of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) have endured as worse a mess of hardships than when the country was under Japanese rule: people getting tortured in various ways such as receiving constant beatings, forced labors/prostitution, being sold as slaves, executions & even human experimentation. Freedom of speech, religion, or expression of any kind is virtually non-existent, & those that commit even the smallest of offense get sentenced to a concentration camp & hard labor and/or killed. At one time, a woman & several generations of her family were executed for an offense that was all but forbidden on the DPRK's soil.
Her crime? Watching a movie made in Hollywood, USA.
The Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) – established on December 5th, 1946 – is the primary antagonist for literally brainwashing its citizens, as they get fed information its government decides it wants the public to know. Even children were not immune to or even safe from the country's poisonous effects: they get fed propaganda cartoons of a pack of North Korean wolves preying on American foxes, depicting that the United States is the enemy, a hatred they'd held onto & endured since the Korean War.
When North Korea's second ruler Kim Jong II (Kim II Sung's son) died on December 17th, 2011, he was further succeeded by his own son – and current leader – Kim Jong Un, who became First Secretary on April 11th, 2012 until May 9th, 2016, when he became the nation's new ruler.
Like his father & grandfather before him, Kim Jong Un rules North Korea with an iron hand, his word being law indefinitely.
He's also just as deranged, cold-blooded, & tyrannical as they were: this is a man whose past is all but shrouded in mystery, & those that do know keep quiet about it – if they know what's good for them.
Kim Jong Un's biggest ambition is the possession of nuclear weapons for his motherland – a goal that was first established in the mid-1950s but having little success in reaching it over the years until the nation's first underground nuclear test in 2006, with several others following over the years. He also keeps scores of deadly chemical weapons – some of which get sold to countries like Syria, another country whose human rights are among one of the worst on the planet. Kim's reasons for having such weapons, in his mind, are simple: remembering what had happened to both Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein (1937-2006) & al-Qaeda founder Osama Bin Laden (1957-2011), Kim Jong Un vowed never to allow his country to be attacked by outside forces, preferably the United States.
It's why he's so adamant in completing/protecting his nuclear weapons program at any & all costs.
This year alone, North Korea has fired five Hwasong-type missiles to test their performance, with each flying over Japan & three over its capital city of Tokyo. Each one put the Japanese people on edge, fearing it was a prelude to an all-out attack upon their home.
Kim Jong Un was all but blind & deaf to their horror & paid it no mind.
Only the completion & success of firing a rocket & surviving re-entry of Earth's atmosphere mattered to him, & once his top people perfects that maneuver, they'll be able to fit a nuclear warhead on the tip & give North Korea the ability to strike & destroy a city anywhere in the world – most notably the United States of America.
The thought of seeing cities like Los Angeles, New York City or even Washington, D.C. get literally wiped off the map in a gigantic mushroom cloud was a scenario that never ceases to put a smile on Kim Jong Un's face.
And on this particular day, he has plenty to smile about, as he plans on sending not one, not two, but three more of his Hwasong-type missiles for more testing. Surrounded by his top-ranking generals, the North Korean dictator, who was dressed in a casual white short-sleeve dress shirt, black pants & white tennis shoes, he looked more to be heading for a day at the beach rather than observing the watch of a trio of missiles from their silos, which were 500 meters away from their current position.
Standing in front of a control console with monitors, Kim Jong Un & his generals stood in eager anticipation.
Briefly fixing his short, flattop head of black hair, the North Korean dictator turned to his men.
"Is everything ready to proceed?", he asked the man nearest him.
"Yes, Supreme Leader", he replied. "The men that you assigned to this morning's test were up all night in getting it ready for launch. All they need to proceed from this point on is your word."
Kim Jong Un smiled, followed by his generals.
"Very good", the dictator said. "These three missiles we shall launch this morning will once again head towards & fly over Japan, only this time at a lower altitude than before. We want to put even more of a scare upon those people – the very same ones that made our people suffer for 35 years until we were freed from their tyranny! Now, it becomes our turn to incite great fear into them as they once did to us!"
The generals applauded their leader's words, adamantly sharing his enthusiasm.
"Will these missiles be flying over Tokyo again, Supreme Leader?", asked one man.
"Absolutely!", Kim said with a smile. "Since it's their capital, it's only fitting that those infernal people receive the worst trepidation we can muster into them! Should any of them break apart & fall upon their city, it's only natural that they get exactly what they deserve! After all, there's really no reason for that country to be in existence anymore, so they are the perfect target for our missile tests…correct?"
More applause & nods from Kim's generals ensue, feeding the man's boisterous ego.
"And what of the American & Japanese warships waiting outside our borders, Supreme Leader?", asked another man. "What if they decide to shoot down our missiles?"
Kim Jong Un dismissed the notion with a wave of his hand.
"It is of no consequence", he simply stated. "They didn't shoot down our other missiles before even when they had them in their sights, & they won't be shooting these down either. By the time they discover that these missiles we'll be firing over Tokyo are too low & close to the city, it'll be too late for them to do anything to intercept them. If they do try, they'll only cause even more damage than our missiles would."
Kim's generals smiled at the idea, loving it every second.
"So then, gentlemen…shall we proceed?", Kim asked.
"By all means, Supreme Leader!", said one man as the others nod eagerly.
The North Korean dictator smiled wider as he faced the console & got on the radio.
Pressing a button, he got in contact with his soldiers & gave them the order.
Japan National Stadium, Tokyo:
General Ronald Len Ernie of the U.S. Army was happily welcomed at a command unit in the heart of the city that was set up once the missiles from North Korea started becoming a major problem for it & the country. Along with his longtime trusted friend Yoshi Shimazaki, he immediately took command & had patrols around the clock to watch for any further projectiles from the isolated country. To further help him & his squadron, both Admiral Willis & Captain Kawakita – who were on task in apprehending Yakuza boss Hisashi Masahiro before the monster Varan took matters into his own hands last December – were assigned to patrol the southwestern part of the Sea of Japan while also keeping a sharp eye out for Godzilla, who was reported to still be in the area somewhere.
When the General was informed by both the Admiral & Captain that North Korea was about to launch more of its missiles, he & Yoshi put everybody on red alert & man their stations exactly as instructed/drilled.
"Talk to me, Admiral! You said they were about to shoot up another three of their overgrown firecrackers?", the General asked.
"That's correct, General!", Admiral Willis said over the radio. "Satellite surveys show a trio of them set up over on the outer rim of South Pyongan! The South Korean military also confirms their sighting! Looks like we'll be getting some new gifts from them, General – whether we want them or not!"
"Well, this time's going to be different, son! Listen up: if that fat little maggot of a ruler thinks he can send over his parting gifts without there being repercussions, then he's the sorriest sack of horse dung to ever set foot upon God's Green Earth! Keep track of those missiles, Admiral, & the instant you get the chance to blast them out of the sky…"
"Copy that, sir! We've got several batteries armed & waiting to commence firing! Once they get within range & in our sights, we won't hesitate!"
"Then good luck to you & your men, Admiral…and God Bless! Out!"
The General cut the connection as tensions rose within the base, watching events unfold upon the monitors.
Aboard the Kongo-Maru:
Admiral Willis also severed the communication between him & the General, leaving the bridge of the vessel quiet as he & Captain Kawakita stared out of the thick plexiglass, peering through their binoculars. It was one of several ships which has anchored near the Korean border, with some being from Japan & others from the U.S. military outposts of nearby Guam. On the deck were turrets with 20-inch/60-caliber Mark 7 naval guns that fire armor-piercing shells, & an armada of high-powered machine guns that fire over a thousand rounds per minute.
Add to that powerful Tomahawk land attack missiles & an advanced radar/tracking system, & it made for quite a battleship that General Douglas MacArthur would be proud of.
The other ships in their armada were no less armed to the teeth, & they also kept a keen eye as instructed by the U.S. Admiral & Japanese Captain.
"Everyone on standby, Captain?", Willis asked.
"Hai, Admiral Willis-san", Kawakita said. "Both of our men are all poised & ready to take action at a moment's notice. Let us teach Kim Jong Un & his murderous regime a lesson they won't soon forget!"
"Nothing I'd like better, Captain!"
Keeping their sights over the water, both leaders said nothing else.
Until showtime commenced.
Seeing no reason to delay the launch any further, Kim Jong Un gave the order to commence with the operation.
From their launching pads, the three Hwasong missiles ignited from underneath as one with a roar that was loud even from a distance, raising up three clouds of smoke as their propulsions pushed them skywards in seconds. In under a minute, the three missiles were hundreds of feet into the air before turning east & heading in that direction, towards the Sea of Japan. Even in the early morning light, their rockets shone like comets in space as they all raced for the open water.
Kim Jong Un, his generals & staff all clapped happily at the successful launching of their weaponry. Within the capital city of Pyongyang, the KCNA announces the launch of the new rockets that will race towards & zoom over the country of Japan, giving both the military personnel & citizens cause to cheer even at this early an hour.
Aboard the Kongo-Maru, Admiral Willis & Captain Kawakita steeled themselves as they witnessed the missiles heading their way. General Ernie, Yoshi & their group were also on edge at their base in Tokyo, catching the projectiles as they took flight & curved to head straight for Japan's capital.
The tension built, but everyone kept their composure & stayed calm/professional as they checked their readings even as danger was imminent. Everyone manning a weapons turret remained watchful as the missiles were now heading over the shoreline of North Korea & out into open water.
"Missiles are on radar & almost within range of firing, sir", said an operator.
"Keep track of them, son", Willis instructed before reaching those manning their weapons on radio. "Steady out there, boys: give them a couple more meters, & they'll be all yours."
"Roger that, sir", said one man.
Captain Kawakita gave his men similar orders in his own tongue.
North Korea's missile trio were racing across the sea, being over 100 meters apart from each other.
One radar operator that they were now only mere feet from being in range, & fingers on triggers were as tense as ever as they waited for that one moment when they would spring into action.
In South Pyongan & Pyongyang, Kim Jong Un, his generals/staff & citizens keep all eyes glued to their monitors as the missiles streak over Japanese waters, their excitement building up with each passing second.
From 380 meters out, a stream of blue-white energy burst forth from underneath the waves & struck the first of the missile trio, detonating it upon contact. The other two met the same fate as the beam washed over them, each one of them exploding into orange/yellow fireballs as shrapnel shattered everywhere. Everyone from Pyongyang to Tokyo stood & stared in silent wonder & shock as this projectile blew away what would've been a dire threat to Japan.
Before anyone could contemplate on the cause of their premature detonation, they all get their answer in the form of a trio row of large jagged/spiked dorsal plates that rose up from beneath the water that were white at the edges while a dark charcoal grey everywhere else. When they collided together, they rang like church bells.
The rest of what belonged to those dorsal spines came up to the surface in the form of a large creature with a big barrel-like chest, bull neck, long forearms with four-fingered clawed hands, & a dinosaurian/feral head with eyes that held a predatory status. A curl-up of the lips revealed six-foot-long bone-yellow teeth.
It was a creature that Japan – and the rest of the world – knew instantly.
"Gojira!", Captain Kawakita said in his tongue, which is how the Japanese pronounce Godzilla's name.
Godzilla unleashed a deep, boisterous feral roar that was heard for miles all around, the noise being heard even from where the Kongo-Maru & its armada rested. Admiral Willis & Captain Kawakita gave strict orders to hold fire, but nobody needed to be told: they dared not shoot at the monster, knowing what he was capable of doing.
On the plus side, Godzilla ignored the ships to the left of him & concentrated more on the nearest patch of land.
North Korea, which was directly ahead of him.
Despite being isolated from the rest of the world, even those from North Korea knew of the monster's existence, & they were no less fearful of the beast as Godzilla waded his way towards the country. Kim Jong Un was no different: he's heard of the creature's existence since his childhood days, & he also recalls the time when the three-headed horror known as King Ghidorah attacked & ravaged Pyongyang in the 1990s when his father was still ruler. Over half of the country was leveled, with Pyongyang receiving the worst of it. Even chemical weapons were useless against it.
But Kim Jong II didn't retreat when King Ghidorah attacked, & Kim Jong Un won't do so now.
Regaining his composure, he rose from his seat & turned to his generals.
"Take me back to Pyongyang right now!", he ordered them. "Along the way, get in touch with every one of our missile silos & have their weapons ready for firing when I give the order!"
"Yes sir!", all his generals said, saluting & escorting their supreme leader over to his personal Humvee.
Driving away, those who set up the launch followed in their own jeeps back to their capital city, not wanting to be anywhere near the ensuing battle that was going to take place soon.
Out in the Sea of Japan, Godzilla continued on his trek towards land as General Ernie, Yoshi & their people were all watching on the monitor. Getting on the radio, Ernie contacted Admiral Willis.
"Admiral, do me a favor: send up a dozen of your drones & have them follow Godzilla, but make sure they stay more than high enough so he can't hear or see them."
"Copy that, sir. Sending them up now", came the response.
Aboard the Kongo-Maru, Willis gave the order to one of his drone operators who sent up the General's specific number of drones that rose from the vessel's deck & gained altitude as they headed for North Korea with hardly a sound.
"Okay, General, they're sent. Now what?", Admiral Willis says.
To his surprise, he, Captain Kawakita & the others could hear Ernie chuckling on the radio, puzzling them.
It even caught Yoshi & the others off-guard at their base in Tokyo.
"Now, we do nothing…for the moment, anyway!", General Ernie said, nonchalant & smiling. "Let's all just sit back & enjoy the show, children!"
The General then broke out into a boisterous, good-natured laugh before his little joke quickly caught on, & they all smiled & laughed even as they stay professional in their tasks. Each personnel aboard the Kongo-Maru & in Tokyo was going to get a literally bird's eye view of the carnage that was all but inevitable.
Godzilla has finally reached landfall & took his first thunderous step upon North Korean soil.
He sensed great evil emanating from the land even before setting foot on it.
It was evil that Godzilla intended to face & eliminate once & for all.
Letting out another blaring roar, he was heard for miles.
Seoul, South Korea, 7:00 a.m.:
Like usual, news of the North Korean missile launch reached its southern, more hospitable counterpart as those in the country's capital stayed tuned to the broadcast & watched as the trio of missiles were launched from their silos & briefly raced across the water before getting blasted by Godzilla's heat ray & headed for its northern cousin. Each of its citizens cheered when the Monster King detonated the missiles & set foot on North Korea, doing so near the area of Tongchon, leveling several houses that were all but evacuated by their owners upon sight of the monster.
The South Koreans couldn't help but feel somewhat bad for those people, despite living in the more malevolent part of the country.
But when Godzilla went & leveled the first of North Korea's hidden missile silo bases between Kosan & Anbyon, they applauded as Godzilla was bombarded with hundreds of missiles but neither stopped nor slowed his trek.
A smoking ruin of an area was all that remained.
Godzilla resumed his trek across North Korea, his own hide smoking in spots but his wounds completely healed.
Nobody above the missile silo survived the monster's assault on it, & many were even killed beneath.
A sudden noise that originated skywards caught the attention of Seoul's citizens.
Looking up, they at first see nothing except a clear day with few clouds but the sound was getting louder in pitch with each passing second. They searched the sky for several moments, seeing nothing until a large shape sped across at near-lightning speed that looked to have a big set of wings & a front port that didn't look anything like what a plane or a jet would have, & it was definitely moving way too fast to be anything man-made.
Fortunately, it seemed to ignore Seoul completely, heading north as the sonic scream it emitted faded until it was no longer audible.
The citizens breathed a sigh of relief & kept watch on the television screens for continued coverage of Godzilla.
Panmunjeom/Home of Peace, Korean Demilitarized Zone:
Like it's been for over 60 years, the DMZ was watched constantly on both sides by those keeping guard at it. The faces of each soldier along the most heavily-guarded border in the world was stone-faced with eyes of glaring hatred at one another, neither one giving their north-south counterparts any signs of weakness or compassion.
Only deep contempt for each other came from these people that will undoubtedly continue for another 60 years & beyond.
The radio on the commander's belt on the South Korea side came to life, & he placed it to his ear.
"Yes sir?", he said into it.
Listening intently to what his superiors were transmitting, the commander's eyes widened.
"Yes sir! We'll vacate the premises immediately!", he said, placing his radio back on his belt as a soldier asked what was wrong.
He didn't give an explanation: he just gave his men the order to get themselves as far away from the Demilitarized Zone as possible & was very adamant about it. This order was enforced to all South Korean soldiers at the border.
Without question, the men saluted & obeyed his orders as they each got into their vehicles & pulled away from the DMZ, going as fast as their rides could take them.
Seeing their southern counterparts suddenly take off & run made the North Korean guards smile wickedly as each one believed they couldn't handle the responsibility of being this close to their own half of the country. They started to laugh in amusement & contempt, spewing insults like 'What's the matter: can't handle the fact that we're the far more superior half?', 'That's right: run away, you lily-livered chickens!' & 'We knew you were the pathetic ones, not us!'.
The insults to their retreating southern rivals incited even more laughter, enjoying the predicament.
It continued on for many minutes even when the South Korean soldiers were but a speck on the horizon, but when one North Korean soldier saw a speck coming from the air, his laughter ceased & he peered into his binoculars to get a closer look.
What he saw made him cry out in fear, & his eyes went wide.
When his superior asked what was wrong, the soldier could only point in the direction he saw the object.
Looking into his own looking glasses, he peeked where his man pointed. He then realized why he got a sudden case of the shakes, & why the South Korean soldiers made a hasty retreat: a maroon-colored creature with a 70-meter long body & 120-meter wingspread was soaring in the skies over the Korean mainland. Its underside was peach & had small pointed spikes protruding in a three-row vertical manner & had clawed feet with a tail that measured the length of its legs. The head was shaped like that of an extinct pterodactyl, with a long & pointed toothed beak that was gray in color. A trio of curved & pointed crests protruded in the rear of its head.
The flying creature – known throughout the world as Rodan – let out an ear-splitting cackling roar that was heard for many miles all around, putting the men on edge.
But unlike their southern rivals, the North Koreans would not flee, despite their trepidation: almost immediately, each soldier opened fire on Rodan with their machine guns & hand-held RPG rocket launchers. From the cover of the nearby grove of trees, several Chuche-Po Self-Propelled guns & Type 85 light tanks began blasting away at the monster fast approaching the DMZ.
Every shell, rocket & bullet hit the creature dead-on, but they did nothing to slow his progress.
In retaliation, Rodan fired his uranium heat beam from his beak & struck the border fence, blowing that portion away along with the structures from both Panmunjeom & the House of Peace in a fiery explosion, killing any & all of the North Korean soldiers in the immediate vicinity. Next came the multitude of weaponry that blazed at Rodan from within the trees. The Samurai of the Skies landed upon two of these vehicles, his tremendous weight crushing both man & machine underneath his feet. He then unleashed his uranium heat beam at the other offending vehicles, blasting away each one in seconds & turning them into pieces of smoking metal. More ground vehicles from the North Korean side of the DMZ came at Rodan from behind, attacking from the rear while he was busy with what lay ahead of him. Rodan quickly turned in a speed that belied his great size & gave the same horrible treatment to these offenders as he did to all others. He even caused strong wind gusts with his wings that caused men & machines to go flying everywhere, as each vehicle exploded upon hitting the ground & killing those still within.
Not one soldier survived the holocaust of explosions, & most bodies were burnt beyond recognition. Others were hitting the ground with broken bones but were dead nevertheless.
Rodan then took to the air & continued blasting away at the Demilitarized Zone border fence with his heat beam, blowing it into chunks of scorched metal mixed in with several burning bodies that were foolish enough to stay & fight an enemy that could in no way be brought down by conventional means. The mutant Pteranodon kept blasting at the border fence until he'd reached the Dorasan-Ri area of South Korea, when he had changed course & did the same up to between the Jinseo-Myeon & Eoryong-Ri areas.
Then Rodan changed course yet again & headed into North Korean territory, heading for the closest missile base from his current position.
All the South Korean soldiers that took shelter before the carnage ensued watched from safety many kilometers away, yet they could still feel the vibrations caused by the devastation, & the blasts were horrendously loud even from their point of view. Rodan's destruction of the DMZ lasted for many minutes, leaving an area of smoking ruins & dead bodies everywhere until the winged creature took off further into enemy territory.
His cackling roar could be heard even when he was no more than a dot on the horizon.
Witnessing the death & destruction of their North Korean rivals, the South Korean soldiers couldn't resist smiling big & relishing/savoring the moment of a monumental occasion that could finally change things for the better – not just for the south, but for all of Korea.
Each one said a mental prayer of luck & thanks to Rodan.
Pyongyang, North Korea:
Immediately after getting back to North Korea's capital, Kim Jong Un made an announcement over the monitor screens all over the city from one of his many his private homes on the current situation with Godzilla, who has landed on their motherland, & that all military personnel was mandatory in reporting for duty to defend their country from this deadly threat. He gives his military strict orders that Godzilla was to be killed with their tremendous artillery & were not to stop until they see Godzilla as nothing but an inanimate corpse. To incite full & complete obedience from all his soldiers, Kim Jong Un added that anyone who deserts his/her duties for any reason whatsoever will be shot & killed where theystood.
The Supreme Leader punctuated each word in 'where they stood' with firmness & malice in his voice.
Whenever their ruler speaks in that tone of voice, the people – military or otherwise – know better than to disobey, much less challenge it.
Kim turned to his staff who were monitoring Godzilla's progress.
"Where is Godzilla's trek taking him to now?", he asked the first man.
"After the missile attack between Anbyon & Kosan, he continued on towards west", he said. "Should he stay on his current course, he'll most definitely reach Pyongyang later on today, preferably by nightfall if he doesn't get stopped before that."
"Not to worry: we will make certain that Godzilla doesn't get anywhere near Pyongyang! In fact, we will make sure that North Korea is where that monster dies & gets buried in! After our attack on the creature, not only shall we become a mighty nation & nuclear power, we'll also be the country that has done the one thing no other country has ever managed to do – kill Godzilla!"
The people in the room all clapped & cheered, sharing their ruler's enthusiasm & having high confidence in their ability to defeat the King of the Monsters. Kim Jong Un smiled in appreciation of both the support of his followers & the image of seeing Godzilla lying dead on North Korean soil.
"Are the missile bases ready to fire?", he asked his generals.
"Yes, Supreme Leader: despite losing two of them to the monster called Rodan, we have several more all primed & ready to commence as per your orders!", said one man. "They simply need to hear the word, sir!"
Staring at the screen & seeing Godzilla approach the area near the Kuryong-josuji river, Kim grinned.
This land will be your tomb, Godzilla!, he thought with fiendish glee.
"The word…is 'attack'!", he said orally.
Another general got on the radio & relayed his ruler's order.
Near the Kuryong-josuji river:
After disposing of some of the missiles & surviving the rest, Godzilla marched onwards west, heading straight for the area where the scent of evil felt strongest as felt by his instincts. His feet shook the ground with every step the Monster King took, vibrating like an actual god who came to Earth to punish the mortals that dared to defy him, which is exactly what it feels like to Godzilla.
He traveled a good stretch before pausing when he sensed danger looming nearby. Looking skywards, Godzilla noticed a plethora of black dots in the air – the same kinds that came at him earlier before they detonated all around him with deafening/powerful blasts.
And this time, there were even more of them than before!
Like a swarm of locusts, hundreds of North Korean missiles headed directly for Godzilla, who lit up his dorsal spines & fired his heat ray at the oncoming projectiles. A large quantity of them exploded while in mid-air, but many others more still reached & detonated against & around him. Blast after powerful blast erupted on the Monster King as Godzilla unleashed his roar that became even louder than the explosions rocking his body, as a large & thick cloud of smoke soon engulfed Godzilla, rendering him invisible on the monitors, television screens & even from all of the unseen drones Admiral Willis dispatched to view & record the action. The only proof of Godzilla's existence within the smoke cloud was his roar & firing of his heat ray that pinpointed his location & blasted as many missiles as he could, shooting blindly.
Kim Jong Un & his people from inside his private home & in the city of Pyongyang were wearing big smiles as Godzilla was being mercilessly attacked – a prelude of what the North Korean ruler plans on doing to the United States & its allies in the very near future, only with nuclear/chemical weapons.
The violent barrage lasted for a good 15-20 minutes before it all ended as suddenly as it began. The cloud was so thick that nobody could see inside of it, not being able to tell whether Godzilla has literally bitten the dust or not.
"Can anybody see anything?!", Kim Jong Un demanded.
Everybody in the room shook their heads & answered 'no'.
Kim got on the radio to his air squadron who were circling the area in their MiG-29 fighter jets that were deployed shortly before the first missile attack.
"Air squadron…can you see any kind of movement from your position?", he asked.
"Negative, Supreme Leader", said one pilot over the radio. "I can't make out any details to indicate that…hold on! I think I see something flailing within, & I also see a bright flash of light that looks to be like…AAAAHHHH!"
"Come in, over! Come in!"
Kim Jong Un got no response.
At the battle site, a beam of blue-white light struck out from within the cloud & hit the first MiG-29, blowing it to pieces & killing the pilot.
"Supreme Leader, Godzilla is still alive, I repeat…Godzilla is still alive!", said another pilot.
"I can SEE that, fool! Rectify it…NOW!", Kim Jong Un screamed in his ear over the radio.
"Yes sir!", he replied, getting on the horn with the other pilots. "Squadron, engage Godzilla & bring him down!"
Complying with the order, the MiG-29s unloaded upon Godzilla with their GSh-30-1 mm cannons & fired every round into his flesh, combined with their R-27 AA-10 Alamo medium-range air-to-air & R-73 AA-11 Archer dogfight missiles they struck the monster with. Some even dropped unguided bombs on the creature, which exploded on contact.
Powerful as these machine guns & missiles are, none of them could begin to drop Godzilla, & within moments it was the jets that were being dropped like flies when Godzilla fired his heat ray at each aircraft, detonating them in fiery blasts that left no time to deploy parachutes. No matter how hard they fought or flew, none escaped Godzilla's fury, as he wiped out the squadron as viciously as they attacked him.
All 35 of North Korea's MiG-29 jets – gifts from Russia – were gone, pilots & all.
Unleashing a victory roar, Godzilla resumed his trek towards Pyongyang.
The sight of seeing Godzilla survive another salvo of missiles & all of his jets blasted out of the sky by the beast left Kim Jong Un speechless – a position he never previously found himself in.
"Supreme Leader…what do you want us to do next to stop this beast, sir?", one general called to him. "Supreme Leader?"
Kim snapped out of his stupor & turned to him, his face ashen.
"We fired hundreds of missiles on Godzilla…and still he walks away", Kim said in a voice that sounded defeated & weak. In his entire rule since the death of his father, the little dictator had never faced an opponent he couldn't beat or threaten to his whim like the ruler he is…like he's supposed to be.
He fought to shrug it off, not wanting to show his people that he's incapable of handling the situation or ruling his land & its people.
"Are all our ground forces ready to move out yet?", he asked his generals.
"Yes, Supreme Leader", said one of them. "Each one of our vehicles is fully fueled & armed to the teeth, with all available personnel also set to go into battle against this invader. Shall we get them moved out immediately, sir?"
"Do it: have half our forces set up on the outer perimeter of the city, with the rest remaining within. If by chance Godzilla does make it past our city border defenses, we'll finish him off in Pyongyang itself. But remember…no matter how big he is, Godzilla is not to leave this country except as a corpse! Understand?"
"Yes sir!", they all replied with a salute as Kim nodded.
Without delay, one general gave the green light to proceed with their leader's plans of action.
At hidden missile bases all around North Korea:
From one heavily-armed base to another, Rodan attacked & lay waste to these with both his uranium heat beam & even his sonic boom attack – a move that occurs when he flies over an area at a low enough altitude at high speed, creating the desired effect. Even with several missiles launched from these silos & striking Rodan with powerful blasts, they were ineffective against the flying creature, & they paid the price for their ignorance when Rodan blasted men & machines to smoking rubble & burned corpses laying everywhere.
At one area of the country, Rodan even set free a bunch of prisoners at a concentration camp while on his way to destroy a new missile base: when the guards saw the flying monster, they summoned their firepower to bring him down, but were met with disastrous results as Rodan blew apart their weaponry & their operators with ease as several of the prisoners overpowered the few guards that were left despite being malnourished for weeks, getting their strength from deep loathing & hatred of their captors before getting the keys & escaping the horrible complexes.
Seeing several guns & vehicles that weren't destroyed by Rodan's assault, the prisoners grabbed weapons as keys were placed in the ignitions of several vehicles still present & started up to carry the former prisoners to freedom.
They headed down to South Korea, going full speed & not stopping for anything until they've reached the border.
Whichever direction they went, they were finally tasting freedom once again.
Ironically, they were all thanking Rodan for their miraculous escape, never dreaming in a million years that one of the planet's giant monsters would become their savior after months/years in horrid/inhumane captivity by the North Koreans.
For their one-time captors, they wish terrible torture on each & every one of them.
Amazingly, they get their wish: as several of the North Korean soldiers were heading away from the destroyed concentration camps & the monster itself, Rodan flew in their direction & passed over them at great speed, causing a gust of strong winds that threw their vehicles like they were toys & smashing into the ground & rocks as they screamed in terror.
Each one exploded in fire balls, killing all of their occupants.
Satisfied at totaling another enemy base, Rodan flew off to attack yet another.
Cheongrvong, outer Pyongyang, 7:30 p.m.:
With a vast armada of battle vehicles such as 240mm Multiple Rocket Launcher, KN-09 MLRS, VTT-323 M1973 Sinhung armored personnel carriers, M-1978 Koksan guns, & tanks of the Pokpung-ho, Chonma-ho, PT-85 & Type 85 light variety, the outer border of North Korea's capital city was well set up & fully prepared to fire upon Godzilla once he gets within range. While the soldiers were setting up the city's defenses, Kim Jong Un ordered another salvo of their missiles to be launched at Godzilla, even if the chances of success would be 0%. A new volley of projectiles were fired at Godzilla, only to have him walk away from this attack & seemingly without a scratch.
When Godzilla reached the area of Kwangt'an-ni, Kim Jong Un ordered a third salvo of missiles at the creature, but this round was different: because of Rodan's constant interference at destroying multiple bases & their weaponry getting fired at the winged monster, this volley of missiles was at its fewest yet & most were easily blasted out of the sky by Godzilla's heat ray.
For all the missiles that did strike him, they did nothing.
Godzilla was still on his way over to Pyongyang.
As calculated, he has reached it just before nightfall as the last rays of sunlight shone on his massive form for the citizens & soldiers to see. Due to the lack of success of stopping Godzilla's advance towards the capital city, its civilian populace began evacuating Pyongyang as the defenses were being set up to stay away from the danger & to not hinder the soldiers in their duties, being a capital offense to the regime & all.
Another reason was more personal: the people of Pyongyang were starting to lose their trust in not only those in their military, but also in their supreme leader Kim Jong Un & his regime to keep them safe from this most dangerous of threats which has invaded their homeland. Many of them still remember when King Ghidorah attacked the city only about less than 20 years or so previous, leaving it in ruins with thousands dead & injured.
Godzilla brought back those horrid memories, & despite Kim Jong Un's vow to destroy the monster, their hopes & confidence in him were fading fast – very fast.
But they dared not say that aloud, for fear of getting executed on the spot for uttering such treasonous thoughts.
Much as they feared giant monsters like King Ghidorah & Godzilla, they feared their country's rulers even more – a fear that began with its founder Kim II Sung nearly 70 years ago & continuing with his grandson to this day.
Godzilla's blaring roar echoed throughout Pyongyang, as the King of the Monsters was now strolling through the area of Hwacheon, flattening anything in his way with his feet & tail. With his generals, Kim Jong Un stood on the roof of the southern Pyongyang University building with monitors & other vital equipment to help them keep track of the coming fight against an enemy that's worse than a dozen United States of Americas.
Kim Jong Un stared hard at the monster through binoculars, having more of a loathing for this creature than he does for America & all its allies.
For the ruler of North Korea, that's saying something.
"Have the men attack that creature the second I give the order!", Kim said in a voice that bore no argument.
"Supreme Leader, begging your pardon, sir, but wouldn't it be better if you observed the battle from the safety of your private home?", asked one of his top officials. "You are the ruler of our country, & if anything were to happen to you…"
Lowering his binoculars, Kim Jong Un turned & approached the man until he was literally in his face.
"Did my father Kim Jong II run & hide like a coward when King Ghidorah attacked our city 20 or so years ago?!", Kim said with a malevolence that made the man shiver. "No – he stayed amid the destruction & death that occurred all around until the monster was finally driven off by our superior firepower! Do you really expect me to do any less than he did?!"
"B-But, Supreme Leader, we've so far thrown everything we have at Godzilla, & he still isn't…", the man tried saying but was stammering in his speech due to his fear of Kim.
"No matter how big he is, Godzilla is still only a dumb, lumbering animal!", Kim Jong Un spat in his face. "And like all animals, he can be destroyed! And he will be destroyed! Nobody & nothing comes to my land, causes destruction indiscriminately & at random, & then just simply walks away! In one way or another, we will bring Godzilla down for his blasphemy of attacking our home…my home! And you will carry out my instructions as I give them to you! Is that understood?!"
The man gulped in fear before answering.
"Y-Yes sir", he said as firmly as he could.
Satisfied with his answer, Kim Jong Un turned & walked back to the monitors as he peered through his binoculars.
"Good! Now then…tell our troops to open fire!", he ordered.
Another general carried out the order, since the one Kim scolded was too numb to do it.
Once the order was given, the battalion of military vehicles commenced with firing on Godzilla, hitting him with multiple shellfire, rockets, missiles & even machine gun fire. The monster bellowed a roar that echoed throughout the city, which every set of ears within the concrete jungle picked up. As Godzilla stepped closer towards Pyongyang, the artillery hitting him felt more powerful than from a distance, but he still advanced with each step, shaking the land like the powerful entity that he is.
This time, Godzilla didn't wait to be covered in a thick smoke cloud before he retaliated with his heat ray: letting loose with a stream of radiated energy, he blew away projectiles, machines & men in a terrible series of explosions that depleted the armada by more than 40%. Metal, debris & people went flying in every direction, some never given the chance to scream before death claimed them indefinitely.
Godzilla continued bombarding the North Korean forces, even as he was being struck by multiple projectiles.
Approaching the Nam-gang River & crossing it, Godzilla literally crushed the competition with his feet & swatted away more vehicles with his tail. They flew all over the place like children's toys & were flattened like soda cans. Men died screaming in pure terror at the mercy of the Monster King, & some were even kicked away like they were soccer balls or crushed by his tail.
But not one soldier dared to retreat: their orders from their supreme leader was to stay & bring Godzilla down at any & all costs – even if it meant sacrificing their very lives in the process.
In this situation, they were practically throwing their lives away, forfeiting them.
Smashing the last few vehicles with his feet & tail, Godzilla defeats the fighting forces on the outer rim of North Korea's capital city, & now he plans on unleashing his rage on Pyongyang itself. Letting out a bellowing roar, he makes his advance into the Munsu-Dong area, flattening many small homes before unleashing his fury on the taller buildings of the area, leveling them to rubble by heat ray & brute physical force by ramming his massive weight into them.
Neither Kim Jong Un nor his generals could believe what they're witnessing: a single monster wiping out most of the country's armed forces, of which it used every available cent of its funding to perfect & grow into one of Earth's most formidable fighting forces & to scare the daylights out of the Americans with.
And this is what he has to show for it: a battered army, millions of dollars wasted & personnel dead/injured.
Kim Jong Un knows his father & grandfather would be ashamed of him for allowing such an abomination to turn their utopia into a place of utter death & destruction, & that he couldn't bring down even one overgrown animal.
But it was easier said than done: like many of his people, Kim Jong Un remembered seeing King Ghidorah for the first time when he was still in high school, & what's more, he was standing right next to his father Kim Jong II the day the triple-domed terror razed their beloved city, causing millions in damages/destruction. Of course, being famous for creating & exploiting propaganda, Kim's father made it look like their army defeated King Ghidorah with their army & drove off the three-headed horror away from their beloved country.
Sadly, the truth of the matter was revealed to be false as the footage was uncovered by expert hackers & broadcast worldwide to show the real events of what occurred: King Ghidorah razed Pyongyang & flew away on his own without so much as a scratch, leaving dead, dying & injured in his wake. The triple-domed terror was more than a match for any armed forces in the world & had been defeated only by the combined might of the monsters Anguirus, Rodan and Godzilla.
In short, King Ghidorah left Pyongyang on his own because he felt bored with it & wanted to move on.
Should Kim Jong Un try exploiting Godzilla's rampage on the city or Rodan's across the country, nobody would buy it for a second, & he doubted even his own people would either.
All the more reason why he wants Godzilla dead.
"Have our forces in the city converge on Godzilla!", he said coldly without looking at his men. "Do whatever it takes to bring him down, even if they have to take the beast on with their own bare hands!"
A double sound from behind them caught the attention of Kim Jong Un & his generals as they each turn & cry out in fear to see a pair of two newmonsters setting foot in North Korea, standing in the area of Kwangbok: they were large hominoid creatures, with a green-haired one measuring 50 or so meters tall & a brown-haired beast standing 60 meters tall. The green one had clawed toes on its feet & fingers on its hands, pointed ears & sharp teeth with a pair of sharp fangs protruding from its lower jaw. Its larger brown sibling had regular nails on its toes & fingers, & its teeth were not sharp, nor its ears pointed.
North Korea's Pyongyang has two new unwanted visitors – Gaira & Sanda.
Like Rodan & Godzilla, they can feel an evil presence in the country, with its capital city being the main source of it.
And like the Samurai of the Skies & Monster King, neither gargantuan sibling liked it. Not one bit.
They were about to show just how much they disapprove of it by entering Pyongyang & flattening any buildings in their way to rubble as what remained of them spilled the streets. By now, the armed forces were aware of the brand-new dangers that have entered the city & have divided their troops & artillery into two groups to fend off Godzilla and the newcomers with every piece of weaponry they have at their disposal.
Or try to, anyway.
As Gaira & Sanda travel along Kwangbok to Konguk, several of the city's 240mm Multiple Rocket Launchers, M1973 Sinhung armored personnel carriers & variety of battle tanks converge on the two hominoids & open fire upon each, hitting them with a barrage of missiles, shells, rockets & machine gun fire, the explosions stunning them but not stopping them.
Changing tactics, the two siblings split up as Gaira went on down Pulgun Street & Sanda went up Ragwon Street, taking the impact of the artillery which hammered them. Pulverizing many of the buildings along the way, Gaira reached out & grabbed the first vehicle – a 240 mm MRL – and lifted it up from the ground. The driver & passenger held on for dear life as they were lifted & hung from the open door, crying out in utter fear as they were suspended from high off the concrete. Gaira threw his hand back & chucked the vehicle into an array of buildings. The vehicle detonated in the heart of these structures & destroyed several of them.
As for the drivers, they each went in separate directions & hit the pavement hard, both dead upon contact.
Gaira did this to several other attacking vehicles, each one exploding where they landed & taking out buildings & other vehicles that were en route towards the rampaging monsters.
For an added bonus, the green-haired creature gets to snack on soldiers that were dead, dying or simply couldn't escape fast enough to be literally snatched & thrown into the jaws of death. Like always, he spat out the clothing of the ones he eats, the cloth in ragged tatters & stained with blood.
Being struck from the southern part of Pyongyang, Gaira turned to face the new aggressors & was ready to give these fools the same punishment he gave the previous ones.
Sanda used the city itself to help him attack & defeat his offenders: using them briefly as shields, he toppled over the structures when they got within range, crushing both man & machine underneath tons of rubble. He then caught the others by surprise when he reached out & grabbed several vehicles & tossed them at random areas in the city, just as his sibling had done. Wherever they landed, a powerful explosion followed, destroying buildings & more artillery along with their soldiers.
With others, Sanda simply kicked them away, operators & all even as he was peppered everywhere by missiles & such. Pushing through & pulverizing buildings between Moranbong & Sungri Streets, Sanda caught the drivers of a pair of transport erector vehicles by surprise as they cry out in shock to see the giant hominoid directly in their path as they traveled south after getting out from underneath the Arch of Triumph structure. Slamming on the brakes, the twin vehicles – each carrying a live missile as its payload – screeched along the asphalt as rubber tires made skid marks.
However, it was too little, too late: Sanda reached out & grabbed both transports in each hand, payload & all.
With the one in his left hand, he tossed it into a cluster of buildings north of Inhung Street, the powerful explosion destroying many. The one in his right hand he lifted over his head & threw it like a baseball pitcher at the Samhung area of the city, causing more destruction as the live missile leveled an entire block, buildings & all.
Turning his attention to the Arch of Triumph, Sanda found it distasteful like everywhere else in this human city & used well-placed fists to level it to its foundation. The Arch, reaching his height of 60 meters & opening on April 15th, 1982, was built to commemorate Kim II Sung's resistance to Japan from 1925 to 1945.
Now it was reduced to pounded debris lying on the street.
Seeing its destruction made Kim Jong Un scream in rage & slams his fist on the table.
His generals backed away in fear & said nothing, not wishing to incur his wrath.
Godzilla's blaring roar echoed the city before he continues his rampage in the area across the Taedong River, the majority of structures & military vehicles being blown apart by the Monster King, sending charred remains everywhere.
More than a handful of North Korean soldiers saw the futility of trying to bring Godzilla down with their weapons, no matter how vast they were in numbers: seeing how viciously & easily he was wiping out their defenses, they really saw no point in prolonging this exercise in futility & made a break for it by running away.
Their plight didn't go unnoticed: those too blindly loyal to Kim's regime ordered them once to return & continue fighting the giant invader. When they didn't, they were deemed as traitors to the cause & shot down after getting only a couple yards. Each one took several bullets to the back & collapsed on their faces on the pavement, dead before they even hit.
A bright flash of blue-white light caught their attention, & those that mowed down their deserters also received punishment in the form of Godzilla's ray. The soldiers raised their arms as if to ward it off, only to scream in horror as their clothes, weapons & flesh literally melted away before being blasted into oblivion.
Resuming his destructive reign from the Chongryu Bridge to the Okryu Bridge, Godzilla spotted something in his sights & turned towards the piece of interest that caught his attention. Stepping into the Taedong River, the Monster King waded past the little island & came ashore again while staring at the object he wished to get a closer view of: it was a monumental building that displayed statues of North Korean soldiers on either side standing proudly, with some raising their arms in triumph. The country's flag was showcased along with these, & the Korean Revolution Museum building in the rear held the highly-detailed mural of Mount Paektu, located at the Chinese-North Korean border.
In the center of this were two bronze metal statues of the founder/leaders of North Korea: the statue on the left with its right arm raised was a monument of Kim II Sung, & the one on the right was that of Kim Jong II. The former was raised in 1972 to honor his 60th birthday, while the latter was put up in 2012, shortly after his death.
Every year, millions of the country's residents (including foreigners) that visit this monument are expected to pay their highest respects by bowing before it & leaving flowers. On the anniversary of their deaths, those that visit are also expected to show their sympathies by shedding tears in honor & love for their founder/leaders.
Refusal to do so or simply not doing so enough can get one thrown in a concentration camp, or even killed.
Godzilla found it as a particular source of evil in this godforsaken land & lets out a snarl of his disapproval of it.
Kim Jong Un saw on the monitor that Godzilla was staring at the bronze statues of his father/grandfather, & he could tell that the monster was about to do something he never thought possible.
Slowly but surely, Kim's voice rose in utter defiance.
"Don't you dare", he said softly before raising it three octaves higher. "Don't you dare! Don't you dare! DON'T YOU DARE…!"
But he does: lighting up his dorsal spines, Godzilla unleashed his heat ray at the steps of the Mansudae Hill Grand Monument, melting the pavement before directing it towards the structures & blasts away everything in the area, from the monuments to the Revolution Museum behind it. The bronze statues of Kim II Sung & Kim Jong II were blown to pieces as they flew everywhere in melted chunks, landing in various parts of the city. Some had even landed on military vehicles & personnel, crushing/killing them instantly & causing explosions that also took out buildings.
A piece of the bronze statues landed next to the building Kim Jong Un & his generals were stationed at, causing a crevice in the ground. When they looked over the edge at what hit, they saw an abomination: the top half of Kim II Sung lay smoking with the right hand & left side of its face melted & barely recognizable.
They all stared at what remained of the country's founder, their eyes & jaws agape.
Kim Jong Un suddenly felt like he could have a heart attack.
Instead, he screamed at the top of his lungs in raging fury as his generals backed away.
Godzilla did the same in letting out a bellowing roar, but his was in triumph at discarding something that was, to him, so vile & disgusting which needed to be eliminated.
On the right of him, several battle tanks opened fire on Godzilla in retaliation for destroying something so sacred in all of Pyongyang. Thunderous booms of cannon blasts filled the air as shell after powerful shell struck Godzilla in his side but doing no permanent damage. Turning with a speed that belied his huge size, Godzilla let loose with another blast of his heat ray that obliterated the tank armada & the Liberation Tower they were firing from. Men died screaming as they were roasted alive along with their tanks, each of which got blown into chunks of molten metal.
Happy with wiping out the competition, Godzilla roared proudly over the city.
The gargantuan monsters Gaira & Sanda were also doing well in disposing of their foes: down near the Tonghung-Dong & Otan-Dong districts, the green-haired hominoid was cleaning house & mopping up with the Korean forces that were hammering away at the giant, striking him with every ounce of artillery they could muster, determined to bring down at least one of the rampaging monsters that invaded their homeland & capital city.
Powerful as these attacks were, they still couldn't take the monster down: Gaira grabbed whatever vehicle he can get his hands on & tossed them violently at anything still standing. Anywhere they landed caused explosions that brings destruction to nearby buildings, with the Grand People's Study House being one of them. Gaira threw a KN-09 MLRS at this, detonating the entire building to splinters. The driver & passenger within died with it, screaming every step of the way.
Not satisfied enough with tossing vehicles, Gaira resorted to a new strategy by breaking off whole buildings from where they lay, lifting them up over his head & tossing them as far as he could. His first attempt squashed a platoon of soldiers & their armament in a second once Gaira aimed his toss, giving the men only moments to scream before their worlds were silenced forever. From a cluster of buildings next to Yonggwang Street, soldiers taking refuge opened fire at Gaira with machine guns & RPGs that struck the monster everywhere. These soldiers didn't let up on their assault even as Gaira strolled over & smashed a fist in the nearest building, punching a gigantic hole into it & killing those in the vicinity. Amid the firepower he was being hit with, Gaira pushed hard at the building & toppled it into the next one behind it, spilling men as they collided in a cloud of dust as both get demolished.
Gaira gave the other buildings in the vicinity the same treatment, pummeling them to their foundation before he moved on to raze other North Korean enemies.
Sanda didn't go easy on these humans either: in & around the Chonu-Dung district, the brown-haired was just as brutal on the attacking North Koreans as his sibling. Like Gaira had done, Sanda broke off buildings & tossed them at whatever enemies were close by, crushing them like the insignificant insects they are. Grabbing two MLRS vehicles even as they unleashed their payloads on him, he threw them in opposite directions – one at the Embassy of China, the other at the Kim II Sung University. Both went up in flaming explosions that killed whoever was in or nearby, crying out as their clothing & themselves caught fire.
Turning to a plethora of battle tanks that were blasting shells into his hide, Sanda snatched several of them & did numerous ways of disposing them: some were slammed into the pavement, some were crashed into each other just like a child throwing a tantrum, & others became stepped on and/or kicked violently. All tanks fell apart/exploded from the punishment Sanda inflicted upon them.
Letting out a blaring roar, the brown-haired hominoid rushed to finish off the remainder of the North Korean fleet along with his sibling & Godzilla.
Pyongyang's final line of defenses came into play & opened fire with their projectiles as they strolled across the streets, not bothering to halt before unloading. This armada split into several parties & hit the invading monsters from various locations to make it somewhat difficult for them to get too easy a bead on & confuse the creatures. Godzilla & his two hominoid partners were hammered all over, not sure on where to go first.
From where they stood, Kim Jong Un & his generals were smiling at the turn of events, believing they've finally gained the upper hand.
A cackling roar from the air had them think otherwise: Rodan abruptly swooped in from the north & began his attack on the city by shooting his uranium heat beam at the last military vehicles pounding at Godzilla, Gaira & Sanda. In fiery blasts, their numbers dwindled as the mutant Pteranodon struck from the air, quickly pulverizing what was left of Kim Jong Un's army, enabling Godzilla & the two gargantuas to destroy the rest.
Once they were dealt with, Godzilla, Rodan, Gaira & Sanda all let out victory roars that drowned out every other sound.
Kim Jong Un & his generals could hardly believe the scenario being played out.
His heart sank at seeing what once belonged to him was now reduced to piles of rubble, twisted metal & corpses.
Turning to his men, he walked towards them & spoke in a voice that was anything but firm or powerful.
"How can this be, gentlemen?", he said weakly. "We have all but the mightiest & most elite fighting force in the world, which took us years to build, & yet we lose it all in a single day. What…whatever have we done to deserve this, happening right at our very own doorstep?"
Kim's generals could give their supreme leader a number of reasons, but they risk getting executed on the spot if even one of them began relaying the causes: for all their bluster & boasting, their military might fell short when it came to battling giant monsters like any other nation, from the United States to Japan.
North Korea couldn't even bring down one giant creature with their artillery.
How could they expect to bring down four of them?
For their own safety, Kim's generals stayed silent.
The sound of men scrambling caught the attention of the generals & Kim Jong Un: they all peered over the roof to witness men running towards the Pyramid-shaped Ryugyong Hotel – a hotel that was first constructed in 1987, then halted in 1992 before being resumed in 2008 & finished in 2011.
Since then, it remained unopened to the public.
Until today: in just minutes, it became a refuge for the hundreds of deeply frightened soldiers that fled from the attacking monsters, each praying none of them will find them in this deserted building. When the front doors wouldn't open, one soldier shot the lock with his rifle & shoved himself inside, followed by others.
Neither Kim Jong Un nor his generals liked what they saw, & they protested their retreat to the fullest.
"Traitors!", Kim cried out, pushing through his men & cursing at the ones that entered the building. "You dare desert your duty to your regime & your country?! I'll have each one of you shot & hung for your insubordination! You will have your families' lives forfeit because of your cowardice! None of you are fit to be in this regime, & you shall be the first to suffer horribly for abandoning & turning your backs to our motherland! Do you hear me?!"
Kim Jong Un was so fixated on screaming at the retreating men that he didn't pay any attention to the thunderous footsteps that were getting louder with every second. Turning around slowly, he sees Godzilla approaching his position in a casual manner as he appeared to grow even bigger by each step taken. The generals accompanying him on the roof wanted to run, but their legs wouldn't move & their vocal chords were too frozen with fear to utter a single word.
Godzilla stopped several meters in front of the building where Kim Jong Un & his men stood at.
He peered down at the humans on the roof, staring at North Korea's ruler: the scent of evil was strongest coming from this small, overweight, insignificant & pathetic excuse of a human being who all but reeks of it. Godzilla couldn't fathom or believe that this worthless piece of life was the source of this land's evil & has dared to fire rockets over what he deems as his land, callously threatening it without a care in the world.
Godzilla gave Kim Jong Un a sneer of pure contempt.
North Korea's ruler didn't give in & sneered right back, even though overwhelmed by Godzilla's sheer size.
Spreading his arms out, he began shouting at the monster.
"Well Godzilla, what are you waiting for?! You've all but destroyed my home, so why don't you finish it?! Bring ME down like you did everything I ever held dear, or don't you have the GUTS to end what you & your fellow monsters began?! Go ahead & DO IT, Godzilla, but know this: even if you DO strike me down, there will ALWAYS be somebody in the Kim Dynasty to take my place & continue the legacy my grandfather started nearly 70 years ago! You think you monsters can come here & END it, easy as that?! We are GODS – NOBODY can destroy our legacy, be it a foreign power OR stupid, giant lumbering beasts such as you!"
Godzilla & Kim Jong Un stared at one another for what seemed like forever, each with a deep abhorrence for the other. The Monster King was still surprised that this small human could become such a dangerous threat & cause a big amount of turmoil for him. Then again, Godzilla knows it was humanity that made him the monster he is now, having been exposed to the radiation from atomic weapons of which humans dropped upon him, so he was aware on what the human race is capable of doing.
Letting out a growl that scared the generals but never deterred Kim Jong Un, Godzilla made a decision.
Lifting his head up high, the Monster King bellowed a roar that stung their ears.
When he finished, Godzilla did the unexpected: he turned to his right & walked off, pulverizing the building next to where Kim & his generals were at, sending up a cloud of dust.
As it cleared away, Kim Jong Un saw Godzilla take leisurely steps away – and started to laugh.
"Ah – the so-called 'King of the Monsters' is too afraid to finish a fight he's started after all, eh?", Kim Jong Un cried out to the retreating Godzilla. "You don't deserve to be called a king – you can never live up to the name, monster! And letting me live will be a very bad mistake: no matter how many years it takes me, I will rise from the ashes like the fabled Phoenix, hunt you down & kill you! When that day comes, I'll be the last thing you ever see before you're sent over to the next world! You hear me, Godzilla?!"
Kim Jong Un laughed again as the Monster King paused in his step, coming to a stop at the side of the Ryugyong Hotel & lifting up his lip briefly in a gesture that's as close to an actual smirk as he'll most likely ever get.
North Korea's ruler couldn't have been more wrong: Godzilla didn't walk away from Kim Jong Un because he'd feared him, far from it. While it is true that he could've easily roasted him where he stood, the Monster King thought of a more fitting punishment in store for the little weasel of a human.
A grunt from behind Kim Jong Un caused him & his generals to turn around & face a new threat – one that made them all cower.
Like a snake striking for the kill, Gaira reached out & grabbed the humans on the roof & taking a chunk of it with him. Rodan swooped down & landed 60 meters next to the Pyramid hotel on the left as he witnessed the grab.
This was the reason why Godzilla didn't bother roasting him alive or collapsing the building upon him.
He simply allowed for someone else to dispose of the stupid little turd, & Gaira was the one to perfectly handle that chore!
Caught in his oversized hand, Kim Jong Un & his generals cried out in fear as Gaira brought them closer to his open maw. Staring at the horrid sharp teeth & getting near to them, Kim Jong Un & his generals tried prying open the fingers of Gaira's hand, but they were as solid as rock & wouldn't budge even in the slightest. The green-haired beast stared at the humans in his palm with utmost malice, his eyes looking like they could fry the little pieces of horse feces with fire protruding from them.
But if he could, it's be too quick a death, & Gaira wanted to make these humans suffer horribly.
And he knew just how to do that: with a shove of his hand, Gaira placed Kim Jong Un & his generals within his mouth, each of them screaming at the top of their lungs before entering. Their cries/screams of terror were cut short as Gaira began chewing them up as a human would do bubble gum or a piece of steak. Sanda stood by his side & watched as his sibling savored the joy of consuming North Korea's ruler & his followers, pleased with what he was witnessing & gave a nod of approval.
Once Gaira was sure he'd gotten every piece of organic material down his gullet, the green-haired creature went & spat out tattered clothing with blood stains – all that remained of Kim Jong Un & his generals.
They landed at the feet of six soldiers who were cowering behind a building.
Each of them was numb with fear & shock to see their country's ruler & his top officials were no more.
Gaira & Sanda walked to join Godzilla & Rodan but stopped on the open space between the Ryugyong Hotel & Rodan & turned to face the ruined city of Pyongyang. All those within the city – including those that lived on the outer perimeter – watched & listened as Gaira & Sanda let out blaring roars of fury & anger, punctuating their feelings with their arms by swinging them threateningly.
It was their way of saying 'Don't you be shooting off any more of your missiles anywhere, & don't make any of us have to come back here, because if we do, we won't be so nice!'.
Rodan & Godzilla caught on, & they as well turned to face the city & unleashed boisterous roars of their own, with the mutant Pteranodon going first followed by the Monster King right after. Both their sounds were ear-shattering, but Godzilla's was even louder, & the ones still alive to hear it quivered in great trepidation, cuddling like scared kids after having a nightmare or believing there were monsters under their bed.
For the soldiers of North Korea, these monsters were as real as any kid's dreams, & many of them wet their pants & shed tears from being overly scared, unable to contain their fear.
Godzilla's roar echoed throughout Pyongyang for nearly a full thirty seconds before he & Rodan fired their heat beams over the city, doing a full sweep over the entire area. Neither projectile hit any buildings, but they sent off heat over the heads of those who were underneath, frightening them further as they crouched as low as possible. Many men & women in army fatigues cried & whimpered as Godzilla & Rodan's beams streaked by.
They unleashed their weapons for twenty seconds before finally relenting, & this time all four monsters joined in a simultaneous manner of bellowing a roar over Pyongyang to give the people another reminder of what happened here on this day, & what will occur again – if they step out of line from this point on.
Satisfied that they'd gotten their message across, Rodan took to the skies & headed south, the winds he'd created blowing away debris & corpses in his wake.
Gaira & Sanda turned east & started to walk away, with Godzilla doing the same. The North Korean soldiers that all took refuge in the Ryugyong Hotel breathed a collective sigh of relief that the monsters were now departing, sparing their lives to fight another day.
It was wishful thinking: as Godzilla passed the Pyramid-shaped hotel, his tail slammed into the base of it, causing the structure to collapse like a timbering tree. A cloud of dust erupted as concrete, glass & steel spilled onto the street below, destroying a building that was never opened to the public since its completion.
The hundreds of men that took refuge inside all died screaming as they got crushed under tons or rubble.
Godzilla roared again in pleasure, having discarded another structure & wiping out more of Kim Jong Un's blind followers.
From within the city & the outer rim of Pyongyang, the citizens that took shelter came out to see it in utter ruins as Godzilla, Gaira & Sanda walk away. They have never experienced a catastrophe like this within all of North Korea's history: even when Japan controlled the country for 35 years or when the Korean War broke out from 1950-1953, it was never this bad.
Seeing what remained of their beloved home gave the people a huge resentment of Kim Jong Un & his entire regime, having failed to protect them from outside forces like they'd once promised.
Now they see it was all a pack of lies simply to feed the regime's growing propaganda which they preached for a good many years.
A group of surviving soldiers came to the people & police that reside in the outer rim of Pyongyang & announced news that literally stunned their ears.
"Is it really true?!", asked a man in a white shirt & black pants.
"It's been confirmed", said a male soldier. "Our ruler & so-called savior Kim Jong Un – is dead. A group of men witnessed the green-haired monster literally consuming him & his generals before spitting out their clothes, all stained with blood. They still hold the hard evidence in their hands."
"Kim Jong Un…dead", said an officer. "Then that means…"
"We know exactly what it means, officer!", said a female in a pink kimono. "No more eating grass from off the ground, no more following strict rules like dressing, saying, singing or even thinking what the regime only wants us to, no more forceful attending services of the Mansudae Hill Grand Monument to honor a pair of tyrants to this land of ours, no more brainwashing our kids with propaganda cartoons, & best of all…no more of the regime's countless lies!"
The people agreed in unison & took several steps forward, with a group of teenagers going a bit further.
A girl of 17 years of age in a white & red kimono dress was the first to express herself freely for the first time in her life.
"Godzilla…THANK YOU!", she cried out, waving her hand not in anger but in huge appreciation.
Immediately, the other citizens were also waving at the departing Godzilla, Gaira & Sanda, shouting their greatest gratitude in a chorus of 'thank you' at the top of their lungs. The boisterous cheers from the people caught on with those in the ruins of Pyongyang, forever thankful for freeing them from a world of pain, torture, propaganda & tyranny, the likes of which the world has never encountered from a race that were all but ten times as bad in the modern generation than the Japanese were during World War II before August 6th & 9th of 1945.
Death & destruction put aside, the people of Pyongyang, North Korea were all in a very joyous mood: not one of them saw Godzilla, Rodan, Gaira & Sanda as monsters.
They saw them as liberators.
All over the city, survivors were in an uproarious cheer to the monsters that attacked – and amazingly freed – the country with one of the absolutely worst record of human suffering that lasted for decades under the rule of three tyrants since 1948 onwards.
On this day, it all came to an end.
Even the police officers & surviving military personnel joined in with the celebration, being freed from tyranny as much as the citizens were: though they enforced Kim Jong Un's laws, even they were treated badly at times, especially when several traveled to South Korea to escape the regime & its godawful ways, such as being shot dead for allowing those to reach the southern part of the country & defecting there.
Now that Kim Jong Un has been removed from power, there won't be any more of that, & it gave them all more than enough reason to join in on the celebration of liberation.
Because of Rodan, Gaira, Sanda & especially Godzilla, North Korea can look forward to a brighter, better future than the one Kim Jong Un envisioned.
Godzilla, Gaira & Sanda all roared as they headed west towards the water north of the Yellow Sea.
Japan National Stadium, Tokyo:
Thanks to the drones Admiral Willis' team sent out, General Ronald Len Ernie, Commander Yoshi Shimazaki & their entire team captured extraordinary footage of Godzilla, Gaira, Sanda & even a few clips of Rodan here & there as they viewed the spectacle on the monitors wherever the drones went.
Everyone knew they would be in for a terrific show this day, & the monsters did not disappoint!
"And that's all she wrote, children!", General Ernie says with a grin. "We've got it all recorded for prosperity, & now it's going to get showcased to all the major networks everywhere, showing once & for all that North Korea is just as vulnerable to an attack as any other nation! And this time, it won't be no propaganda…it'll be the truth!"
The General got on the radio.
"Admiral?", he said into the receiver.
"Yes, General?", Willis replied back.
"Be a pal & recall your drones…this phase of the operation is over. The next part requires the cooperation of the South Korean military as well as our own people, so get in touch with our allies there to commence with the second part which entails a trip to Pyongyang…or what's left of it. And Admiral? Let's not have any shooting of the locals if it can be helped: Godzilla & his pals have basically taken the fight out of these people, so I doubt you'll be running into much resistance. But stay on your toes for any stragglers still blindly loyal to the regime nevertheless. 'Operation: Liberation' now commences."
"Copy that, General. And sir? They definitely put on one honey of a show…didn't they?"
General Ernie had to chuckle at that.
"You bet, son! They left a mess, & now it's time for us to clean it all up! See you soon, Admiral! Ernie out!"
The General cut the connection, & the men in his squadron cheered from the victory they've won without firing a single shot to win it. American & Japanese soldiers shook hands with & congratulated each other that this part of their operation was a success, & the second part shouldn't give them too much of a headache.
"You know, Yoshi, maybe Olaf was right before", General Ernie said lowly to him.
"About what?", Yoshi wondered.
"Perhaps we should offer Godzilla & his friends a job…put them on our payroll."
Yoshi stood in silence for several moments before he & General Ernie burst out laughing, remembering the living snowman's little joke about giving the monsters a job with the Armed Forces, considering Varan had dealt with Yakuza boss Hisashi Masahiro & seven others – Ebirah, Zilla, Gaira, Sanda, Baragon, Titanosaurus & Manda – dealt with ships belonging to various gangsters in the Pacific on Halloween last year.
Who knows? Maybe they will take him up on that!
The men prepared themselves for phase two of their operation.
The Hilton Moscow Lningradskaya Hotel, Moscow, Russia, Sunday, July 10th, 9:00 a.m.:
When Malvina, Sergei, Nikolai & Boris joined everyone for breakfast, they all had it in Tajima's room of the hotel as they viewed the latest developments of Godzilla's attack upon North Korea. On the day of the actual battle, the Benice, Fleming & Sugimoto families caught live coverage of it via news stations, with their Russian friends to translate the newest details whenever they arise for everyone to grasp the situation & piece it together. Since Boris Romanoff is not filled in on the secrets of Elsa & her friends, Olaf was asked to remain in Eugene & Kristoff's room.
But like they have, the living snowman watched the news feed on North Korea, even if he couldn't understand Russian & with no translator to help him.
He pieced it together enough from the scenes of destruction they showed, however.
Listening to enough news coverage, Boris switched off the television, saying there were no further developments for them. But, like Olaf, they put it together as easily as the snowman did.
Each of them felt like a great weight was lifted off, especially the Sugimoto family.
"Wow!", Anna exclaimed. "Talk about miracles occurring when you least expect them to! We needed one for North Korea to stop its ballistic missile tests flying over Japan…and did we ever get it!"
"Sometimes, Anna, the most unexpected of miracles can happen from the most equally unexpected of sources", said Emiko. "It's like when Varan defeated Hisashi Masahiro, enabling us to return home to Tokyo last December."
"Well said, my lisichka", Sergei says. "Who would've ever thought that Godzilla & three of his friends would all become saviors to the country that most desperately needed one?"
Both Russian Ambassador & Japanese girl shared a grin.
"I must say…I'm all but surprised that North Korea wasn't attacked by monsters until now", Elinor says. "You don't suppose Godzilla rested in the Sea of Japan because of their missile tests flying over the country & endangering it, do you?"
"That could be a factor, Elinor", Hidemi said. "Even though Godzilla would defeat a threat from anywhere in the world like the other monsters, for reasons known only to himself, he feels that Japan is a place of utmost importance, so when those last three missiles from North Korea approached the country, that's when he acted."
"Yoshi & General Ernie did say that those three missiles were low enough to actually strike Tokyo", said Akemi. "Had Godzilla not blasted them out of the air, it would've been catastrophic."
"That's another factor, Akemi", said Patricia. "Those other five missiles they shot over Japan were too high for anyone – including Godzilla – to bring down, so that could be why he didn't react to them. Those last three, however…"
"As with Yoshi, General Ernie and the rest of you, I myself had no doubt they would've hit somewhere in Tokyo, if not for Godzilla", Nathan says. "Although unintentionally, he saved a lot of lives in the country's capital."
Nods from the three families & their friends confirmed Nathan's suspicion.
"But in any case, Godzilla & his friends did the world a huge favorin ridding it of an evil that was even greater than they are!", Kristoff said. "And Kim Jong Un was lucky, too – if only I had my hands on him for even five minutes…"
Eugene, Rapunzel & even Pascal on her shoulder chuckled as the former spoke.
"That's what I said myself, Kristoff: just five minutes with the guy, & I'd rearrange his face so that his own mom & dad wouldn't recognize him. But thanks to Godzilla & his friends, he saved us both the trouble!"
Kristoff thought about it & smiled.
"Touche", he said, giving Eugene a fist-bump.
"Still, I'd be lying to you all if I said I didn't wish to see Elsa, Yoshi & the General stomping all over Pyongyang within Mechagodzilla!", Rapunzel adds with a grin. "That would've definitely taken the wind out of Kim Jong Un's sails!"
Elsa giggled from Rapunzel's remark, inciting smiles from the rest.
"That's what Anna & Kristoff told me just last week, Rapunzel!", Elsa said, grinning. "And though I would've all but relished in teaching Kim & his regime a harsh lesson, there's no substitute for the real thing, & I think he did an even better job at disposing of North Korea's ruler than General Ernie, Yoshi or myself ever could!"
A laugh from each mouth in the room erupted from the Snow Queen's remark.
"I certainly would've paid a fortune to see Mechagodzilla raze North Korea, but Elsa's right – who better than the original for a demolition chore?", Merida adds, adding more giggles by all. "That is what Godzilla does best, after all!"
Always the hothead!, Elinor thought with glee. You definitely got it from Fergus' side of the family, my dear!
"But jokes aside, ladies & gents, we'll let the General, Yoshi & their friends handle the cleanup over in what may soon to become a former hermit kingdom", Gus said. "As for us, I do believe the actual reason for our being here has finally arrived, most notably for Tajima."
The scientist nodded.
"Agreed, Gus", he said. "After we finish breakfast, we head over to the Kremlin for my testimony today on what occurred at the Sea of Japan. Once we get there, security will be very tight, so let's not take anything unnecessary so we can avoid any trouble with the authorities & get this running as smoothly as possible. The last thing we want is…"
At that moment, Malvina's cell phone rings, interrupting Tajima.
"One moment, professor", she says in English before digging her phone out & answering it in her mother tongue.
Her call took close to a minute before she hung up/pocketed her phone & summoned Sergei, Nikolai & Boris all over to the other side of the room. In record time, Malvina explained to her Russian comrades in a whispering voice so even Gus Fleming couldn't hear, considering he's the only one in the group to know the language.
She & the other Russians headed back to the group, their faces firm but with worry.
"People…is everything okay?", Elinor asked.
"I'm afraid not, Miss Fleming", said Sergei, turning to the scientist. "Tajima, I'm afraid we'll have to postpone your appointment today at the Kremlin until tomorrow."
Looks of worry & concern now adorned the faces of the Benice, Fleming & Sugimoto families.
"Postpone it? Whatever for, Sergei?" asked Patricia.
It was Boris that answered.
"Something has occurred over at an area southwest of Saratov – something that requires your area of expertise, Professor Sugimoto."
Tajima gestured to himself as the Russians nodded.
"Before you ask, it's best to have you all accompany us down to the area so you can see for yourselves exactly what we mean", Malvina says. "There's already a plane to take us over there at Domodedovo Airport, & the stables to carry your animal friends are all hooked up to the SUVs that brought you here as we speak. Let's get them & ourselves going, da?"
Wondering what could've occurred to postpone Tajima's date at the Kremlin, they all nodded & got up to prepare for a few hours' flight despite the fact they haven't quite finished their breakfast.
Whatever it could be, they all felt it would be something of an epic proportion.
Southwest of Saratov, near P228, 12:45 p.m.:
The group all gathered in their rooms to take a few items they feel they'll need as Eugene & Kristoff had quickly filled Olaf in on their predicament & told him to remain inside & out of sight before heading down to gather inside the Marshrutka. As Malvina said, the two mobile stables were already attached to the same SUVs that carried them on their arrival to the city, but this time they were heading south to Domodedovo Airport.
Also, like Malvina promised, after an hour or so getting to the airport, there was an Antonov An-12 four-engine turboprop transport plane from the Russian military sitting on the runway. Entering by the ramp at the rear, it had more than enough room for the three families, four Russians and for Maximus, Sven & Angus with room to spare.
Giving its crew of five – two pilots, flight engineer, navigator & radio operator – the green light once everyone was strapped in, Malvina ordered the takeoff as the plane lifted from the airport & into the air.
Over two hours later, they've all arrived at their destination as the plane made a particularly smooth landing close to the P228 road that was closed down temporarily. Maximus, Sven & Angus were the first ones out from the plane's ramp in the back, followed immediately by Malvina, Sergei, Nikolai, Boris & the three families. Angus was boarded by Merida along with Elinor, with Eugene & Rapunzel going atop Maximus, & Kristoff, Anna & Elsa aboard Sven. Pascal stood, as always, on Rapunzel's shoulder, suddenly getting a bad feeling about everything.
They stopped on the road near the Burkin area, which was hidden behind a grove of brush.
"So, now that we've arrived…where do we go from here?", asked Nathan.
"According to the report we got, we need to get across this stretch of road & through this grove over to the area between Kolotov & Burkin", Malvina said. "There's a dirt path that will make the trek easiest, so if you'll kindly follow me, we'll get to the other side in no time."
Doing as Malvina suggests, everyone followed her across the road to said path & through it, staying close at all times. As they got closer to the small village of Burkin, they could all hear Russian people speaking in rapid succession, their tones all but indicating that they're either very excited, scared, or possibly even both.
Scared of what?, Gus wondered.
For the British agent & everyone else, it would've been easier if they could've looked out the windows of the plane coming to this location, but they'd been closed shut with no way to open them without a power tool.
Whatever they've been brought here to look at, they'll just have to wait until they arrive on foot.
As they reached the end of the trail that leads to an opening in the village, Malvina was greeted by several army personnel that saluted her, which she returned. Just feet away was a Ural-5323 heady-duty off-road truck that is capable of carrying a number of people at a time. After Malvina, Boris, Sergei & Nikolai get into a brief consultation with the men of the situation, they turn to the group as Boris explains.
"Friends, the reason you're all down here is just up ahead. These men here will take us the rest of the way in the Ural transport truck, while you can follow on your animals."
All the riders on Maximus, Sven & Angus nodded.
Everybody else boarded inside the rear of the Ural-5323 transport truck before traveling down the road as Angus, Maximus & Sven kept up its pace easily. As the people of the village stared at the reindeer, Andalusian & Clydesdale in their neck of the woods, Eugene, Kristoff, Merida & the rest stared back at them & their homes which showed some damage as they got closer to the end of the line: some received only minor damage, others were destroyed completely.
It sent a shiver down their backs, & like Pascal, they each were getting a very bad feeling about all this.
Suddenly, they saw the Ural transport go off-road & onto manicured soil as the animals stayed in sync with the vehicle.
Amid their travel, the animals & their riders could finally see what it was that caught their attention & why they've been all asked to come down to this part of Russia.
Upon sight of it, they all gasped.
Not one, but two very large objects could be seen laying on the patch of land between the two towns & the Volga River: both were quadrupedal creatures, with the first one being at a length of 100 meters, with a shell upon its back & large sharp spikes the length of telephone poles covering it & its tail. On each of its four feet were the same number of toes, each ending in sharp claws. Its head was like a crocodile's, with a maw full of sharp teeth & six spikes behind its head. A short horn – like a rhino's – protruded from its snout above the nostrils, & its flesh took on a gray hue. Lying near it 50 meters away was the second quadruped, only this one was only 30 meters in length, with a flesh tone of dark brown or maroon. Its back sported a hard, jointed shell, & sharp claws protruded from each trio of toes on its feet. The head & jaws were shorter that the other monsters' but no less deadlier: they possessed sharp teeth capable of biting on through even the toughest metals, & a pair of floppy ears were behind its predatory eyes. A long horn protruded from its snout, with five smaller ones along the top of its head.
"Anguirus!", Kristoff, Anna & Elsa said softly.
"Baragon!", Eugene, Rapunzel, Elinor & Merida said in the same manner.
Like the steeds, Pascal could only stare at the two monsters with wide eyes & mouth, emitting a low cackle.
Even as she rode on Sven, Anna took out her cell phone & texted Tajima while Elsa kept her steady, who passed it on to the others inside the Ural transport. The vehicle stopped after another minute, & everyone within poured out to get their first view of the two monsters, gasping at the sight as they lay on the ground with their eyes closed, immobile. Surrounding them was a perimeter of barricades 100 feet from the beasts, & several military personnel were working at miniature stations with computers & other equipment.
Angus abruptly halted in his tracks & reared up on his hind legs, almost spilling his passengers.
"Angus!", Merida & Elinor cried out as the Clydesdale got back on all fours & wouldn't advance any further.
Maximus & Sven also stopped their progress as their riders dismounted.
"What's with Angus?", asked Kristoff.
"I think he's too scared to go any further, Kristoff", Elinor said as she & Merida dismounted themselves. "And truth be told, I really can't blame him: he still clearly remembers those other times he'd been this close to monsters, & it doesn't get any easier for the poor horse."
Kristoff & the others couldn't blame Angus either: both Sven & Maximus each had their own experiences with giant monsters from their original times and in the present, & they still get jittery from it.
"I think we'll be all right from here on our own", Eugene said. "Max & Sven can remain here & stay with Angus as we join Malvina & the rest."
"Good idea, Eugene", Elsa said, giving Sven a quick reassuring caress of his face before she & her friends go off on foot towards the camp set around the immobile forms of Anguirus & Baragon. The creatures were impressive enough from a distance, but as they got closer they were even more awe-inspiring: they can see their scales & texture of their flesh better, seeing as to how they're able to resist most forms of firepower from conventional weaponry.
There's something else they can see better up close that they couldn't from a distance.
"Oh my god!", Rapunzel says, pointing. "Tajima, everyone, do you all see exactly what I am right now?!"
"I'm afraid we are, Rapunzel", said Gus. "And even I still can't believe it!"
At this close a range, the group can see several deep cuts in rows of three or four decorating Anguirus & Baragon at various parts of their bodies including on the faces, each one now scabbed over to cease the bleeding. Beneath them, patches of dried blood stains larger than public swimming pools decorated the ground where they lay.
Memories flooded the minds of Merida, Elinor, Eugene & Rapunzel as they recall the times when the two Scottish ladies first saw them fighting each other on the island when they went to recruit Sanda, followed by the memory back in Corona when Baragon fought the giant spider Kumonga that first time – the latter of which was created by the Duke of Weselton & Prince Hans to get the kingdom to submit.
Oddly enough, they can't help but to feel sympathy for the two creatures, regardless of how vicious they are in a fight and/or the destruction they can cause.
"How did this happen to them?", Anna wondered. "You don't suppose they've fought each other, do you?"
"They didn't, Anna", Malvina said as all eyes turn to her. "Those that reported to the scene before we did spoke to the villagers in this area, & they've confirmed that Anguirus & Baragon were fighting another enemy at roughly the hour of 2:30 in the early morning. When they heard the noises of battle, they went to investigate &, while it was dark, they could see these two creatures engaged in fierce combat with a single foe. The fight lasted barely 10-15 minutes before ending as abruptly as it began."
"And that's when they found Anguirus & Baragon in this condition, Malvina?", Akemi asked.
"When the first responders came & shined their lights to get a better look at them they did, yes."
"Did anybody get even a glimpse of the other creature that attacked them in any way?", Emiko asked.
It was Sergei who answered.
"Not too good of one, my lisichka: when the fighting began, most ran from their homes to take shelter. The few who did only saw a tall shadow standing on two legs, with slashing claws on its hands & a pair of eyes that looked to be…feline in nature. They also reported that it growled very much like a cougar of all things, & yet it wasn't like any kind they've heard before."
Sergei's relay of information baffled everyone.
"Sergei, are you saying that Anguirus & Baragon here were taken down by a bloody cat?!", Gus asks.
"Gus has a point, Sergei", Nathan says. "Not that we're doubting what the people here saw or what you're telling us, but I'm afraid we'll need a little more evidence to support their claims."
"Perhaps this might help, comrade Nathan", Boris said, showing him & the rest a photo they gathered to see.
It showed a deep groove in the soil with four points.
"Good heavens! Is that a…a footprint?", Hidemi asked.
"That's what they've concluded, Hidemi", Boris says. "There's several of them embedded in the soil of this area, including where some of the homes were destroyed. If this really is some kind of feline, I couldn't even begin to guess as to what breed it is."
"Neither can anybody else, I imagine", Patricia said, getting head shakes from all.
"So…has this new creature, whatever it is, beaten Anguirus & Baragon to death? Are they dead?", Tajima asked.
"That was their first impression when the team arrived, professor", Nikolai said. "But after monitoring their vitals, they could confirm that these two monsters each have slow but steady heartbeats. Against all odds, they're alive."
"Then…they've just been beaten into unconsciousness?", Merida asked.
"More or less: neither one of them has moved an inch since the team's arrival, which was hours ago."
Sans the ones working at their stations, the area was as silent as a graveyard as the group mulled over the facts on all the information they've gathered. None of the pieces seemed to add up: the beatings of Anguirus & Baragon, the witnesses' claims of seeing something which might resemble a cat on two legs instead of four, it was quite baffling to everyone, & no one looked as if they could come up with a plausible solution.
Until one thought had come up, & it was a theory that sent a chill up their spines.
"You don't suppose that creature which beat Anguirus & Baragon could've been made from more of that mutagen Mugal & his Black Hole Aliens made, do you?", Patricia asked.
"Impossible, Patricia!", Anna said. "It was all destroyed when Godzilla & his parties defeated Mugal's monsters, and when Mecha-King Ghidorah crashed into their headquarters out in the Pacific…remember?"
"Yes, but also try to remember, Anna", Elinor says. "That octopus creature that attacked London four months ago during our honeymoon? That was created by a leftover amount of their mutagen they obviously kept on their ship that got blown out to sea until it got eaten by it. Considering how potent their mutagen is and that it came from another planet, even the littlest amount can change something into an entirely new life form at a whim."
"Elinor may have a point, Anna", Elsa said, turning to the Russian colonel. "Malvina, when Mothra & Rodan had fought & defeated Bagorah in Volgograd last year, were there any leftover residue or pieces of the bat creature?"
Malvina thought about it for a moment before answering.
"There were, Elsa", she says. "Pieces of its head were found in areas after Mothra & Rodan blew it off, but those were all found & burned to cinders so they couldn't cause any further mutations or harm the surrounding environment. Plus, during the battle, Bagorah had its tail severed, & I had my people go collect & incinerate that as well. With all the pieces of it properly disposed of, there should be no way for anyone to have collected a sample of it. Unless…"
"Unless…?", Tajima, Hidemi, Akemi & Emiko said.
"That would be impossible!"
"Malvina, in this world of ours, hardly anything is impossible", Merida said. "I'm not trying to point any fingers or anything, but…it could be that somebody in your organization might've collected a sample or more before you went & had that tail fried to a crisp."
"Merida might be right, love", Gus said. "Before we make any accusations, perhaps you ought to get the names of all those who were in charge of getting rid of that tail. Have them give a thorough recollection of what they did, when & how they did it."
"Colonel Malvina Semenov", Sergei said in his tongue. "Our friends are right: I myself believe it best you do a very thorough & complete check on those that were assigned to disposing of the creature's tail. Considering how deadly & dangerous this mutagen is, we cannot afford to take any unnecessary chances. Leaving even the smallest trace of it could have dire consequences, & we don't want a repeat of what Mugal & his people had put Okinawa, New Zealand or our own Volgograd through."
Everyone stayed silent as the Russian Colonel processes everything in her mind.
For all her doubts she may have, Malvina still couldn't hide the fact that they were right: Mugal's mutagen was a huge threat to the Earth, what with its ability to transform a living creature into a completely new – and highly deadly – life form. The monsters called Vertigo, Armadon, Bagorah & the octopus creature that'd attacked Okinawa, Auckland, Volgograd & London were proof of how vile & dangerous it really is, & the thought of having even the smallest sliver of it laying around somewhere was simply unacceptable in Russia or in any country.
She couldn't even begin to imagine what might happen if people like her own land's Bratva gangsters ever got a hold of something so horrible, & the ability to create a new life form for one's own purposes – preferably to cause great mayhem with it – would be too tempting for anyone to resist.
All it would take was for a sample of the alien substance & people of great scientific knowledge, particularly on human & animal anatomy.
If there's anyone who's fallen into that kind of temptation with Mugal's mutagen, Malvina needs to know about it – before it's too late.
"You each raise valid points", she says in English. "Even if the chances of it being taken from our own people in the military are remote, it is better to do a thorough search to be certain that nothing was secretly removed from right under our noses, rather than face the consequences afterwards. Therefore, we should all head back to Moscow & begin an investigation immediately, while at the same time reschedule Tajima's day at the Kremlin for tomorrow."
"I believe Sergei can handle the rescheduling of our papa's Kremlin meeting while you do your investigation of your unit in the Red Army, Malvina", Emiko said as both Russians nod.
"But what about Anguirus & Baragon?", wondered Akemi. "They're going to need to be moved somehow."
"These people here have already arranged for transportation of the two monsters", Nikolai said. "It will arrive in a matter of a few hours, so we should head back to the plane & get to Moscow. The sooner we get both of our matters handled, the better."
Having nothing else to say about the matter, everyone nodded & started their way back towards the plane.
For Maximus, Sven and Angus, it will be a relief to be as far away from the monsters as possible.
Mounting their steeds & entering the Ural transport truck, the group take one last look at Anguirus & Baragon just before trotting off back to their ride which still rests near the P228 road.
They'll be equally happy to put great distance between themselves & the monsters.
The Kremlin, Moscow, Russia, Monday, July 11th, 10:00 a.m.:
Once they returned to Moscow, Malvina went straight away to her military base that was located in the outskirts of Russia's capital, well-guarded from the general populace. Every name of those in charge of disposing with Bagorah's severed tail has been summoned & inspected from head to toe, including name, rank number & other vital information to conduct the Russian colonel's investigation.
When all was said & done, only one name stood out & was absent from the list Malvina compiled.
Having Boris Romanoff & several of their people accompanying her, Malvina traveled with her party to Viktor's residence over at an apartment complex between the Ivanovskoye & Perovo Districts, weapons drawn.
But when they arrived at his apartment & broke the door down, they were all in for a surprise.
They found Viktor Goraya – dead in his bed from a knife stab in the heart, with the murder weapon still sticking up from said area on Viktor's body.
Checking the corpse, Boris indicated that the man has been dead for over 12 hours, meaning he was still sleeping at the time: somebody broke into his apartment with the greatest of stealth, covered his mouth to keep from screaming, & plunged the weapon into his heart, keeping him there until he died. He then left the air conditioner on to cover up the stench of death, making none of the other building's residents the wiser.
Dissatisfied, Boris & Malvina ordered the removal of the body to take over to forensics: if they're lucky, they'll find some trace of residue and/or fingerprints to help them determine Viktor's killer.
Unfortunately, the coroner's office could find neither on Viktor's body, indicating that the murderer must've used a pair of gloves to conceal his prints, along with making sure that the victim didn't get any tissue samples by fingernails before he expired.
Their lead went colder than the freezer the morgue uses to store dead bodies in.
Boris wanted to tell their friends & the Russian Ambassador about what happened, but Malvina strangely objected to his idea: they currently have enough on their plate in resetting Tajima Sugimoto's appointment at the Kremlin, & it was a strenuous effort as it is.
What they have to tell them could wait until after the meeting.
Reluctantly, Boris agreed as he understood Malvina's logic.
Stabbed & deeply angered by their defeat, they headed back to their offices in the police & military to fill out the necessary paperwork.
But one thing was for certain…this ordeal wasn't over.
Not by a long shot.
The police & Red Army colonel didn't sleep well that night.
By morning, they looked ashen from a restless night but shrugged it off as today was the big day, & the primary reason for the Benice, Fleming & Sugimoto families' trio to Moscow, Russia.
Led by Sergei, Nikolai, Malvina & Boris, the three families were brought to the front gates as the guards standing at the entrance were briefed by Sergei, allowing him & his party inside.
As for Maximus, Sven, Angus & even Pascal, they were informed to have them all waiting on the outside of the Senate Palace but were free to roam anywhere along the path within – as long as they don't go messing up the grounds, i.e. the manicured lawns or soil up the walkway.
Angus nodded with a neigh, while Maximus, Sven & Pascal all saluted with a hoof & paw.
The guards outside and inside the Kremlin couldn't help but smile, amused by the animals' sense of authority.
Patting each steed & Rapunzel giving Pascal a kiss, they followed their Russian guides inside the Senate Palace, which was located directly in front of them. As Sergei, Nikolai, Malvina & Boris took their friends inside, the Benice, Fleming & Sugimoto families were absolutely flabbergasted by the immense structure & beauty of the interior, giving Elsa, Rapunzel & Merida's groups a reminder of both Arendelle & Corona from back in their day: from highly-styled chandeliers that hung from ceilings to the layout of the walls & exquisite furniture that occupied each room, they were astonished at seeing literal 'blasts from their pasts' coming alive in the 21st Century to which they've all been thrown & reawakened into.
While they walked, Sergei, Boris & Malvina gave their friends a brief history of the place, from its construction beginning in 1776 to 1787, right up to the dissolution of the Soviet Union & beyond. Each place they visited got shots taken from their cell phones, all captured in their radiant beauty.
Finally, they've all reached their destination: the room to where Tajima is to make his confession onto the Russian government, with its lush carpeting & blinds that reveal the courtyard & beyond. A long table with numerous seats are placed all around, each one occupied with a Russian delegate that awaited the scientist. On one side of the room was a large flat-screen television that measured a good 40 inches from one end to the other & 24 inches tall.
The officer informed Sergei & company that Tajima's family & friends would have to wait in the other room as the meeting commenced.
Relaying the news in English, they all nodded & agreed but not before Tajima kissed Hidemi & gave hugs to his daughters, along with Anna & Elsa. With everyone else, he'd given a handshake, each one wishing him the best of luck.
Offering his regards & gratitude, Tajima went inside the room along with Sergei & took the two empty seats they were offered by one of the delegates. Because of language differences, each member wore a translator device in his ear that will enable everybody to speak their mother tongue & understand everybody's words clearly & precisely without anyone having to pause for manual translations every few minutes.
With everyone seated, the meeting commenced as the Prime Minister of Russia spoke.
"Good morning, fellow delegates & Mr. Ambassador", he began. "First, I want to thank each & every one of you all for coming down here today, as we are here to discuss a situation that was witnessed by our guest of honor: professor Tajima Sugimoto of Tokyo, Japan."
Tajima bowed to the people in the room before the Prime Minister resumed.
"Professor Sugimoto, would you kindly tell us, in your own words, of the situation you & your family have each witnessed?"
"Of course, Mr. Prime Minister", Tajima began. "Last week, I was asked by the captain of a patrol vessel in the Sea of Japan to head over to his ship. The reason for it is because the monster known as Godzilla had been reported to be lurking beneath its waters. Being the world's foremost expert on the creature, I was asked if I knew why he decided to reside there for the better part of a month. I answered that even I could not guess the reason, but during that time, my family & I spotted a Russian fishing boat located in the area. It turned out that Godzilla was lurking there after all. Not only that, we discovered that the Russian boat was out there to collect blood & tissue samples of the monster."
Murmurs erupted from the delegates over Tajima's report but were stopped when the Prime Minister gestured with his hand for silence before one of the delegates spoke up: a man with a dark orange head of hair & trimmed beard.
He wore a pair of round bifocals over his eyes, & his name was Chevsky.
"Professor Sugimoto, is this why we were all invited down to this meeting?", he asked bitterly. "What kind of proof could you possibly have to make us believe that you & your family actually witnessed this absurd claim?"
"We know it was a Russian boat because we sent up a drone to record the action as it took place", Tajima explains, digging into his pocket & fishing out a disc. "In fact, we have the footage with me right here in my hand. This will all but prove that Russia was responsible. If one of you would be so kind as to insert this into the disc player so we may all witness what took place that day…"
Chevsky & the other delegates turned to the Prime Minister, who nodded.
Sergei of course was the one to do as Tajima requested, inserting the disc into the player at the same time the flat-screen television was turned on by another delegate. Once it started playing, the footage showed the Russian fishing boat in the Sea of Japan, followed by Godzilla's surfacing after several depth charges were dropped to bring him up & turned to swim away with the boat in hot pursuit. The camera zoomed in to get a closer look at a harpoon being fired at Godzilla, sticking into his flesh & his blood being drained & stored into a quartet of barrels placed on the boat's side as each one got filled to the brim with their precious cargo. Several men were lost in the water as their captain shouted at his men to sever the cables before getting blown to splinters when Godzilla submerged underneath the waves again.
The footage was fast-forwarded by Tajima to the point when an Mil Mi-14 helicopter arrived & hauled away the four barrels of Godzilla's blood before the Japanese scientist stopped the disc, ejected it & placed it back in its case.
More murmurs from the Russian delegates filled the room, each one just as baffled as the man next to him.
They quieted down as the Prime Minister spoke again.
"Now we see exactly as to why you've asked for this meeting here at the Kremlin, Professor Sugimoto", he says.
"Exactly, Mr. Prime Minister", Tajima says. "Even if there were no Russian words written on the boat we saw, I still would've know it was a Russian operation: that helicopter that flew by & picked up the barrels containing Godzilla's blood – an Mil Mi-14 – is primarily a whirlybird from this country. Libya has them as well, but they're over in Africa, leaving Russia as the main culprit."
The room was as silent as a tomb for almost a minute before Chevsky spoke.
"So then…what exactly are you trying to prove with this evidence you've presented to us, professor Sugimoto?", he asks accusingly. "Of what we understand, America & even your country of Japan had also collected blood & tissue samples of Godzilla! Why would what our country hasdone be any different?"
"Two things! One, you people have broken international law by entering our waters indiscriminately at your own leisure! Two, the blood & tissue samples of Godzilla which we have are strictly for study, & only for study! What your people wish to do with the samples is to weaponize it – to try & kill Godzilla!"
"You have no proof of that, professor Sugimoto, let alone who the true culprits of this so-called 'crime' are!"
"What other reason could you possibly have in obtaining something so rare, let alone sacrifice your own people for to get it?"
"Professor Sugimoto, even though you've discovered it was our country that had gotten blood & tissue samples of Godzilla, you are still in the dark about who the mastermind behind it all is! And you dare to make accusations to us – us – here at the Kremlin in our Mother Russia?! To have us under investigation when you have no concrete evidence of who orchestrated this theft is but an act of instigating hostility between our two countries! Do not forget, Sugimoto: during World War II, we planned on invading your country after we defeated Nazi Germany, & had we stepped on your soil, we would've been just as merciless towards you people as we'd been to them! Who was it that attacked the land of Pearl Harbor, Hawaii without warning, & treated their prisoners in the most brutal & inhumane ways?"
"Chevsky!", the Prime Minister barked, ceasing the man's rantings.
When next the PM spoke, it was in a calmer but still firm tone.
"Professor Sugimoto doesn't need a history lesson of the atrocities his country performed during that conflict. Of what I've been told by the ambassador, he was appalled by the actions Japan made during that period & was glad the atomic bomb was dropped to cease their hostilities & make them a better people. But we're here today to discuss what Tajima saw last week in his neck of the woods, & to see if this can be resolved in as peaceful a manner as possible – not to chalk up past hostilities that happened over 70 years ago. Understand?"
Chevsky took a breath & nodded.
As he resumed, Chevsky's voice was calmer but still had a hard edge to it.
"In any case, Tajima Sugimoto, nobody in this room had authorized that Russian boat to collect Godzilla's blood & tissue samples. But I will say this: whoever did, may they all but succeed in their task of killing the beast once & for all! Godzilla is a dire menace to the entire world, & has caused mass destruction & death everywhere he goes! Just this past November, Godzilla destroyed the Bolshevik submarine & killed all hands aboard – men that had families, children! And…let's not forget what Godzilla & three others did to North Korea only two days ago! It makes you wonder…when is it all going to end, professor?!"
"You want Godzilla dead for what he did to the Bolshevik sub out of mere revenge?!", Tajima asks.
"Why not?! That vessel belonged to our country! We have every right to retaliate against him! Plus, we seem to recall that you, Tajima Sugimoto, lost a good number of your family & friends on your wedding day – a day that was supposed to have been a happy occasion, instead turned into a nightmare! With your vast knowledge of Godzilla, we're all very surprised you haven't found a way to kill him yourself! Why didn't you?!"
Tajima looked at Sergei for a moment before turning back to Chevsky & the delegates.
"The reason is this", he said, pausing for dramatic effect. "Revenge is no more than a sucker's game: it's nothing but a poison that can make a person become an even greater threat than the person – or in this case, creature – he wishes to inflict it upon. Case in point: just this past May 31st, when my family visited the city of Fukuoka for my wife Hidemi's birthday, Rodan attacked to claim his egg that was stolen from him by a man by the name of Koji Matsuo. He brought that egg to the city to try & kill Rodan with a poison he concocted in order to avenge the death of his parents, who were killed in Auckland, New Zealand just last year when the creature known as Armadon invaded it as Godzilla, Anguirus and Rodan went to bring it down. Koji ultimately paid the price for his tomfoolery, but unfortunately, so did many others who had nothing to do with his parents' deaths. In that scenario, he became the worst monster of them all, not Rodan. Please don't misunderstand: my heart does go out to the crew of the Bolshevik & their families, but to go seek vengeance against a beast like Godzilla is a fool's errand: it will only lead to more pain & suffering in the long run, & I can tell that's something the people of Russia do not want in their lives."
Chevsky & the other delegates began raising their voices at Tajima, which were not meant to praise him.
"How do you know what we Russians want, professor?!", cried one delegate.
"What right do you have to tell us how to behave?!", shouted another.
"Are we supposed to just allow Godzilla to go where he wishes, causing destruction & death at random?!", one more shouted.
The Prime Minister pounded on his gavel & demanded order, quieting the delegates & taking their seats again.
"Fellow delegates", Sergei says as all eyes turn to him. "Professor Tajima Sugimoto is in no way, shape or form telling any of us how to behave. He's merely asking us to take caution that we do not fall into a web of despair as so many others did when friends or loved ones lose their lives during attacks from creatures like Godzilla. Also, he raises a good point for all of us to take great heed of: we Russians may have a reputation for being hard in battle, such as when Napoleon Bonaparte invaded our land in 1812, or when the Nazis struck our country beginning in June 1941. But, as I once told a great man in America this past December, we are not savage people: we are as much a civilized race as any other on this planet, & in one way or another, we can & we will find a plausible solution to this problem & end it before it gets to a position far beyond our control."
Everyone stared at Sergei as he took a sip of water from his bottle before finishing.
"That's all he's saying."
All the delegates in the room stared at Tajima like they wanted to give him a piece of their mind, not caring what either the Ambassador or the Prime Minister said or did to them afterwards. Despite staying strong, Tajima couldn't help but feel uneasy: like his family & friends, he was a stranger in a strange land, having never set foot upon Russian soil, much less seen Russian way of life before now.
It was no wonder why they were victors in World War II: even Hitler's Nazis greatly feared these people, & for over four decades they & the United States were locked in a Cold War in a nuclear arms race that could've turned all but disastrous for the world.
Were it not for the Reagan Administration in the late 1980s, that Cold War might still be going on, & he had fears of a new one emerging.
The meeting went on longer than Tajima expected.
Three hours later:
The Benice, Fleming & Sugimoto families, along with Nikolai, Boris & Malvina waited in the outer rim of the meeting room, sitting on chairs as they sit patiently & quietly for how Tajima's meeting with the Russian Prime Minister & his delegates went. At the beginning, they talked quietly on what they might expect, but as the minutes passed, they felt it best to leave it be until the Japanese scientist was done.
Each of them, including the three Russians, were getting antsy sitting & waiting in silence, which had an eerie feeling for all.
Finally, the door to the room opened, ejecting Tajima & Sergei out as everyone rose from their seats & headed over to them, with Hidemi kissing him as his wife & daughters embraced him, followed by the Arendelle trio.
"So, gentlemen…how did it go in there?", Nathan asked.
"Where do I even begin?", Tajima said, his voice full of doubt.
"Papa?", Akemi & Emiko say with worry.
"We take it that's a sign that things didn't go so well as you'd hoped", Eugene said without humor.
"You can call that an understatement, Eugene Benice", Sergei said. "Half of the delegates say he was crazy, while the others said that he had no business being in Russia in the first place, regardless of what he had witnessed."
The group looked at one another with faces of shock & more than a few ones that were red with rage.
"They got some nerve to call you crazy, Tajima!", Kristoff says. "They're the ones who trespassed in our territory, not the other way around!"
"I agree!", Merida said. "From what I understand, what they did is against international law, regardless of their motives! One of those buggers has to be responsible for the theft of Godzilla's blood & tissue! After all, who else would have the authority to perform such a daring feat?"
"That's just it, Merida Fleming", Sergei said. "Despite the evidence we displayed to them, they were just as in the dark about such an operation as any of you were. Even though you feel otherwise, none of the delegates – not even the Prime Minister or our President – authorized this task."
"You mean to say that…they're innocent of all this?!", Patricia says. "How could they?! There is no one else that can implement such a daring operation!"
"Unless…", Boris says as all eyes turn to him.
"You believe another party might be involved, Boris?", asked Anna.
"That's what's been running through my head as well, Miss Anna Sugimoto. On the one plus side, we were able to discover that the fishing boat & equipment they used in getting what they desired was purchased from a port over in Vladivostok, which is in close proximity to the Sea of Japan. Unfortunately, we couldn't get any leads as to who sent the funds, as it was done in a coded transference. Despite our attempts, we were unable to crack it & reveal the culprit, let alone who was involved in the actual theft."
"That's a bad break, mate", Gus said. "But it does make perfect sense: the fishing boat they used would never get to their destination from here in Moscow, so they'd have to do it someplace near to where Godzilla rested at."
"At least we have some kind of lead in this", Rapunzel said. "But it still won't narrow it down any."
"I'm afraid it doesn't, Rapunzel", Nikolai said. "We could be chasing our very own tails & not come up with any leads that turn solid for us to follow to its source."
"Meaning…we're all literally up the creek without a paddle", Elsa said, getting nods from all.
"At this point, yes", Malvina said. "To find a single culprit of this magnitude would be like finding a needle in a haystack, having no such luck should we even try."
"Speaking of luck…any on your end, Malvina, despite finding Viktor Goraya dead in his home?", Hidemi asked.
"Nyet, Hidemi", the Russian colonel said, shaking her head. "Whoever killed him knew to silence him before he could talk to anyone without leaving any shred of evidence for us to decipher who the murderer was. As a precaution, we've locked down the base & my people are doing a thorough search of everybody & everywhere as we speak."
"As for my people, we will step up patrols & do inspections of any new shipments from overseas, be they shipped by air or by boat", Boris says. "Should they come across anything that resembles science equipment, we'll get in touch with you to inspect for yourself, professor Sugimoto."
"Domo arigato, Boris", Tajima says. "For right now, we'll head back to the hotel. From there, I'll get in touch with my people at my self-named company & see if they can give us any leads."
"Excellent thinking, comrade. Dobriy den, everyone."
Bowing to his friends, Boris Romanoff walked away to start performing his duties.
"Will you have to attend another meeting with the Prime Minister & his delegates, Tajima?", asked Elinor.
"They've rescheduled a second meet here for tomorrow at noon", the scientist replied. "For right now, there's no more we can do for today."
"Tajima, won't you have me join you & Sergei next time? I may be from over a thousand years in the past, but I'm still not rusty with being a good diplomat."
Sergei & Tajima look at each other & smiled before facing Elinor again.
"You could very well be quite an asset, Elinor", Tajima said. "But they might not allow for such a thing."
"Even if it's a long shot, we'll do our best to see if we can arrange for it, Miss Fleming", Sergei said.
Elinor, Merida, Gus & the rest smiled.
Outside the Senate Palace:
Sergei & Malvina lead the group through the cavernous halls of the palace to outside as they did leading them in.
Once they got outside into the sunlight, they saw a most unusual sight: people were stopping to have their pictures taken with Maximus, Sven & Angus with their cell phones, iPads & digital cameras. Men, women & children were all having the time of their lives, posing with a reindeer, Andalusian & Clydesdale. Some of the men & women in uniform were also getting in on the fun, with a few even sitting on the animals & having it immortalized in a photo.
Even Pascal wasn't left out, being taken in photos by sitting on their heads & held in a person's cupped hands.
The chameleon even changed colors, adding to the people's amusement.
Sergei, Nikolai, Malvina & their friends were also amused by the display & were smiling pleasantly – a happy end to what had been a stressful few hours within the heart of Moscow's Congress.
"At least somebody enjoyed their time at the Kremlin today", Elinor joked, getting more than a few chuckles.
They let the animals get in a few more minutes more of fun before they headed back to the hotel.
Somewhere deep beneath Russia:
After laying waste to Pyongyang & leaving the country of North Korea, Godzilla, Gaira & Sanda went into the water on the city's western side & made their way over to the Bohai Sea in Chinese territory. Reaching the bottom, the monster trio discovered a huge cavern that was more than large enough for them to enter if they'd simply swam into it, which they did. Along the way through the tunnel, the flowing water became like a drainage pipe, & the three monsters were being dragged along by a pull that was even stronger than they were.
Ironically, this is exactly where their instincts were guiding them towards, so neither Godzilla nor the gragantuas fought the powerful tug that gripped them.
They simply & literally went with the flow.
Like sewage being dumped into a drainage ditch, Godzilla, Gaira & Sanda were spat out into a raging river that was located miles deep beneath the surface that was a large cavern with hanging stalactites that all measured dozens of meters long. The river at the bottom measured half a mile wide but extended for many, & Godzilla felt energy among this strange underground chasm: it was similar yet still not quite like the radiation he feeds on to replenish his strength.
For Godzilla, it was good enough, & he soaked it in like a sponge does water as he replenishes after the tough & long fight he had in North Korea.
Gaira & Sanda also felt this strange energy emanating from this cavern, but they ignored it as the current – similar to the raging rapids of the Grand Canyon – took them within the Earth's bowels.
Again, it was taking the three in the very same direction their instincts were guiding them.
Godzilla & the two gargantuan siblings traveled this underground river without needing to do much of anything.
Their journey picked up speed the further they went.
The Hilton Moscow Leningradskaya Hotel, Saturday, July 16th, 9:00 p.m.:
As amusing as Maximus, Sven, Angus & Pascal's antics were in getting friendly with the Muscovites – civilians & authority personnel alike – it still did very little to ease the tensions with Tajima Sugimoto, Sergei Yeltsin & the other delegates at the Kremlin. For the next few days, the Japanese scientist was given even further resentment despite all the evidence & hard points he came across. The delegates still stuck to their point of view that whoever was responsible for gathering Godzilla's blood & tissue samples in the Sea of Japan should by all means go kill the infernal creature, as he causes nothing but death & destruction in his wake wherever he goes.
When Tajima argued that Godzilla should be thought of & dealt with as a force of nature & not as an animal, he was regarded with further argument & more contempt. The delegates explained that in Russia, they do not allow giant monsters to come by & destroy their cities, no matter what their motives/reasons are. Chevsky, the delegate who had the most disdain for Tajima, explained to him that Godzilla had invaded Russia before 30 years ago, shortly after the country's Chernobyl Disaster that took place on April 25-26, 1986. Military vehicles & personnel rushed out to engage Godzilla & either defeat him or turn him away but were met with disastrous results. When Tajima asked if Godzilla absorbed the radiation that spilled from that incident, one of the delegates confirmed it as Tajima added that they ought to have left Godzilla alone & allowed him free passage, saying that the men who engaged him that day would not have died in vain.
His remark caused an outrage among the delegates, & they continued shouting at the scientist until both the Prime & Sergei restored order.
Tajima was beginning to really see why Russia has such a rough reputation: these people often treat each other as pawns on a chessboard, & their treatment of foreigners was no different, hence the meetings currently taking place.
Sergei, Nikolai, Boris & Malvina aside, Tajima was glad not to be a Russian citizen, & his family & friends all no doubt feel the same way; even Gus Fleming wouldn't feel comfortable in the former Soviet Union, despite his own fierce fighting prowess.
To quote an old saying, 'It's a nice place to visit, but I wouldn't want to live here'.
Tajima wishes to be back home in Tokyo, even if North Korea would still be shooting missiles over it.
On that particular note, when Russia said it needed something to indefinitely protect itself from Godzilla & not end up as North Korea did a couple days ago, Tajima stated that he had absolutely no love for that particular country, let alone its leader Kim Jong Un, due to the constant & reckless firing of their missiles over Japan, with three of them being shot over Tokyo, scaring his family & his younger daughter Emiko the most.
For the Japanese scientist, Kim Jong Un & his horrible regime got exactly what they deserved, & that their fate couldn't have happened to a nicer bunch of people in all the world.
As far as he was concerned, it was good riddance to bad rubbish – very bad rubbish.
His statement got Chevsky & the other delegates riled up worse than ever, indifferent & unconcerned for the sake of his well-being or that of his own family. It enraged Tajima on the inside, but he hid it much better than them.
Sergei suggested that they both exit the room & the building, clearly stating that staying any longer will make the situation worse.
Tajima was inclined to agree with Sergei, & the two men left with Chevsky & the delegates shouting angry words at the departing scientist even as the Prime Minister continued pounding his gavel to restore order.
Never in his life has Tajima felt so angry & helpless at the same time; even when he was held prisoner by Mugal & his Black Hole Aliens he had been overwhelmed with despair – a feeling that lasted when he got back at the hotel & saw his family & friends all waiting for him.
Immediately they could tell that things went horribly wrong for the man without him saying a single word: the look of defeat on his face was all they needed.
A shower for dinner did nothing to remove the tension from his soul.
Neither did the spectacle that was when a slew of military helicopters pulling the monster Baragon over the city, who was suspended by several giant helium-filled balloons on thick cables. The scene was captured on live television for all of Moscow & even the world to see, & many Muscovites even took photos from their digital devices to capture the moment.
Under different circumstances, Tajima would've enjoyed the spectacle.
But he hadn't, & sitting down with his family & friends also didn't make matters any easier: he simply stared at his plate like he expects it to disappear or sprout wings & fly away on its own.
Everyone was getting really worried, & they made no attempt to hide it, much less how they felt about how the Russian delegates treated him.
Merida was the first to express it.
"I don't bloody believe it!", she said angrily but at a moderate volume. "It's bad enough that those men gave Tajima a hard time at these meetings, but when they acted like they didn't care if any of North Korea's actually hit the country of Japan or if Emiko was scared out of her mind from the experience…!"
"I know just what you mean, Merida!", said Eugene. "Don't those people have families of their own? What if it was this country North Korea was shooting missiles over, threatening their very existence?! Their behavior at Tajima was unforgivable! I guess it is true, after all: politics are the same in every country!"
"Eugene does have a point!", Anna added. "The evidence of the Russian theft of Godzilla's blood & tissue were displayed right in their faces, & yet these delegates still stuck to their own point of view, acting like they own the world, for God's sake! I knew that Russian people would be hard & even stingy at times, but this…this is too much!"
Anna regretted her last several words as they left her mouth, & staring at Sergei, Nikolai, Boris & Malvina, she had a look of guilt on her face.
"Uh…what I really meantto say was, well…I, um…oh boy", she stammered, wearing a sheepish grin.
The four Russians that joined them for dinner simply laughed at Anna's attempts at correcting herself, joined in by everyone else…which also included Tajima, having finally broken out of his sunken stupor.
"Don't worry, Anna: I'm sure that neither Sergei, Nikolai, Boris or Malvina are taking any offense", Emiko said.
"Of course not, my lisichka", Sergei said, smiling. "Miss Anna Sugimoto was simply unhappy with the results of our meetings at the Kremlin, which is very understandable."
"She isn't the only one who feels that way, Sergei", Kristoff says. "But it's good to know there are Russian people who we can count on."
The outdoorsman punctuated his statement further with a wink & thumbs-up gesture, making them grin.
"Spasibo, Kristoff Sugimoto", Nikolai says, turning to the waiter that was approaching with a cart of food. "Hope you folks are hungry, for we've ordered up quite a meal for all of you this evening!"
Pulling the cart closer to the table, the waiter placed several entrees there including a serving of marinated meat that smelled mouth-watering to all. It was joined by vegetables, potatoes, gravy, & a jar with the lid on top.
As the food was being served to each plate, Tajima's wife & older daughter consulted with him in their tongue.
"Tajima, while things didn't go so well with you & the Russian delegates, please don't give up", Hidemi said. "It won't be long before they take seriously your points of view. Theycan't stay blind to the truth forever."
"Mama's right, papa", Akemi said. "Please don't let their dislike/disdain of you prevent you from doing what's right. You & mama always taught Emiko & I to never falter in what you believe in, & that means you shouldn't either. And no matter what…we'll always be by your side, physically or not."
Like magic, Tajima's heavy burden was lifted, & he smiled at his wife & daughter.
"I will never give up on my beliefs…or on any one of you", he said, causing them to smile back. "Let's enjoy our dinner & the rest of the evening, shall we?"
"Hai!", they said in unison.
Seeing Tajima break out of his despair made Elsa & the rest feel like new people.
"I definitely think Tajima's going to be just fine from here on out, you guys", Patricia said, getting nods from all.
"And in the nick of time, too", Nathan said, inhaling through his nose. "That meat & everything else definitely smells scrumptious, so it ought to taste as good as it looks!"
"Plus, we've been given a real treat for us along with our dinner!", Gus says, holding the jar with lid. "You any idea what this is, kids? Caviar!"
"Caviar?", Eugene, Kristoff, Rapunzel, Anna, Elsa, Elinor & Merida say simultaneously.
Gus removed the lid to reveal the jar filled with a black shiny substance inside.
"That's right, kids! Caviar…fish eggs!", Gus says, getting doubtful faces from the ones that lived centuries past.
"You people…actually eat fish eggs?", Rapunzel asked. "Please forgive my saying so, but isn't that, like, a little bit…gross?"
"I'm afraid I must concur with Rapunzel here", Elinor says. "Eating fish themselves is one thing, but eating their eggs? I've never heard of such a thing!"
Chuckles came from the British agent & their four Russian friends.
Malvina asked for the jar, & Gus kindly handed it over.
"Believe it or not, it is a delicatessen here in Russia", the Russian colonel explains. "People use it with many of the foods they eat, from bread & vodka to blini, which is a thin type of pancake. The taste is quite exquisite & has been labeled as 'the taste of paradise'. It is as much a way of life here as our very own Preesyadka & Kalinka dances."
"Another factor about caviar is that it's very expensive, be it here in Russia or even overseas", Boris adds, asking Malvina for the jar. "In the 1990s, prices of it skyrocketed when it became a rarity here in our country. The Russian mob even tried selling it for outrageous prices on the black market, & our forces intercepted countless illegal shipments from truck to boat. Just one suitcase filled with caviar – which we call 'black gold' – would be worth about $100,000."
The group from another time & even Patricia, Nathan, Tajima, Hidemi, Akemi & Emiko all whistled at the facts just presented to them.
"Amazing, Boris", Elsa says, asking for the jar as it got passed down to her. "All that trouble…for mere fish eggs, especially if the Russian mafia – the Bratva, from what I understand they're called – were willing to go sell it by illegal means."
"Hey Elsa, if people are willing to pay such a high price & even to kill for 'mere fish eggs', then it must be quite the delicatessen!", Rapunzel said. "I say we try some!"
"Yeah, sis!", Anna adds. "Like they say, when in Rome, or in this case, Russia…"
Elsa giggled at her sibling's little joke & nodded, taking a spoon & putting some onto her plate before passing it around for others to get their share.
Gus was the last to get his fill before placing it back on the table with the lid on top.
"Excellent!", Malvina said proudly. "And now, as American people would say…dig in, everybody!"
Raising their glasses to a toast, the Benice, Fleming, Sugimoto families & their Russian friends did exactly that.
Over the skies of Moscow, 9:20 p.m.:
Just as Baragon was, Anguirus was kept in the air by over two dozen helium-filled balloons attached to strong cables that were also used to be towed by several Hind helicopters. Before each monster was lifted & carried away, the country's top scientists gave the soldiers the exact evaluation of how much sedative they'll need to keep the creatures dozing off & harmless for the trip they plan on taking them.
Since Baragon was the smaller creature, being only 30 meters from head to tail, he was airlifted & moved first: he approached Moscow & flew over it six days later from where he & Anguirus were found on the outskirts of Saratov.
Baragon was flown over the city without incident.
Anguirus was flown only hours later as he now makes his way over Russia's capital, his trip being broadcasted everywhere, from Russia & even internationally. Both monsters are to be taken over to a large facility on the outskirts of St. Petersburg – one that will contain/hold the two creatures. It was a plan long in the making ever since Godzilla had first invaded Russia in April of 1986, after the Chernobyl Disaster.
The Russian government vowed to never allow for something similar like that to happen again in their homeland.
Crazy as some consider it, they still couldn't deny that it had its perks, & Russia would be the first nation to ever keep giant monsters in captivity to display its true power to the world.
Any nation to accomplish a task what most deem impossible would be highly respected.
Russia could very well earn that honor before the end of the month.
From the hotel parking lot where the stables reside, Maximus, Sven & Angus were enjoying their own dinners of apples, carrots & fresh oats when they heard the roaring of helicopters. Looking up, they caught sight of the monster Anguirus as he was towed away on 20-30 massive balloons, creating quite a spectacle for the animals & all of Moscow.
Maximus & Angus gave neighs of astonishment as Sven let out a grunt of wonder, each one mesmerized by what they were bearing witness to.
It was the same with Olaf & Pascal in the room the snowman shared with Eugene & Kristoff, viewing the event on the television.
Even from inside, they can hear & feel the helicopters passing overhead as the area shook from the rotor blades.
"Whaaaaaaaat aaaaaaaa ruuuuuuuush!", Olaf says, his voice as choppy as the copter blades.
Pascal uttered a noise that sounded like 'yeah', it too being shaky/choppy.
The vibrations were over as soon as they began, with the snowman giggling from the experience.
"Pretty neat…I hope we get to go on a balloon ride someday!", Olaf said to the chameleon, who nodded.
They resumed watching the spectacle on the television.
The slums of Moscow:
Four people in ragged clothing each carried a large travel bag & watched from the roof of an old building in the pits of Russia's capital. These were not one's typical Russians who wished for change in their country.
In fact, these four men weren't from Russia at all.
They were from North Korea.
While visiting the country for future plans with the Kim regime regarding their nuclear weapons program, the men were devastated to hear upon the fall of both Pyongyang and their supreme leader Kim Jong Un, who was killed by the green-haired hominoid creature Gaira. Even worse, their so-called 'ally' of Russia did nothing to come to their aide either during or after Godzilla's rampage in North Korea's capital city. This all but enraged the men, feeling they were betrayed by their Russian allies – a pact they've shared since after World War II ended.
For Russia's betrayal & insubordination, these four men from North Korea vowed to do something about it.
That day was today after days of planning & collecting the necessary tools they've killed to get their hands on.
Zipping open their bags, each man took out an RPG rocket launcher with a missile to load, which they did. Once each rocket launcher was armed, the men looked into the scope on the side & aimed at the balloons that were keeping Anguirus in the air. The men easily could've done the deed earlier when Baragon was flown over Moscow, but he was deemed as 'too scrawny' by the men's standards, even though they knew the 30-meter long monster is capable of putting up a fierce fight.
Anguirus, on the other hand, would be perfect for their plan: not only is he much larger than Baragon, his fighting prowess was fiercer, & these men even heard that the monster once held his own against Godzilla from over 60 years ago when they first fought in Osaka.
Calmly waiting for their leader's word, the men kept their fingers on the triggers.
Fifteen seconds later, he gave the order.
"Now!", he said.
All four fired their rockets at once.
Over the skies of Moscow:
The helicopter pilots kept their minds on flying the choppers straight over the city with their grand prize behind, sleeping like a baby behind them. Keeping in touch with their fellow pilots, they report that everything was going all but smoothly without a hitch – just as they did with Baragon only hours previous.
None of the pilots saw the fiery streak from the side; even if they did, there was no way they could've prevented what occurred next.
The rockets fired struck & destroyed several of the balloons towing Anguirus, who was now dangling in the air from the few remaining balloons before he broke loose. The helicopters that towed the creature went down with him as Anguirus plummeted to Earth.
The Hilton Moscow Leningradskaya Hotel:
The Benice, Fleming, Sugimoto families & their four Russian friends were all happily chatting with one another as they ate & finished their meals before several of them got up to help themselves to some desserts that were served at one of the banquets where patrons can take the dessert of their choice. Treats such as cake, pudding, & even fresh fruits were but a sample of what one can find.
Everything went smoothly in the hotel's restaurant.
Until they heard more than a few people scream in terror.
When Elsa, Merida, Rapunzel & the others turned, they saw a horror occurring on the large flat-screen television in the room that displayed Anguirus' balloon flight over Moscow.
What they saw made them gasp.
The City of Moscow:
Pandemonium erupted inside the hotel restaurant as people screamed in terror & several were knocked down to the hard marble floor when Anguirus hit bottom, the vibrations stretching all over Moscow. Hidemi Sugimoto, Patricia Benice & Elinor Fleming were all among those who took that hard dive.
"Hidemi!", Tajima, Kristoff, Anna & Elsa cried.
"Mama!", Akemi & Emiko cried.
"Patricia!", Nathan, Eugene & Rapunzel cried.
"Elinor!", Gus cried.
"Mum!", Merida cried.
Outside in the parking lot, Maximus, Sven & Angus were also shaken by Anguirus' sudden impact as each animal fought to stay on their feet, nearly getting tipped over. Against all odds, they managed to stay erect.
For Olaf & Pascal in Eugene & Kristoff's room, the snowman & chameleon weren't so fortunate: both were flung from the bed as Olaf hit the floor & Pascal on the desk, landing on his stomach. Getting air back into his lungs, Pascal shook his head to clear the cobwebs as Olaf called out to him.
"Hey, little buddy…are you okay?"
The chameleon nodded without facing him.
"Good…because I may need a little help in getting back up!", Olaf says as Pascal turned to see something which made his eyes bulge out & his jaw drop: Olaf was literally in pieces along the floor, with his head still sporting the mini cloud that keeps him frosty even in warm weather.
Pascal made a groaning noise & buried his own head in one hand, shaking it in dismay.
Letting out a sigh, the little lizard started getting Olaf back together like he was Humpty Dumpty.
In the restaurant, Tajima, Nathan, Gus & the others cried out the ladies' names & rushed over to help them back on their feet, asking if they were all right.
Hidemi, Patricia & Elinor assured them that nothing was broken, & that they'll manage.
Malvina, Boris, Sergei & Nikolai also raced over to help up the ladies but stumbled on their way due to the people who ran out of the building in panic. Each of them were relieved to see their families got them back up & are able to walk on their own power.
"Ladies…are you three sure you're okay?", Boris asked of Hidemi, Patricia & Elinor.
"Hai, we'll live", Hidemi said.
"A bit shaken up, but I'm good", Patricia answered.
"What happened just now?", Elinor wondered.
"For the answer to that question, love…just feast your eyes upon the television screen!", Gus said as all eyes had gone to the large flat-screen, which amazingly stayed mounted to the wall when the tremors occurred. The three families & four Russians along with those that didn't escape focused on the display that was happening live in Moscow.
The Dostoyevskaya area:
Anguirus plummeted into the city's Olympic Stadium – the Olimpiyskiy – and caved it in with his massive weight of 30,000 metric tons, flattening the structure & everyone inside of it including those in the underground subways as both trains & their passengers get crushed by debris that caved in. The massive dome, which opened on July 19th, 1980, became the home to many basketball, boxing & Olympic sporting events & held music concerts from performers like Green Day, Britney Spears, Madonna & Paul McCartney.
Now it was a pile of rubble from Anguirus' unexpected plummet.
The sudden jolt awoke the creature, & he was quite unhappy with the unexpected wake-up call.
Anguirus showed his displeasure by emitting a blaring roar that echoed throughout Moscow which sounded like a giant honking horn boats use to pinpoint their location. Whatever was left of the Olympic Stadium, he pulverized in no time with his paws & tail, crushing several cars with some having drivers/passengers that desperately tried to escape the mayhem that struck their home.
They didn't get far before being flattened by four-toed feet as Anguirus headed north, crashing into & demolishing the second stadium as several people were killed from falling debris. Making his way up towards Samarskaya Ulitsa & crashing into the Radisson Blu Olimpisky Hotel complex, the monster was assaulted by a swarm of Tupolev Tu-160 Beliy Lebed jets with Raduga Cruise missiles & Kamov Ka-50/52 helicopters with S-8/13 rockets & 2942 30mm guns that were waiting in the wings in case something went wrong. On the ground, T-80/90 armored tanks & TOS-1 Buratino multiple rocket launchers converged on the monster & opened fire.
From all directions, Anguirus was pummeled with heavy firepower, his shell taking most of the hits & bouncing off or exploding harmlessly. Those that stung his flesh were a different story, & Anguirus bellowed in anger before he shows his temper with swipes of his tail & forepaws, swatting away & destroying many ground vehicles, killing their operators. He even gets a few choppers & jets, with some being caught in his jaws & turned into scrap metal that left no time or chance for anyone to bail out.
Anguirus began moving forward after fifteen minutes of remaining in one spot, plowing through & bringing down buildings in his path as debris fell onto the streets of Moscow. People that couldn't get away fast enough were buried alive and/or crushed.
Helicopters & jets kept their barrage up as ground forces went in pursuit & shot off their artillery once they got Anguirus in their sights. Every hit the monster received only made him angrier, & Anguirus ran further north before he curled into a spiked ball & bounced his way to Park Ostankino, flattening many buildings & vehicles along the way.
More attack helicopters, jets & ground troops converged on Anguirus & hit the beast with everything they've got.
Like before, nothing seemed to slow Anguirus down or even fazed him, & he dispatched his attackers with the viciousness of a pitbull. The monster tore apart both them & the surrounding area for nearly an hour-&-a-half, getting no outcome except horrible deaths.
Whatever forces were left were ordered to leave the area, as a new & more powerful weapon has finally made it to Moscow: Anguirus heard the sound of thrusters & looked skywards to see a huge silver machine with metallic blue highlights heading his way. From a news chopper that broadcasted the fight also caught this massive machine on camera for viewers to see: the machine flew in a horizontal position, but then it went into a vertical stance to reveal its height of 120 meters as it was being suspended in the air from thrusters in its short 'tail' in the rear, along with hidden ones on its bottom half with what appeared to be thick legs covered by a metal apron.
Its upper half was a square chest, with a circular compartment in the midsection. This concealed a powerful pulse maser weapon behind its port. The arms ended in conical points instead of hands or claws, which were ports that opened up to reveal large needles used to inject chemicals into its target or fire spiral grenade missiles. Its bird-like head had a pair of yellow eyes that were really laser projectors, & a pointed beak below served as a drill. On its back were a trio of saw-like rows that protruded from the top half, with two more on the lower half. The armor was constructed with the highest technological advancements ever built by Russian hands, & the cockpit – placed inside the thick neck – is the home of three pilots, two up front & one in the rear.
This giant robot was also seen on the television by the Benice, Fleming, Sugimoto families & their Russian friends at the Hilton Moscow Hotel, & a single name was softly uttered by the Russian colonel.
"MOGUERA", Malvina said.
"MOGUERA?", the Sugimoto family repeated.
As the battle begun, Malvina explained the robot's functions to her friends.
Landing 60 meters from where Anguirus stood, MOGUERA cut its thrusters & raised its arms that gave the beast all the excuse he needed to consider whether this massive machine was a threat.
Unleashing a barking roar, Anguirus charged his new enemy.
"He's charging! Fire masers!", the commander ordered, who sat in the rear.
From MOGUERA's eyes, shots of plasma energy came at Anguirus & struck his face, briefly blinding/confusing him. It gave the crew the perfect chance: opening its cones, the robot prepared to inject Anguirus with its needles that glistened in the evening sky.
Unfortunately, the spiked creature recovered from the masers faster than anticipated: attacking like an angry cat, Anguirus raked at & broke off the needle in MOGUERA's left arm, rendering it useless. Closing the cones to prevent losing the other needle, the robot braced for impact when Anguirus grabbed his foe's metal neck, giving the crew a real close-up of his teeth & gullet.
Staring down at it gave them the chills.
"Operate the chest maser…now!", the leader barked.
The port on MOGUERA's chest slid open to extend a satellite dish & shoot a beam of plasma maser energy which struck Anguirus in his own chest, forcing him off the machine as it backed away on large treads its feet were equipped with. MOGUERA traveled backwards into the Marfino District, firing shot after shot of its maser cannon. Opening its left cone, a spiral grenade missile shot out of its port & streaked towards Anguirus, striking him with a powerful blast in his side. Enraged, Anguirus roared loudly & charged the robot with intent to disembowel & dismantle.
In a move that stunned the creature, MOGUERA's upper half did a 180 degree turn just as Anguirus leaped at it. The three saw-like blades on the back started spinning & dug into the monster's flesh, creating wounds that bled as the creature bellowed in pain & backed away, his wounds bleeding.
"Ouch!", Eugene, Kristoff, Anna, Rapunzel & Merida say, viewing the scene at the hotel.
The other ladies simply gasped at the sight.
"That's gotta hurt!", a reassembled Olaf said, watching the fight from the hotel room.
Pascal uttered a 'yeah'-like sound.
Bleeding injuries aside, Anguirus still fought like the fierce warrior he is: rolling into a spiked ball, he charged his mechanical enemy that caused MOGUERA to back away on foot, moving rather clumsily about. The crew inside were shaken by the hit, but their robot held firmly as the leader ordered for them to lift up into the air. Activating its jet thrusters, MOGUERA got to an altitude of 80 meters off the ground & hovered there, taunting Anguirus & staying out of his reach, even when the monster swiped with his forepaws.
Floating over to Park Ostankino, MOGUERA opened its cones & fired a salvo of its spiral grenade missiles, one after another, at Anguirus. The monster barked loudly as explosions rocked his body, driving him into a frenzy. To help even the odds, Anguirus leaped up at the hovering robot & wrapped his forepaws around its waist, jarring the crew as the move was totally unexpected. Anguirus shook his enemy violently as the crew were feeling their innards rattle even with their seat belts on. It also tilted MOGUERA back & forth, causing systems to go haywire as sparks began to erupt.
"Quick…get us back down before Anguirus forces us to crash!", the leader cried.
No one needed to be told twice: MOGUERA landed next to the Vostok Rocket as Anguirus crushed it when the two combatants hit solid ground. The robot gave the creature a swat with its cone arms, sending the monster crashing into the Exhibition & Trade Center, leveling it as rubble gets strewn all across the pavement. MOGUERA followed it up by maser attacks from its eyes & chest cannon, hitting Anguirus dead-on. These attacks – combined with more of its spiral grenade missiles – pushed Anguirus back into the park to battle him on better grounds & to prevent any further destruction to the surrounding structures which held important historical artifacts.
Rolling on its treads, MOGUERA pursued the monster as Anguirus rammed the robot with his spiked shell which rocked the machine & nearly lost its balance. The two combatants then went at it in mere fisticuffs & maser weapons until a few minutes before midnight.
It was then that Anguirus made a mistake: lunging again at MOGUERA, the robot opened its left cone that was minus its needle. But that wasn't what the leader had in mind: it was used to get a close on the monster's outstretched neck & use it like a claw. Closing the cone as tightly as it could, MOGUERA held Anguirus at bay & kept him steady, even as the creature struggled to get loose.
Lifting the monster up, the robot opened its right cone – the one with the giant hypodermic needle.
Targeting the flesh right underneath Anguirus' spiked shell, MOGUERA drove the remaining needle into its foe, causing Anguirus to cry out from the penetration as the leader gave the order to inject the sedative from the stored tanks. Once the button was pressed, gallons of a very powerful sedative entered Anguirus' body, who still struggles fiercely to free himself only to find out he couldn't.
After three minutes of squirming, the sedative finally took effect: Anguirus' struggles weakened, & his eyes had rolled into his head. Letting out a soft bark of a roar, the monster went limp in MOGUERA's grip, & the robot released its now-unconscious victim as Anguirus slumped to the ground with a thud that rocked the city.
Destruction & loss of life aside, MOGUERA prevailed in its quest…a minute or two before midnight.
"Anguirus is down! Repeat…Anguirus is down!", said the first pilot.
"Send in the backup squadron to collect the monster!", said the second pilot.
"Copy that. Units are on the way. MOGUERA, return to base", the radio replied.
"Yes sir!", said the leader.
Firing its thrusters, MOGUERA lifted off & took to the air, heading north.
It was gone in over a minute.
The Benice, Fleming, Sugimoto families & their Russian friends watched as Anguirus battled MOGUERA up to when the former got drugged & the latter flew off into the evening/early morning sky.
"This 'MOGUERA'…is that what the robot is called?", Nathan asked.
"Da, Nathan Benice", Malvina said, facing the group. "It's an acronym for Mobile Operation Godzilla Universal Expert Robot Aerotype. When Japan created its first Mechagodzilla to combat the real thing, Russia decided to follow suit & come up with a machine of its own to defend the nation from monsters. Unfortunately, the project didn't exactly take off right away due to legal & financial measures, delaying construction until three years ago."
"The robot wasn't ready for combat when Bagorah struck Volgograd?", asked Patricia.
Malvina shook her head.
"It was still a month away from being finished", she explained. "Had we sent MOGUERA out into battle at that time, it would've been damaged heavily, probably beyond repair."
"That's understandable, Malvina", Elinor said. "Time & money wasted, with nothing to show for it. That would not have gone over well with your country's government…or the taxpayers."
"Precisely, love", Gus adds. "That would've been like going up in a space capsule without installing the doors. It would've been no more than a suicide run."
"At least Mothra & Rodan were there to help assist you in defeating Bagorah, Malvina", Rapunzel put in.
The Russian colonel smiled at the girl with healing hair, knowing she was right.
Not to mention that the two little ladies – the Shobijin, as Sergei said they're called – informed me that those two were there to assist my men & I to defeat Bagorah, Malvina thought, recalling what the Russian Ambassador told her of the two six-inch tall women prior to meeting her new friends.
"How very true, Rapunzel Benice", Malvina said orally, making her smile. "It turned out to be the right choice in not attacking the giant butterfly & crimson pterodactyl when they entered Russian airspace."
A pat on the back from Eugene made Rapunzel grin wider.
Elsa seemed lost in thought about something, & it didn't go unnoticed by her sister.
"Hey sis, you okay?", Anna asked. "You look like your mind is at another place rather than with us."
"No, I'm good, Anna", Elsa assured her. "I was just thinking of MOGUERA's acronym: 'Godzilla' is part of it, so what that could – or even possibly – mean is that the robot in which Russia built is used primarily for…"
The Snow Queen knew the answer before she even finished her sentence, & everybody else caught onto it just as quickly.
"Yes, Elsa…we've all come to that same conclusion, and that the pieces finally fit!", Kristoff said.
"And the answer's been right in front of us all this time!", Merida adds, turning to Tajima. "Hasn't it?"
"I'm afraid so, Merida!", Tajima replied. "The theft of Godzilla's blood & tissue samples, seeing MOGUERA in battle & injecting Anguirus with a sedative…it all does fall into place!"
"Malvina, the whole reason MOGUERA was created by your Russian government was to kill Godzilla!", Akemi said. "They've no doubt come to the conclusion that he couldn't be controlled or even captured, so they made the robot to eliminate him instead…by lethal injection!"
"You're bright like your father, Akemi", Malvina said. "Even I was blind to it all, & it also means that somebody from my military must've orchestrated that theft to use against the creature – similar to the theft of the mutagen sample from Bagorah's tail before we incinerated it!"
Malvina placed a fist in her palm, frustrated by the revelation.
Unbeknownst to the group, a lone figure listened to the conversation from a distance & got on his cell phone as he dialed up a number.
"It's me", he said in his tongue. "We have a bit of a problem. Russian Colonel Malvina Semenov & her foreign friends know the score on the robot, & they're getting closer to the truth – a little too close. What shall we do?"
The man listened intently to what his contact was saying.
"Everybody…including her, the police colonel and the Ambassador? Are you sure?"
He listened again before he spoke & finished his call.
"I understand. I'll contact you again…after the job is complete."
Ending the call, he typed in another number.
In the hotel parking lot:
Maximus, Sven & Angus were on edge after the fight between Anguirus & MOGUERA, being unable to finish their dinner. Even though they couldn't exactly see the battle or hear any more sounds coming from it, none of them are any calmer during the silence, & they were getting jumpy from the events.
The sound of a pair of vehicles – two black SUVs – made their way to the hotel where the animals stood. They looked like the same ones that towed their stables to the building from the airport, only these had an unusual & strange stench to their nostrils…and that basically meant trouble.
When their doors opened & the men stepped out, the animals felt an evil presence emanating from these men.
Especially when they saw them packing semi-automatics & other weapons on their persons.
Maximus, Sven & Angus immediately went on the defensive.
They let out angry noises just before the guns started popping.
The hotel restaurant:
Malvina, Sergei, Nikolai & Boris still consulted with the three families, unaware they were all being observed.
"Are you sure that they're really not responsible, Sergei?", Emiko asked. "If Malvina's own military is suspected to be involved in this conspiracy, then your own government could be – they have to be!"
"My daughter has a point, Sergei!", Hidemi said. "Your country's delegates have no love for my husband, & they seem to deny everything about the theft, even with the evidence presented to them! Is it really wise to dismiss them on this? They need to be confronted on this, only harder!"
"Believe me, I understand your concerns", Sergei says. "But you must also understand: should I or even Tajima point fingers at any of the delegates without strong evidence to back it up, they'll do more than just talk. There are a lot of people currently under suspicion, yes, but until we find the ring leader, we need to be very careful on who we…"
The sounds of the reindeer, Andalusian & Clydesdale emanating from outside caught everyone's attention.
"Sven?", Kristoff, Anna & Elsa say.
"Max?", Eugene & Rapunzel say.
"Angus?", Merida & Elinor say.
Another group of sounds suddenly replaced that of the animals.
It was the sounds of gunfire & people screaming in terror.
The hearts of the group raced like galloping horses, fearing for the welfare of their beloved animals.
Crying out their names again, Kristoff, Eugene & Merida started racing for the steeds but were held back by Gus, Boris & Malvina.
"No! Don't go out there!", Boris said, holding Kristoff by the arm. "Stay inside this room!"
"Those are our animals out there, Boris!", Merida protested as Gus held her firm. "There's no way we're going to just…!"
Just them, several men with guns & other weapons – six in all – entered & fired a few shots to get the other guests out, leaving only their intended targets & leveling their guns at them.
Most felt like they were going to have a heart attack.
"Forget what I said before!", Boris said, letting go of the iceman. "Go take shelter at the elevators & stairs! Get to your rooms & stay there…now!"
Pandemonium broke out at the hotel again this night, only in the form of human monsters as bullets started firing at the Benice, Fleming & Sugimoto families as Tajima, Hidemi, Akemi, Emiko, Patricia, Nathan, Elinor & Elsa all did as Boris instructed & headed for the door leading to the staircase. The ladies screamed in horror when several bullets got awfully close to hitting them, peppering the walls.
If only Boris wasn't here, I'd use my power to stop this attack!, Elsa thought, refraining from using her talent as Boris was the only Russian in their group to not know of her secret.
For now, it needs to stay confidential from him as she herds her family & friends to safety.
Anna, Kristoff, Eugene, Rapunzel, Merida, Gus & the four Russians stayed behind to deal with the six gunmen.
Taking cover behind furniture, the group used them as shields as bullets fly everywhere.
Seeing their families & friends in mortal peril, the group got enraged & they take matters into their own hands.
"These blokes just made a big mistake!", Gus shouted over the gunfire.
"I'll say they did!", Kristoff, Eugene, Anna, Rapunzel & Merida shout back.
Using the table for protection, the group picked up pieces of spilled food & dishes/utensils to throw at the gunmen, each one doing so with accuracy: the food hit them square in the face, blinding them before getting struck by silverware which added to their confusion. Temporarily blinded, Gus & his five troops rise from behind the table & rushed the six men, with Rapunzel & Anna grabbing large silver trays as they dump their contents.
They aren't exactly frying pans, but they'll definitely do on such short notice: the two ladies use them to their full advantage as they each buffet an attacker in the face, making loud clangs with each hit. Gus disarmed one thug of his firearms but pulled two large survival knives in each hand & swung them at the British agent, who had dodged & parried every attempt made at him. Grabbing his wrists, Gus ended his scuffle with a hard kick to the man's solar plexus before one to the head, knocking him out.
Kristoff, Eugene & Merida used their bare hands & highly athletic moves to bring down their opponents, swiping their guns & batting them with their own weapons. The gunmen tried to fight back but were outmatched by the group's fighting antics, with Eugene using his skills he once used as Flynn Rider to take down his man with ease; Merida used her fighting technique from her days as a DunBroch when her original father King Fergus sparred with her and with her adoptive father Gus; Kristoff used his brute strength from being a true iceman/outdoorsman back in Arendelle to mostly muscle his man into submission, but still used some fancy moves to outwit him.
Sergei, Nikolai, Malvina & Boris watched in stunned astonishment as six people – five of them young adults – face and take down six armed men with no more than bare feet & fisticuffs, along with that of a silver tray or two.
Never in their field have either the police or Army colonel, let alone the Russian Ambassador & his bodyguard, seen such skill & stamina in people.
What was even more impressive was that the gunmen were taken down in under a minute, & with no casualties or injuries to anyone.
Boris turned to his three countrymen.
"Might I ask as to acquire on where you found these people?", he asked them in his tongue.
Malvina, Sergei & Nikolai simply smiled.
Out in the parking lot:
Maximus, Sven & Angus fared no less in dealing with the rest of the attackers: even though outnumbered six to three, the reindeer, Andalusian & Clydesdale dodged, weaved & avoided every bullet/buckshot that came from those with automatic weapons & pump-action shotguns; Maximus & Sven leaped at the men with speed that was mesmerizing for the beholders & landed atop one each, knocking the wind out of them before swatting away/kicking another before even one of them could react; Angus stayed ahead of the bullets/buckshot & plowed into this enemies like a bull would do an invader to its herd.
With one man, Angus knocked him down in a head butt.
The other man – who was behind the Clydesdale – was kicked in the chest & knocked cold on the pavement.
One gunman tried to shoot at Angus while laying on the floor with his pistol, but Maximus put an end to that idea by stomping hard on the man's wrist, causing him to cry out & drop his weapon. The Andalusian shook his head in an 'uh-uh' gesture before baring his teeth & snorting in rage.
Max's hoof was the last thing the man saw before his world went dark.
Sven did the same with another man.
Inside the hotel restaurant:
With all enemies incapacitated & no longer a threat to the group or anyone else, Gus called Nathan & the others to let them know that the danger has passed, including the ruckus outside when they heard no more gunfire & saw that Maximus, Sven & Angus were all alive & well, with none of them getting so much as a scratch.
Their hearts soared with relief.
But their anger, however, remained & Kristoff was the first to express to the gunmen as he grabbed one by the lapels of his shirt & lifted him to eye level. Eugene did the same with another.
"We don't take kindly to those who shoot at our friends or our families, fella!", the former Flynn Rider barked in his face. "If you can understand what I'm saying, you're going to tell us who hired you guys to take us out…right now!"
The man said nothing, his face stony & defiant.
"If we have to get rough with you creeps, we will!", Kristoff adds. "So, we're only going to ask you once more: who was the one that hired you guys to kill us?!"
Again, they were met with silence.
"Have it your way!", Eugene & Kristoff said in unison before twisting the arms of their attackers, causing them to cry out in pain. The two followed it up with a series of punches & kicks to the face & chest, recalling the tactics of Russian police the other day to get them to surrender and/or talk.
"You guys still won't talk?!", Eugene barked, kicking his guy in the chest.
"How about now?!", Kristoff asked, punching his in the face.
The two young men were about to inflict more punishment on their would-be killers until intervention came from Rapunzel, Anna & Elsa.
"Eugene, please stop!", his wife cried to him, getting in front of him.
"Kristoff, that's enough!", Anna pleaded as she & Elsa went to his side.
The Snow Queen whispered in Kristoff's ear so only he & Anna could hear.
"Remember when you & Anna wouldn't let me freeze Koji solid when he threatened our family when Rodan had attacked Fukuoka on Hidemi's birthday? Neither of you wanted me to cross that line, & now we don't want you going down that road either."
This struck a nerve with the iceman, & he relented: he & Anna didn't want Elsa to cross the line, for fear there'd be no return from it once she did.
Now he was about to get near that very boundary, but the sound of the ladies' voices pulled him back from it.
Eugene also rebounded, having Rapunzel by his side.
Both young men dropped their prisoners & backed away as Rapunzel, Anna, Elsa took them over to some chairs for them to sit down. Their families came by their side & comforted them, saying it was okay.
"What did we almost do just now, Kristoff?", Eugene asked him.
Kristoff couldn't answer, being too numb with shock.
"Easy there, boys", Nathan said. "Anyone seeing the people they love being threatened would've reacted in the same way."
"Thankfully, those very same people that love them will always make sure they never cross that line with no hope of return", Patricia adds.
Rapunzel & Anna follow it up by giving their men a passionate kiss that all but melted the tension away.
Kristoff & Eugene smiled along with everyone else despite the harrowing experience.
"Touche", the men said together, getting a quick snuggle from their lady loves.
"Well done, ladies. Very well done", Nikolai said, getting nods from Sergei, Malvina & Boris, along with grins from the rest.
"We're glad there wasn't murder committed by either party, but we do need to know who hired these thugs to try & kill us just now!", Elinor said.
"Elinor is correct", Hidemi said. "Once their boss finds out they failed in their mission, they'll be others to finish what they started – and in greater numbers!"
"And it's best we not be here when reinforcements do arrive.", said Gus. "We've already put these people through enough confusion & fear as it is."
"But where can we go, Mr. Fleming?", Akemi asked. "If we simply go to another hotel, they'll only find us again, & next time, there's bound to be people killed until they succeed."
"At first, I was going to suggest the Kremlin, but because of the delegates' resentment to our papa, that should be the last place for us to take cover at", Emiko said as her sister & parents nodded, including the Arendelle trio.
"I agree, my lisichka", Sergei said. "My fellow delegates would sooner throw you & your friends out as offer any of you sanctuary. And I was going to suggest having you all moved to the Army base where Malvina's stationed at, but considering the situation with the mutagen and Godzilla's blood, that should also be out of the question."
"That's true, Sergei", Merida said. "Until we find out who it was that ordered Viktor to take that sample of the mutagen from Bagorah's severed tail or where Godzilla's blood/tissue samples are located at, we don't know who we can trust over there."
"I was thinking the same thing, Merida", Malvina said. "At this moment, everyone at my base is a suspect & the entire base is in lockdown until we know the answers we seek. Having you people there, however, will only cause even more unrest among the men – something I wish to avoid adding if it can be helped."
"So, is there any place we can take safe refuge at – someplace where there won't be any suspicion or conspiracy dangling over our heads?", Rapunzel asks.
"And someplace that's less public?", Anna adds. "Just like everybody else, I don't want anyone to pay the ultimate price with the one already on our heads."
"Not to worry, Anna", Malvina said. "There is a place where you all can feel safe at. Let's help get your personal belongings gathered & I'll take you to it immediately."
"And what about them?", Elsa says, pointing to their would-be killers.
"Leave them to me & my men, Miss Elsa Sugimoto", Boris said. "Once my people get here, I shall give them the rundown of what happened, & these men will be taken to the station & interrogated thoroughly. We have ways to make suspects talk."
"And Nikolai & myself shall accompany the police colonel in the meantime", Sergei said as Nikolai nodded. "As soon as we get any information from these men, we'll contact you at once."
"That'll work perfectly, Sergei", Tajima said, turning to the Russian colonel. "Let's get moving, Malvina."
Nodding, she leads the three families to the elevators & they get in just as police sirens echoed outside.
The plot was definitely thickening.
The Eurasia 'Steel Peak' Tower, MIBC, Sunday, July 17th, 7:00 a.m.:
Entering their rooms, the Benice, Fleming & Sugimoto families gathered up all their luggage/personal belongings & prepared to get sent over to where they'd be safer from an attack that wasn't in public. Olaf wondered what happened during dinner after the attack by Anguirus & the monster's battle with MOGUERA. Eugene & Kristoff gave the living snowman the details which made him & Pascal gasp in fright. Olaf wished he'd been there with Pascal to teach those Russian thugs a lesson, & Pascal agreed with a nod of his head.
Kristoff & Eugene giggled, saying he couldn't have been seen as it would've raised too much suspicion.
But they were still grateful for him anyway, especially when Olaf said he was glad both of them were all right – and that the girls stopped them from doing something they would've regretted for the rest of their lives.
They had to admit – Olaf truly is smarter than he looks!
As it became time for him to be placed in the travel bag, Olaf got in & laid flat on his back before being zipped up & carried out with the rest of their luggage. Once everyone else was set, Malvina took them to the lobby as Boris & his fellow officers were placing the suspects in the back of a paddy wagon to be taken to the station & interrogated.
The two SUVs the dozen killers rode in would be used to carry the animals' stables, saving a call for the original ones, & would be driven by two of Boris' people. Malvina will be driving the Marshrutka & carry the three families to the Sokolniki District of Moscow – an area with trees that more or less hide private homes from prying eyes. Malvina's was located on the southern part of the lake called Putyayevskiye Prudy, offering a beautiful sight of it & the surrounding landscape.
Malvina assured the three families that only a selected few know the location of her humble abode, & that they'll be safe here. For them, it was reminiscent of when they were forced to go to Los Angeles after the men of Yakuza boss Hisashi Masahiro hit the Sugimoto residence in Tokyo, staying for almost a year in America.
But they trust Malvina, especially since Sergei & Nikolai let her in on their secret; if Malvina says they'll be safe at her home, they have no reason to doubt her.
Even the animals were happy & safe at the Russian colonel's home, & they enjoyed the scenery as much as their human friends do. The same went for Olaf, as Malvina was still in amazement that she could be seeing an actual living, talking snowman, of all things. At first, she found it hard to believe, but knowing she lives in a world with giant monsters & invading aliens that tried to conquer it, she accepted the fact.
She also liked the idea!
Everything could wait to be admired later, however, as they were all exhausted from a hard day & an even rougher evening, what with the strenuous day over at the Kremlin to Anguirus' assault on the country's capital to his defeat by MOGUERA & the attack by a dozen armed killers that have painted targets on their heads.
Finding bedrooms to rest in, the Benice, Fleming & Sugimoto families all thanked Malvina & went to sleep.
Despite their brush with death, they all slept peacefully & soundly.
The same went for Boris Romanoff, Sergei Yeltsin & Nikolai: although they were each still feeling the anger & adrenaline from being shot at & almost killed, they took their suspects over to the station where they would sleep it off before doing so themselves. By 5:30-6:00, they were brought over to the interrogation room where they got what every uncooperative suspect received: the rough treatment featuring arm twisting & getting beaten with the police batons.
Amazingly, they were able to still remain quiet as to who their boss is.
The interrogation went on for over ten minutes until Boris suggested that either they cooperate & give them the name of their ringleader, or they can spend the rest of their lives at a prison in Siberia, where temperatures can drop to a record low of minus 25 degrees. Temperatures like that causes severe frostbite that kills if left untreated, & the pain of it would be no day at the beach before death occurs.
Having that weighing in on their minds, one of the suspects finally broke & gave a name.
It was Kazimir Volkov.
Getting that name was the second silver lining they've gotten to this mystery, following the defeat of Anguirus by MOGUERA. The spiked-shelled monster was still sleeping peacefully after the robot had injected it with a powerful sedative & will be airlifted later on in the day at around 9:00 by a new swarm of Hind helicopters & a bunch of helium balloons to take the beast to the facility on the outskirts of St. Petersburg.
In the meantime, Boris, Sergei & Nikolai need to make a stop-over at the Eurasia 'Steel Peak' Tower in Moscow's MIBC District.
They were there to see a man they've tried to put away for many years, only to fail each time.
Pyotr Lipovsky, the highest-ranking Russian Bratva boss in all of Moscow.
Storming into Pyotr's private office, Boris & his friends were not too surprised to see the man up at this hour as he stared out the window that overlooked the city. From where he stood, he could see the sleeping form of Anguirus as the authorities keep the populace back from the monster until the choppers arrive to take him away.
Pyotr seemed oblivious to the three men that practically forced themselves in, but he did know they were there.
"Hello, Boris Romanoff", Pyotr said without turning around. "And good morning to you. It seems like we're in for a beautiful day, considering events that occurred just last night. Despite circumstances, it is good to see you."
"I'm afraid this isn't a social call, Pyotr", Boris replied. "Like always, I'm here to you on business, & there is something we desperately need to discuss."
Pyotr simply laughed.
"You always were very dedicated to your work, Boris. It's what I've admired about you most", he said, turning to face him & was all but surprised to see who he brought as company. "Mr. Ambassador! This is most unexpected, sir: I am honored to have you pay my humble abode a visit! To what do I owe the pleasure of your presence here, might I ask?"
"Like Boris told you, this visit isn't social, Pyotr", Sergei said. "An attempt on the lives of some very dear friends of mine were made the other night, with the three of us also being on their list."
A look of shock was plastered on Pyotr's face.
"I was unaware of this, Mr. Ambassador!", he said. "I cannot believe there'd be anyone foolish enough to try & take you out, execution-style! But…I'm glad to see that you're doing all right! And…are your friends okay?"
"They are safe…that's all you need to know about them!", Boris said. "And there's only one person in all of this city who would dare to try & assassinate our country's ambassador!"
Pyotr placed a hand over his chest.
"Boris…I'm stunned!", he says. "Why would I ever wish to have our beloved ambassador harmed in any way, shape or form?"
"You tell me!", Boris said back. "Those men were ordered to kill Sergei's friends and him by none other than the man called Kazimir Volkov…who just so happens to be one of your employees!"
A look of intrigue was displayed on Pyotr's face.
"Ah, now I see", he says, nodding.
"So then, you do admit it was you?!", Nikolai says fiercely, going for his gun but was stopped by Sergei.
Pyotr put his hands up to his chest.
"Allow me to explain, if you please", Pyotr says as Boris gave him a 'go ahead' gesture with his hand. "The thing about Kazimir is, you're only half-right: he was one of my employees, 'was' being the operative term. You see, Boris, gentlemen, he is no longer part of my organization because I cut him loose & set him free."
"You fired him?", asked Sergei wondered as Pyotr nodded.
"For what reason? Was he stealing from you?", asked Nikolai.
"Worse", Pyotr explains. "The man is a geneticist: he was performing in the most unorthodox & outrageous kinds of science experiments that was too wild & crazy even for my tastes. A number of people in my employ died too often because of his erratic behavior, so I set him loose & warned that if he ever tried meddling in his horrid experiments in or near Moscow again, I would personally hunt him down & kill him. I guess he didn't heed my warning, did he?"
Hearing Pyotr's words made the hearts of Boris, Sergei & Nikolai beat faster as the pieces of the puzzle were all but falling into place: the theft of Godzilla's blood & tissue, the conspiracy where Malvina Semenov was stationed at concerning the mutagen in Bagorah's severed tail, the modern-day mad scientist, the assassination attempt on their lives & that of their friends from abroad…
It couldn't be a coincidence.
"Pyotr, do you know the whereabouts of any of Kazimir's laboratories?!", Boris asks.
"I can draw up a map from my computer if you'd like", the Bratva boss said.
Smirking, Pyotr did as Boris instructed.
Twelve minutes later:
Pyotr showed Boris, Sergei & Nikolai the map of where the rogue scientist Kazimir Volkov could very well be held up at since the Russian gangster set him loose for his Dr. Frankenstein-like experiments. A few areas displayed in Moscow itself were shown, but Boris & his friends dismissed them because they believed that Kazimir wouldn't dare perform his mad science within city limits: he'd possibly pick an area that was further away & isolated for complete & utter privacy.
It's what Pyotr himself would do, & Boris, Sergei & Nikolai admit they would too.
Even if it was a long shot, Boris & company couldn't take the chance: Pyotr told the trio that Kazimir is a most dangerous man because of his mind, & there's nothing he wouldn't do in accomplishing his goals – including murder.
Getting the information, Boris nodded his head to him before he, Sergei & Nikolai raced back downstairs to get back to their vehicle, never giving Pyotr the chance to say 'good luck' or even 'you're welcome'.
He just simply smiled instead.
Reaching the parking lot, the three men entered Boris' vehicle & drove off into the early morning hours. Along the way, Sergei got on his cell phone & dialed up Malvina.
All he got was a recording message indicating him to leave one, which he does.
"Malvina, it's Sergei!", he says into it. "We may finally have a break in this mystery that ties in with everything that's happening! Please call me as soon as you get this message!"
The Russian Ambassador ends his call & pockets his cell phone.
With what Sergei & his friends in the car fear was coming to Moscow, he only hopes the Russian colonel answers back at her earliest convenience.
Like Boris & Nikolai, Sergei's heart was going faster than the car the police colonel was driving.
Malvina Semenov's home, Sokolniki District, 3:00 p.m.:
Malvina did receive Sergei's phone call on her cell, but not until it was almost noon: everybody was so out of it from last night that they've practically slept like the dead & didn't get up until after the Russian colonel awoke. After they've all fully awakened, dressed & ate brunch, Malvina filled the group in on what she & Sergei discussed, from his meeting with Pyotr Lipovsky & discovering that one of the Bratva boss' former employees – Kazimir Volkov – was a person of interest, being in the field of science & genetics who was all but expelled from both the Russian University where he once taught at and of Pyotr's organization for being too reckless & unorthodox in his work, causing multiple deaths in his experiments.
As Sergei, Nikolai & Boris had predicted, Tajima & the rest were convinced that Kazimir is most likely the main perpetrator of all their problems.
"It does make perfect sense, Malvina!", Tajima said. "Kazimir Volkov's own situation was not much different from Dr. Shinzo Mafune's – a man who was once my teacher before being expelled for his unorthodox works!"
"Was he the same Mafune that wished to control animals, most notably the creature called Titanosaurus?", asked Malvina.
"The very same", Hidemi says. "My husband, his father & a friend of ours named Yoshi had encountered Mafune when they fought the Black Hole Aliens that first time before he & his daughter Katsura were killed, the aliens defeated & Titanosaurus freed from the scientist's control."
"And this Pyotr Lipovsky…he's as dangerous of a Bratva boss as they come, Malvina?", asked Akemi.
It was Gus that answered.
"Describing him that way would be an understatement, love", he said. "He's exactly like Hisashi Masahiro was in Tokyo: starting out as a champion boxer, he then turned to a life of crime in the Russian Bratva until he made his way to the top of the food chain & controlling the family with an iron hand. You want out of the country, he gets you out; you want a good price for high quality merchandise, he pays top dollar for it. As long as you don't cross him, you're in good hands."
"I take it he's never been inside the walls of a prison cell in his life?", Emiko asked.
"Only a jail cell – once", Malvina says. "He was caught robbing food from a convenience store to feed his starving & dying mother out of desperation. By the time the police let him out, she was already gone, succumbing to a sudden heart attack."
"And thus, began his life of crime right to this day", Eugene said.
"With a strong loathing of authority, no less", Rapunzel added.
"On the contrary, Pyotr has a ton of respect for authority", Malvina says, surprising her friends. "Believe it or not, he actually donates to police charities every year, & he doesn't spare any expense on it either. The man has been doing so since rising to the top of the Bratva family."
"Unbelievable", Nathan said. "A top-ranking crime boss who actually supports those that try to bring him down & put him in prison."
"No more unbelievable than a walking, talking snowman, an 18th Century queen that can project ice & snow on a whim, or a young princess whose hair can heal instantly, don't you think", Patricia says with a grin, winking at said queen & princess.
"She's got us there, Elsa", Rapunzel says.
"That she does", Elsa replied, sharing a smile with her friend.
"Everybody's got everybody here", Olaf said to Pascal, standing on a table ledge. "I don't see any clear winners in this – do you?"
The little chameleon put his front paws in an 'I don't know' gesture & shook his head.
"But in any case, we've finally got ourselves a big break & a solid lead", Kristoff said. "We have a suspect with obvious motives who used to work for Russia's top Bratva boss, & who is believed to be responsible for hiring several Russians in taking Godzilla's blood & tissue to use for killing the creature – no doubt with their MOGUERA robot – and now your own Russian military are undoubtedly preparing to use those samples to kill Godzilla with his own bodily fluids in a poisonous concoction…did I leave anything out?"
"There's the Russian delegates who have absolutely no love for Tajima, no matter how much they try to deny our accusations", Merida adds. "I don't care what they say: it sounds to me like they're as responsible for this mess as much as that Kazimir creep."
"I'm beginning to suspect the same thing, Merida, but unfortunately we can't prove that yet", Elsa said. "To go & accuse a country's delegates of committing a crime without any hard evidence could cause an international incident, & we didn't come here to start a war, let alone sever their ties with a foreign land."
"Point taken, Elsa", Malvina said. "The last thing my country & I want is to begin another Cold War with another nation, be it America or elsewhere. And while I have my suspicions of my land's delegates, I'd rather concentrate first & foremost on apprehending Kazimir Volkov. He currently poses the biggest threat to us."
"Any word from Boris & the others yet, Malvina?", Patricia asked.
"Now that we have a suspect and a probable location, they are currently formulating a battle plan to take Kazimir into custody. He, Sergei or Nikolai will contact me once they're ready, but we'll probably move out by nightfall."
"For a raid like this, that probably is the best time to implement one, using the cover of darkness as your ally", said Nathan, getting nods from all.
"Until then, Miss Elsa Sugimoto, Gus & Merida Fleming better get themselves ready for tonight", Malvina said. "I have a feeling we're going to need some…special assistance on this mission."
The trio looked to each other & smiled with a nod.
"Looks like we're part of the Russian military, kids…albeit briefly!", Gus joked.
"We'll take it, Gus!", Elsa replied.
"Come on, Elsa!", Merida says. "Let's go get our gear ready, & I'll even be glad to teach you some moves while we're at it!"
"Let's get started then, sensei!", Elsa says, getting giggles from the two as they rise & head for their rooms.
The group watched Elsa & Merida go to prepare themselves for the coming fight later this evening. Although the rest have great fears for their safety, they were also very proud of them for doing what they were very good at: Merida Fleming in being a field agent same as Gus, & Elsa Sugimoto as a member of the Mechagodzilla crew as christened by General Ronald Len Ernie of the United States Army & Commander Yoshi Shimazaki of the Japanese Self-Defense Forces; even though she won't be inside Godzilla's robot double for this mission, Elsa still knows her duty just like any other soldier in the field.
Merida & Elsa trained with each other until the call Malvina was waiting for arrived.
Zhostovskoye, north of Moscow next to the Canal, 9:00 p.m.:
Malvina told her friends she had business at her military base, thus she excused herself & headed there as Elsa, Merida & Gus prepared themselves for the oncoming raid in the evening. Once she arrived, she demanded a thorough inspection of the tanks that MOGUERA uses when injecting monsters like Anguirus by the robot's needles; if there is a tank or two of Godzilla's blood/tissue samples stored within, questions will be raised that demand answers as to whom obtained such a substance & where. The inspection/interrogation lasted throughout most of the daylight hours, with all personnel coming clean as nobody received any such thing.
Her inspection of each tank for MOGUERA came up empty: each one was filled up with nothing but tranquilizer fluid to put monsters to sleep – nothing toxic or deadly was found in the whole stash.
Disappointed as she was, Malvina lifted the lockdown on the base, convinced that no one's responsible for having Godzilla's blood/tissue samples on the premises.
She was disappointed in not finding it, however, but put it aside as she called Boris on her cell phone.
Once Malvina was done speaking to Boris, Sergei & Nikolai, she then relayed all the information to the Benice, Fleming & Sugimoto families of the plan by a map of Moscow on her laptop computer screen: based on the info Pyotr Lipovsky handed to Boris, Kazimir is said to be hidden inside a house located in the area of Zhostovskoye, which was on Moscow's northern part, right next to the city-names canal.
Using heavily-armed Mil Mi-35 Hind helicopters with rotors that can be switched to stealth mode to cover their approach, they will touch down near the edge of the canal & their target.
Assisting Malvina Semenov, Elsa Sugimoto, Gus & Merida Fleming were a group of men dressed in light gray military fatigues & black boots, each of them carrying loaded automatic rifles, clips, grenades, knives & other kinds of weapons/equipment. Malvina Semenov, Gus & Merida Fleming were also dressed in this attire, but with Merida, she's carrying her specially-made bow with a quiver of equally specialized arrows strapped around her shoulder.
Elsa Sugimoto, on the other hand, wore her Mechagodzilla crew suit of black & blue, with boots to match. Elsa packed her MG suit & equipment for her trip to Russia in case such a situation for it came up.
It turned out to be the right choice to make.
A metal case rested next to her by her feet.
The second Hind carried Sergei, Nikolai & all the rest with Maximus, Sven & Angus in the rear. The animals also have a purpose on the mission: to assist the Russian soldiers in surrounding the house & apprehend anyone trying to escape the premises. In the third/fourth chopper were all Russian soldiers, armed to the teeth & ready to deploy once they touch down.
Nobody could believe that Mugal's mutagen would still exist after the defeat of him & his people in December & cause trouble for the world: the thought of a scientist – a mentally unstable one – in possession of something so potent & deadly in creating new monsters was frightening enough without thinking of it being in the hands of the mafia, be it Bratva, Yakuza or any other crime family.
It's what they're here to prevent from happening.
At least they got Anguirus out of the city, Merida thought, seeing that the spiked creature was airlifted at 9:00 by more large helium-filled balloons & towed towards St. Petersburg to have him placed in a holding pen – the same kind Baragon will be placed in.
At least Olaf is safe back at Malvina's house, Elsa thought, glad the snowman isn't on this mission with them.
Having a walking, talking snowman would probably freak the men out more than whatever the mutagen could create from another living thing.
The quiet was eerie, so Elsa decided to stir up some conversation before the main event.
"So, these Russian 'Spetsnaz' as you call them…they're an extended branch of your country's military?", she asked.
"Very much so, Elsa", Malvina says. "They began in 1950, five years since World War II ended & saw action in numerous operations: the Soviet War in Afghanistan from 1979-1983, 'Operation: Magistral' from late November 1987 to early January 1988, & the two Chechen Wars, to name a few. They tackle missions too daring for regular police to handle, & train constantly to always ensure success when all else fails."
"They certainly sound like an elite fighting force, Malvina!"
The Russian colonel smiled at that, as did Gus, Merida and Elsa.
"So you weren't able to find Godzilla's blood/tissue samples anywhere at your base, Malvina?", Elinor asked as the thought suddenly popped in her head.
"Not a single trace, Elinor Fleming", Malvina replied. "There haven't been any new tranquilizer fluid shipments since the very beginning of this month, & we're not expecting another until the beginning of August. There's only one place where it is residing at."
"Do you suppose that Kazimir may have Godzilla's blood & tissue samples, planning on using it to kill the beast himself?", Gus wondered.
"That's exactly what I'm thinking of, Gus Fleming. We'll find out for certain once we get Kazimir into custody."
The overhead radio came on at that time, announcing the troops in Russian. Elsa & Merida saw the troops loading their weapons & checking them, making sure they were in perfect working order. The girls didn't need a translation to know that showtime was about to start.
"This is it, Elsa! You ready?", Merida asked.
"Indeed I am, Merida!", Elsa replied, opening her case & taking out the two guns Yoshi made for her that enables the Snow Queen to freely use her power without anyone ever guessing that it comes from her, not the guns.
Closing the case, Elsa slides her hands into her hollow weapons.
Malvina was impressed: her friend Yoshi made the perfect weapon for the Snow Queen to use, which isn't even operative but used as something of an illusion to hide the real trick within.
Very clever, Yoshi!, the Russian colonel thought.
The Hinds landed a minute later on a patch of land between two lanes of walkways, their blades causing the trees to sway but hardly making a sound as they opened their ramps & spill out their passengers both authoritarian & civilian, including Maximus, Sven & Angus. As the Spetsnaz led by Malvina race stealthily towards the house, Boris sets up a table, his laptop & a miniature radar upon it. Typing several keys, he gets a 3-D diaphragm of the target house from the attic to the basement, displaying every room. Next to the diaphragm was a counter that measured the density of certain objects.
In this case, it was the mutagen: if there is any within the house, the radar scanner was sure to pick it up.
"We are set, Professor Sugimoto", Boris said. "We'll be able to see what goes on inside, plus know the location of the mutagen – if it's really in there."
"If any residue of it is inside, Boris, it needs to be completely destroyed, so that not even a drop of it can remain", said Tajima. "Either burn it to ashes or Elsa's freeze guns can render it in ice."
"Sounds perfect. We're ready to begin."
As Boris spoke on the radio to Malvina on her end, Elinor, Hidemi, Akemi, Emiko, Kristoff & Anna each became very worried about the whole operation, especially for Gus, Merida & Elsa, who were about to commence with a most dangerous assignment that had no guarantees. Patricia, Nathan, Eugene, Rapunzel, Sergei & Nikolai all did their best to comfort them.
"Try not to be too worried for them, Elinor, Hidemi", Patricia says, taking their hands. "Gus & Merida are very well-trained & can handle anything that comes their way."
"And Elsa's no pushover either", Nathan adds. "It may not look like it to some, but she can handle herself."
"Plus, she's with Malvina, Gus and Merida", Rapunzel says. "With them watching her back, Elsa's going to do fine. You'll see."
"They won't let anything happen to Elsa, & vice versa", Eugene adds. "She couldn't be in better hands."
"Mr. Eugene Benice is correct, ladies", Sergei assured Akemi & Emiko, taking their hands in his. "Like Merida & Gus Fleming, Elsa Sugimoto knows the risks involved & believes in what she's doing. She asks that you all believe in her as well. Would you do that?"
"Hai", Akemi & Emiko said in unison, nodding.
Sergei smiled & kept the two Japanese sisters close to him for comfort & reassurance.
"Ganbatte, Elsa", Emiko & Akemi say.
The others offered their own silent prayers for a successful mission.
At the outer perimeter:
Malvina raised a fist to halt the advance of her Spetsnaz troops, their weapons trained at their target. Maximus, Sven & Angus also halt in their steps.
Gus, Merida & Elsa were right by her side, their own weapons ready.
"We made it to the house, love", Gus said. "Now to find out if that mutagen's inside."
Nodding, Malvina got on the radio with the police colonel.
"Boris, any sighting on that mutagen yet?", she asked in her tongue.
"Not a trace of it, Malvina", Boris replied. "However, we can see several people inside the house, all armed to the teeth. It's a good bet they're security to make sure that nobody gets to it, let alone Kazimir himself."
"They're about to be disappointed. Notify me the moment you get a signal on that mutagen. Out."
Malvina gave Gus, Merida & Elsa a quick rundown in English.
"With that many guards in the house, it leaves little doubt that both Kazimir and his precious prize are inside!", said Merida.
"Time to take his toys away, people!", Elsa said, getting nods from all. "Merida…care to be a lady & knock on the door for us?"
The redhead smiled as she took an arrow from her quiver.
"I thought you'd never ask, Elsa!", she says, getting herself into position & pulling back on her bowstring.
With precise aiming, Merida lets her arrow fly at the rear door which explodes with a blast that obliterates it into splinters, killing those stationed there.
"My squadron…move in!", Malvina ordered as her assigned team of Spetsnaz follow her inside the house.
"Showtime, kids!", Gus says, following Malvina & her troops into the rear door, dodging bullets along the way from men that were already opening fire at their intruders from windows on each floor. Merida had shot several regular arrows at their assailants, scoring a bullseye every time. Elsa used her ice power to create ice blocks on the windows to prevent any more from shooting at them from above or from ground level.
Making it to the rear entrance with no further snipers, the group took care of those on approach before entering the premises, splitting up & taking out whatever hired gun was present. Malvina, Gus, Merida & Elsa stayed as one as they pummeled, shot & put the freeze on each enemy they came in contact with; Elsa used her power to block doorways which would prevent any further gunmen from advancing upon them; Malvina, Gus & Merida used their weapons to bring down enemy after enemy from a distance, using hand-to-hand fighting skills on those that got too close.
Gus took on seven armed killers, using nothing except his hands & feet: punching a few, kicking others & body-flipping the rest; Merida used her own fighting skills to take down foes in close quarter combat. When one grabbed her from behind in a choke hold, she used her elbow to buffet him in the ribs to release her. Turning, she laid a right fist in his Adam's Apple, crushing it & cutting off his windpipe as the man gurgled on his own blood.
"Choke on that!", Merida snapped at the man, who fell dead to the floor.
From behind, Elsa was grabbed by a man who held a knife to her throat. Gus, Merida & Malvina turned & aimed their weapons at him, but the man holding Elsa hostage shook his head & pressed the knife to her throat, indicating that he will slit her open if they try to take a shot. The Snow Queen had other ideas: aiming her left gun down, she shot her ice onto the man's left foot & part of his leg, the intense cold causing him to cry out in pain as he loosened his grip on Elsa before she broke free, leaving him open to an arrow in his chest, courtesy of Merida Fleming.
The man fell dead on his back, with one foot/leg encased in ice.
"Are you all right, Elsa?", Merida asked.
"I'm not bleeding, if that's what you mean", Elsa said as the redhead sighed a relief.
"Hate to spoil the fun, kids, but we're getting nowhere at this rate!", Gus said.
"I agree, Gus", Malvina said, getting on her radio & speaking in her tongue. "Boris, any word yet on where that mutagen is located?"
"You're in luck, Malvina!", Boris replied. "While it was brief, we did get a glimpse of it from somewhere down in the basement! It's in a room that somehow blocks any radar surveillance, but we caught a group of people exiting that very room & are now making their way topside! You need to get through the living room to the door on the other side of that hallway, but there are armed guards on the upper floor on both sides waiting to cut you down!"
Malvina stared down the hallway past aforementioned living room & spotted the door Boris spoke of.
"Da, I see it! Don't worry, Boris: we'll take care of the guards & get to that door! Malvina out!"
The Russian colonel explained the situation to her friends in capsule form.
"So, all we have to do is get past second-floor killers in order to reach the door on the far side?", Gus asked.
"Pretty much", Malvina said with a smirk.
"Nothing we can't handle, Malvina!", Merida said, smiling as she faced Elsa. "So, Snow Queen, which side do you prefer…left, or right?"
"You take the left, & I'll take the right!", Elsa said, grinning.
Merida grinned herself, when they heard the door down the hall open up as several people in white lab coats were emerging from the basement & saw Malvina & her friends.
"You men…stop right there!", Malvina shouted at them.
Her words gave the opposite effect: the lab coats ran for the nearest exit to escape the chaos inside. Elsa raised her right gun & fired her ice at the last man, freezing his shoes to the floor & keeping him stuck there.
"That won't hold him for long, Merida!", Elsa says. "If we're going to do this, it needs to be now!"
Merida nodded before both ladies ran towards the open area of the living room, where guards were waiting for them on the second-floor balcony, their weapons aimed down. As soon as they reached the living room, both ladies had slid down on the smooth floor while firing their weapons: Elsa used her ice to erect a blockade on the right side, while Merida fired arrows in rapid succession at each target on the left balcony, scoring a bullseye each time.
By the time they reached the other side, all enemies on the balconies were incapacitated by ice & arrow.
Viewing their handiwork, Malvina & Gus grinned & nodded.
"Told you they could do it, love!", Gus joked, making Malvina giggle.
"I've never doubted them", she said in return.
Merida & Elsa share a giggle between them, along with a high-five.
Having their fun, the quartet turn to the trapped lab rat & get to business: with a hard yank, Gus tore the man off the floor where Elsa trapped him at & slammed him against the wall where the door they emerged from was. Next to the knob was an electrical pad with numbers, indicating that the door could only be opened by a specific combination.
And this man Gus held captive knew it.
"What's the combination to this door?!", he barked in Russian to his face.
When he didn't answer, Gus asked again, louder & more threateningly.
Too scared to resist, the man said he'll open it & Gus let him go.
With a yank of his hands, the man ripped the electrical pad off the wall & threw it to the ground.
"You stupid wanker!", Gus growled, throwing the man down the hall as he slid to a stop twenty feet away.
"No worries, Gus…we'll just open it my way!", Merida said, getting an explosive arrow as the group got back to where Gus threw the lab rat before pulling back on her bow & letting it fly. The blast obliterated the door, exposing a stone staircase that turned as one descended. The Russian lab rat got up to see an entrance with no door blocking it just before Merida gave him a hard right boot to his face, knocking him down & out.
Malvina & her group were joined by several of her Spetsnaz soldiers, ordering one of them to remove the lab rat & take him into custody.
As he did so, the others went down the stairs, weapons drawn.
The basement laboratory:
Kazimir Volkov watched the battle on his small monitor, displeased with what he was bearing witness to. He is an average-built man, wearing a white lab coat, black pants & shoes like his fellow scientists. The spiked blonde hair on his head reflected his wild/crazy personality, & he wore round bifocals over his eyes. Several scientific instruments were placed everywhere, including a test tube tray with six glass tubes placed in it: one in particular contained a baby pink liquid inside that was filled nearly to the rim on the surface.
The man banged his fist on the table, rattling his tubes & other items.
For months, he's worked on ways of improving the mutagen he received from the severed tail of Bagorah before it was ordered to have it destroyed, giving him an ample amount to experiment on.
Now it was in danger of being taken all away from him by the Russian Spetsnaz, along with three foreigners – a man with a peppered beard, a young lady with crimson hair that can shoot arrows like there's no tomorrow, & another female with guns that can shoot ice at a whim.
"Nyet!", Kazimir says, staring at the test tube containing his precious mutagen sample. "They can't take you away from me! I won't allow it, you hear me?! I won't allow it! You belong to me...you are mine, & nobody else's! If they wish to take you away, I'm not giving you up without a fight! I've worked too hard all these months to lose you in the end! No…I'm not going to make it easy for them, you understand me?!"
The sound of an explosion also rocked the house as the basement door was blown away, allowing the Spetsnaz & those three foreigners access to the lower level & to the lab.
Kazimir can hear the sound of footsteps coming closer, followed by the strong female voice on the other side of the lab door as she pounds on it.
"Kazimir Volkov!", she barked. "We know you're in there! Open this door immediately! You have ten seconds to comply before we break it down!"
Looking around frantically, Kazimir saw no way to dispose of it safely that would assure him to be reunited with it at a later time. His heart racing, he stared at the mutagen in the tube & thought of the one & only way to be sure he wouldn't lose it.
With no time to lose, he implemented his idea.
Five seconds later, Malvina kicked in the door with her foot as she, her Spetsnaz, Gus, Merida & Elsa all entered the lab, each one pointing their weapons at the lone scientist that stood in the middle of the room.
Amazingly, he seemed calm with his hands in plain sight & even wore a smile on his face.
"Put your hands up, Kazimir…right now!", Malvina demanded in her tongue.
Kazimir made no attempt to follow her orders as Malvina looked around for any sign of the mutagen when her radio came on.
"Malvina, is the mutagen in the room with you?", Boris' voice says. "We can find no trace of it anywhere on our scanners!"
"And I don't see it in plain sight from where I stand either, Boris!", Malvina said. "All I can see is an empty test tube where I assume it used to be in!"
"Is Kazimir there with you?"
"Da! I'll ask him where he put it!"
The transmission ended as Malvina turned to the still-smiling scientist.
"Ah, Miss Malvina Semenov of the Russian Red Army! How good it is to see you in my humble abode!", Kazimir says in a nonchalant manner.
"Where did you hide it, Kazimir?!", she demanded.
Kazimir chuckled as if this was all a big joke to him for his own amusement.
"You'd better hand it over, son – if you know what's good for you!", Gus says in flawless Russian.
"I'm afraid it's too late for that now!", Kazimir said. "As for your question before, dear Malvina…the mutagen is where it's always destined to be!"
Even if neither could understand the Russian language, Merida & Elsa can tell that something was terribly wrong with their current situation, & the hairs on the back of their necks started to prickle.
They all saw Kazimir lick his lips with a sinister smile, & the truth of the matter hits hard.
"Not bad, really…it's almost like a milk shake!", Kazimir says.
He drank it! The crazy fool drank the mutagen!, Malvina thought with dread.
Closing his eyes, Kazimir removed his bifocals. When he reopened them, they were solid red with yellow irises & black pupils. The eyes of Malvina, Gus & the rest go wide in shock upon seeing their transformation.
When Kazimir spoke next, it sounded like he was possessed by a demon.
"And now, time for a little…chaos!", he said, revealing teeth that suddenly went sharp just before his entire body went bulging as Kazimir ripped through his clothes & started growing.
"Everyone out…now!", Malvina shouted in her tongue to her Spetsnaz.
"Come on, kids!", Gus said to Merida & Elsa.
Nobody had to be told twice: everyone in the lab exited the room in a haste as they made their way up the stairs & on ground floor level, racing for the exit out of the house. Even at a distance, they could hear the sounds of reforming bones & flesh mixed in with animalistic roars.
On Boris' radar screen, he & Tajima can see readings on the mutagen abruptly spike.
"Malvina! The mutagen has reappeared on our scanners – in massive readings! What's happening down there?!", Boris said to her.
His answer & that of everyone else came in the sounds of the house getting damaged, followed by scenes of the Spetsnaz & their prisoners running out of the house as windows bust outwards in broken shards. The façade was also showing signs of breaking apart, & those from outside – including Maximus, Sven & Angus – backed away from the house when pieces of it started flying.
"Where's Gus & Merida?!", Elinor said, deeply worried for her husband & daughter.
"And Elsa!", the Sugimoto family said.
"And Malvina!", the Benice family says.
Sergei & Nikolai were also deeply worried for the welfare of their friends, seeing the house beginning to crumble into debris as something from inside was causing its demise. From within the house, Malvina, Gus, Merida & Elsa ran for all their worth to escape the rubble falling all over them. Spotting a window minus its glass, Merida pointed to it & the quartet put on a burst of extra speed to jump through & out the window just before the house was brought down in a cloud of dust & debris.
Angus, Sven & Maximus came rushing to their aide, & Merida & Gus hopped on the Clydesdale, with Elsa doing the same on the reindeer. Malvina hitched a ride on the Andalusian, & they carried them further away from the carnage & back to the group safe & sound, with only a very few cuts & scrapes.
Before any hugs of relief could commence, the sound of a large creature caught everyone's attention, & they each saw a huge shape move in the dust cloud of what remained of Kazimir's home.
Sergei, Nikolai & Boris say 'oh my god' in their language when the dust cleared & their eyes went wide & gasped when they & everybody else saw what emerged from the wreckage: it was a huge 55-meter tall gorilla with crimson fur covering its body, dark grey feet, hands, chest & head. Its hair on top was long & spiked like Kazimir's was, with a bit of white mixed in with the red. A mouth of sharp teeth glistened in the night, as did the yellow & red eyes.
Like some wicked version of the movie monster King Kong, this gorilla bellowed out an animalistic roar while pounding its chest that could be heard from even the Moscow city limits. The Spetsnaz outside what remained of the house began bombarding the monster that was once mad scientist Kazimir Volkov, shooting at him with their machine guns, hand-held RPGs & even lobbing grenades that explode against the creature's flesh.
None of these even started to bring the monster down.
Malvina shouted at her squadron not to fight the beast but to get away.
Her warning wasn't heeded: the men were too scared to listen, & they all unleashed on the monster which turned with amazing speed for something so huge & raised its fists before bringing them down, squashing several Spetsnaz & tossing the rest like leaves in the wind. The shaking of the ground from the beast's fists was felt even from where Tajima & the others stood, & they nearly fell themselves.
People living in the area were running scared from their own homes as they felt the ground shake, followed by the appearance of the red-furred gorilla creature that has invaded their territory.
Sergei, Nikolai, Malvina, Boris & the rest watching the chaos of the monster felt their stomachs plunged with a sick dread of seeing their Russian comrades getting literally pummeled & even picked up & eaten by the creature which was Kazimir Volkov. The ladies turned from the horrible sight of Spetsnaz being consumed like they were French Fries in the beast's maw.
This creature caused exactly what Kazimir promised – chaos.
And that is what they shall name this terrible monster.
Spetsnaz that were smart enough to run away from the monster raced to get back to the Hind helicopters when Chaos spotted the fleeing tidbits & roared while beating his chest, ready to head over & do the same to them like he'd done to their other comrades that were squished and/or eaten.
It also meant that the Benice, Fleming, Sugimoto families & their Russian friends would also meet the same fate, & Elsa doubted that even her ice power would slow down Chaos, much less defeat him.
Chaos takes a step or two before the ground began to rumble again, this time not of his doing: the rumbling goes on for five minutes before the water started churning at a widened area of the Moscow Canal right next to Stepan'kovo at three separate locations, two of them being closer to each other than the one in front, which was about 70 meters away. All eyes – human & monster – watched as three rows of spiked dorsal plates surfaced before a huge mountain of flesh & bone rose up, waist-deep with large powerful forearms & a dinosaurian feral head.
It was a creature the whole world was familiar with.
"Gojira!", Tajima, Hidemi, Akemi & Emiko said.
"Godzilla!", Everyone else said in their native tongue, from Russian to English.
For the second time ever, Godzilla has appeared in Russia.
The Moscow Canal, between Stepan'kovo & Zhostovskoye:
Rivulets of water ran down Godzilla's tree bark hide as his tail lifted up & splashed into the canal, causing waves which reached shore & dampened the riverbanks several yards. Behind him were two more churning areas in the canal, each of which revealed a large hominoid creature: one with green hair, the other in brown.
"Gaira!", Merida said.
"Sanda!", Elinor said.
Both gargantuan siblings unleashed roars that echoed throughout the area, followed immediately by Godzilla's own blaring & boisterous bellow, the sound reaching even that of Moscow itself. Chaos responds in kind, accepting a challenge by the three monsters that appeared in Russian territory. He was also the first to act: inhaling deeply, Chaos ran full throttle at the newcomers while inhaling deeply. When he got close to Godzilla, he unleashed a glob of a lime-green substance from his mouth that hit Godzilla in the face, neck & chest that began to sizzle where it landed.
Even from their point of view, the group could see the revolting/disgusting display.
"Okay…that's just plain gross!", Eugene said as the others nodded.
Godzilla roared in pain & surprise from this attack as Chaos made a powerful leap that took him soaring through the air with grace as he curled himself into a living cannonball, striking the Monster King in the head with such strength that actually knocked the creature off-balance. Chaos rebounded from the hit & landed on the Moscow Canal's edge as Godzilla submerged beneath the surface. The red-furred gorilla launched two more puke attacks at Gaira & Sanda, but the two gargantuan siblings dodged & weaved out of the way, hitting only water & patches of deserted soil, sizzling as it touched. Both siblings swam to shore after Chaos, who launched several more puke attacks, each of which never hit their targets.
Seeing the futility of it, Chaos took several steps back as Gaira & Sanda came ashore, sizing up their new – and very disgusting – enemy.
Chaos taunted Gaira & Sanda with barks & hand gestures, goading them into a fight as the two siblings did the same in return.
Believing things were about to get chaotic, Tajima suggested that everyone get back to the Hind choppers & get airborne before it all hits the fan.
"I agree, professor Sugimoto!", Boris said as they pack up the equipment. "Let's get to the choppers, everyone!"
Malvina said the same thing to any surviving Spetsnaz, & they all boarded the Hinds without hesitation.
"Come on, kids…this is their ballgame now!", Gus said to Merida & Elsa as they nodded & boarded a chopper with his wife Elinor Fleming, Malvina & several of the Spetsnaz.
The Benice & Sugimoto families, along with Boris Romanoff, Sergei Yeltsin, Nikolai, Maximus, Sven & Angus all boarded into another chopper as the ramps closed shut. Pascal remained on Rapunzel's shoulder the whole time, witnessing an event which put him on edge like it did everyone else.
With their passengers aboard, the quartet of helicopters took to the air & gained a high altitude to keep out of the reach of any of the monsters that have invaded Russian soil.
All except for one: this Hind actually turned & went in the direction of the monsters to face them, wanting to give both support & cover to his fellow choppers. Malvina instructed her pilots to get in contact with the lone hero & have the Hind going in the direction of the monsters to open fire only on the red-furred gorilla, & not on Gaira or Sanda.
Her pilots acknowledged her order & did so immediately.
Fortunately, the lone Hind that decided to fight instead of flee opened up on Chaos once he was in range: round after round of high velocity bullets from the GSh-23L cannon struck the red-furred gorilla's back, followed by a round of 9K114 Shturm anti-tank missiles from its wing pods. Receiving their instructions, the pilots poured on the firepower & let Chaos have it with everything they've got. Powerful explosions peppered the gorilla's body as he was struck with gunfire & missiles that would destroy a hill in moments.
But for a monster like Chaos, it only infuriated him: turning with a speed that stunned the pilots, the red-furred ape leaped up & extended his right hand at the whirlybird, snatching it before it could fly off or out of reach. Systems went haywire in the cockpit as the pilots called for a mayday seconds before Chaos crushed it like somebody would do with a raw egg, killing its occupants as the remains fell to the ground in crushed, charred wreckage.
Malvina & the others cringed at the sight, seeing comrades getting snuffed out in the blink of an eye.
Chaos' attack on the chopper left him vulnerable to an attack from Gaira & Sanda: with his back turned, the two gargantuan siblings ran towards & made a tackle on their red-furred foe, bringing him to the ground as they began a fierce fist fight that would put pro boxer Mike Tyson to shame. Each fist that struck felt like tons of steel against their faces or anywhere else they've made contact with as animalistic growls bellowed loudly in the immediate area.
Even though it was two against one, Chaos put up a very decent & violent fight as he fended off & fought back on two opponents simultaneously, equally taking hits as well as dishing them out.
But being on the ground & getting pummeled wasn't what Chaos – the former Kazimir Volkov – had planned on in causing his terrible reign, & if he is to really commit to his rampage, he needs to do it on his feet & elsewhere.
Luckily, the mind of Kazimir was still within Chaos' monstrous body, & 'feet' is what he uses to get his enemies off: snatching Gaira & Sanda by the wrist in each hand, Chaos gave both siblings a swift, powerful kick in their solar plexus which knocked them back several meters, enabling him to get back upon his own. Gaira & Sanda got up almost as immediately as Chaos did, & the two stared at the red-furred gorilla with a hatred that was as primal & savage as any wild animal.
Baring their teeth, the three combatants as Chaos' stomach made a rumbling that could be heard by all within the vicinity. Driving his head back slightly, Chaos suddenly threw it forward & unleashed a large chunk of his disgusting lime-green puke attack at his two enemies. Gaira & Sanda dodged the blast, giving Chaos time he needed to turn & run off, heading south. The two gargantuan siblings immediately took off after their red-furred foe, heading south.
Just as they departed, Godzilla reemerged from beneath the Moscow Canal & bellowed an ear-shattering roar in which all but drowned out the noise of the choppers & was audible even from within.
"Quick…get us out of here!", Boris instructed as Malvina did the same to her own pilots. The Russian & police colonel also told them to notify city authorities of the monsters' approach, as their current path will take them directly into Moscow.
The pilots obeyed as they turned their birds around & headed south while contacting the Moscow authorities of what's heading their way.
Emitting another but shorter guttural roar, Godzilla was suddenly hit by something his sixth sense picked up – it was a distant but familiar presence he'd felt previously & instantly recognized. Turning his head towards the retreating helicopters, he felt this presence from the one on the far left & was astonished to have felt it here in this strange land he visited only once before.
His behavior did not go unnoticed by the helicopters' passengers, as they stared back at the King of the Monsters eyeing one particular chopper.
"He knows you're here…doesn't he, Elsa?", Merida asked, looking directly at the Snow Queen.
Elsa didn't try to hide it, so she nodded.
"Yes, Merida…he certainly does", she says, looking back at Godzilla through the window with Merida.
Malvina turned to Gus & Elinor.
"How…how is that even possible?", the Russian colonel asked.
"We don't know where to begin with that, Malvina", Elinor says.
"For some reason beyond our comprehension, love, Godzilla's able to detect Elsa's presence – most notably her power", Gus explained. "He's been able to do that since New Year's Day evening in Tokyo only last year."
Those in the other chopper also deduced what was already a fact.
"Mama, papa, Godzilla knows that she's here!", Emiko asked in her mother tongue.
"He's probably just as surprised to sense her presence here in Russia as we all are in seeing him!", Hidemi said.
Tajima simply nodded.
"Papa, do you suspect that Godzilla knew somehow that the mutagen was here in Russia?", Akemi asked.
"It's very possible, Akemi", Tajima said. "After hitting Pyongyang in North Korea, he & the two gargantuas may have followed their instincts which lead them here to Russia, thus somehow catching scent of the Black Hole Aliens' mutagen Kazimir Volkov was experimenting on."
Tajima glanced out the window at Godzilla with his family.
"I'm guessing he never knew that he'd sense Elsa here, & her presencecaught him off-guard", he finished.
Kristoff, Anna & the Benice family suspected the same thing, not needing a translation to piece it all together on their own: every time Godzilla was in close proximity of Elsa, a feeling of uncertainty washed over them, never knowing which way it could take. Even the times when Elsa assisted Godzilla in dealing with threats like Biollante in Nagoya or against Mecha-King Ghidorah & Gigan in Los Angeles did nothing to put them at ease; their relationship has always been rocky at best, & all it takes to have it go further south is a simple error on either side.
Not knowing what to say, Kristoff, Anna, Eugene, Rapunzel, Patricia, Nathan, Sergei & Nikolai stay quiet.
The choppers continue going south towards Moscow – and the fast-approaching monsters.
Godzilla also followed the caravan of helicopters & monster trio heading for Russia's capital, traveling along the canal before going onto land & went down the same route Gaira, Sanda & Chaos took.
All he had to do was follow the trail of destruction they left in their wake, beginning with the flattened houses in Klyaz'ma, Ostashkova & other districts.
People scrambled to get out of Godzilla's path as they did with Chaos, Gaira & Sanda.
At a hidden Russian base:
Word of mouth on Godzilla's arrival on Russian soil hit the base & spread like a cancer, getting soldiers ready for the conflict they've prepared to commence with for many months, years even. Three men in particular were ordered to pilot/operate MOGUERA & send it into battle against the Monster King; despite the couple of damaged areas on the robot from their battle with Anguirus, MOGUERA was still fully operational & more than able to get the job done. A new syringe in MOGUERA's left cone was replaced after Anguirus destroyed the other, & the injection pumps were all working at 100% capacity.
The pilots/operators of MOGUERA were given the task to battle Godzilla & bring him down just as they did the spiked quadruped.
Only in this case, they're to bring the beast down in a more permanent manner – one Godzilla is not expected to wake up from. These three pilots weren't the ones that brought Anguirus down: little did anyone know, the commander of this trio fixed it so that he & his two cohorts would be the ones to pilot the robot & defeat the King of the Monsters.
Their mission was to kill Godzilla – even if it meant forfeiting their own lives, something they knew in advance.
Getting into the robot's cockpit & taking their seats, the MOGUERA crew checked their instruments & found no malfunctions anywhere; everything is in perfect working order, & fuel gauges/weapons systems all read 100%.
MOGUERA was ready for action.
The command center crew gave the order to lift off.
Strapped into their seats, the crew was jarred by the sudden roar of MOGUERA's rockets as the 120-meter robot lifted into the air & out into the open sky before making its way towards their destined target.
The moment of truth was upon them.
None of them intended to fail.
Between Afanasovo & Belyaninovo, fifteen minutes later:
Godzilla traveled along the grove of trees, knocking down & flattening them with ease as each step he took was like the pounding of a vengeful spirit – something the Monster King was often referred to as. Birds in the brush took to the sky to escape the monster as their sanctuary became razed into splinters by the 100-meter tall creature.
His trek through the woods went uninterrupted until Godzilla heard the sound of jets coming closer, & he turned to see the form of a silver & blue robot flying in a horizontal position before it rights itself & hovers 140 meters from the ground. Godzilla stared intently at the robot which sported cone hands, yellow eyes, metal cone drill/beak & large treads underneath its feet. Slowly but surely, the robot – MOGUERA – lowered itself to the ground, crushing any foliage underneath its massive weight as it lands 200 meters from where Godzilla stood.
The Monster King never took his eyes off it, & they narrowed in suspicion as he emitted a low growl.
MOGUERA's crew stared back on the monitors inside the robot's cockpit.
Each member was as anxious to get the battle started as Godzilla himself was.
"Is everything ready to go?", asked the captain.
"Da, captain: we are primed & ready to commence with the operation!", said the first man.
"All we need to do is await your order, sir!", said the second man.
"Good!", the captain said. "The word…is begin!"
That said, the eyes of MOGUERA light up & fire at Godzilla, striking him in the chest.
Roaring his defiance & displeasure, Godzilla fired back with his heat ray.
The battle was on!
Like a runaway locomotive, Chaos ran wild about the Russian landscape & trampling many structures in districts like Povedniki, Lianozovo, Vostochnoye Degunino, & others in the southern path Chaos has taken. Even on such short notice, the Russian military were able to deploy.
Gaira & Sanda were more than able to match the gorilla creature's speed, & soon they caught up with their enemy over at Savyelovskiy train station between the Savyolovsky & Maryina Roshcha Districts. Gaira was the first to halt Chaos in his tracks, leaping at & landing on his back to use his weight & fists to have him buckle under the assault. The red-furred gorilla fought fiercely by tooth & claw, throwing punches & gnashing his teeth at the green-haired creature as Sanda joined in to assist his sibling. The fight leveled a good portion of the area, with people running for their lives as police escorted them away from the mayhem that has infested their beloved city.
The two gargantuan siblings fought Chaos as the three monsters went at it like a trio of dogs fighting over food or territory, leveling the buildings on the western side of the train tracks. Sanda kept on punching Chaos with hard fists as Gaira actually bit Chaos on the right shoulder, puncturing flesh with his lower fangs. Chaos roared in pain & rage as he first elbowed Sanda on the side, stunning him before delivering a swift fist to his face that knocked him backwards into the buildings on the other side of the tracks. As Gaira grabbed Chaos' chin & attempted to rip off flesh from his face, the red-furred gorilla acted fast: grabbing Gaira's right arm, Chaos flipped the green-haired monster head over heels & landed him into a building that collapsed under his weight as debris splattered out everywhere on the streets, with some crushing nearby vehicles & people that couldn't get away quick enough.
Jarred by this sudden move, Gaira lay flat on his back as Chaos got on top of him & began pounding on his green-haired enemy, causing him to see spots in his vision after several blows that were like steel.
Gaira started slipping into unconsciousness underneath the thunderous barrage.
Sanda was shaking the cobwebs from Chaos' sudden attack & saw his sibling under savage attack: thinking fast, the brown-haired creature smelled something highly flammable & spotted several tanker train cars loaded with gasoline. Moving quickly, Sanda grabbed the lead car & used it like a whip on Chaos, who was too concentrated on Gaira to pay any attention to him.
When the caravan of tanker train cars struck Chaos in the back, they all exploded thunderously & lit the fur of his back on fire. The flames caused Chaos to bellow in rage as he ceased his attack on Gaira & rose to frantically put out the flames that threaten to engulf his entire body. As Chaos was distracted, Sanda went to help Gaira to his feet as the green-haired creature started recovering from the barrage his foe gave him: his vision suddenly came back into focus as he saw Chaos extinguishing the fires that scorched a good portion of his back & some of his arms & legs.
Being in an injured state, Chaos was more dangerous than before: hurling lime-green puke at the two siblings, the hairs & flesh on their bodies started smoking & stinging before the red-furred gorilla hit them both with an attack resembling a cannonball as he curled himself up as one & flung himself at his foes. Chaos' attack sent Gaira & Sanda crashing into an array of apartment complexes on Butyrskaya Street, collapsing them like houses of cards as rubble had spilled over the pavement. Chaos then broke off into a run to give himself more time to recover from Sanda's tanker attack, heading in a southwestern direction.
Chaos' rampage all across Moscow's capital was met with heavy resistance from the Red Army as a series of T-80/90 tanks, TOS-1 Buratino multiple rocket launchers, Tupolev Tu-160 Beliy Lebed jets & Kamov Ka-50/52 Alligator & Black Shark helicopters. Machine gun, rocket & missile fire bombarded Chaos from everywhere, rocking his body with powerful explosions that created a cloud of smoke which covered the red-furred gorilla from view. The Russian military spared no firepower to bring down the oversized ape, with all vehicles pouring everything onto the monster.
The gorilla's roars of rage could be heard even over the explosions.
Gaira & Sanda held back & watched as Chaos got pummeled, not wanting to interfere at this stage.
The Begovoy District was barely visible beneath the smoke cloud but was undoubtedly a scene of destruction from both the monster and artillery fire. Even those circling & surveying the scene from above – the Benice, Sugimoto, Fleming families, Boris Romanoff, Malvina Semenov, Sergei Yeltsin, Nikolai & surviving Spetsnaz – were having a bit of difficulty seeing things from their vantage point in the air.
After several minutes of heavy artillery fire, the Russian military ceased its barrage, having exhausted nearly its entire ammo supply. Everyone watched with baited breath to see if the attack brought down the red-furred gorilla that was once Kazimir Volkov. Gaira & Sanda also wondered if Chaos has bitten the dust instead of being cloaked in it.
Over a minute passed, with no sign of movement in the cloud.
Having a direct line to her people on the ground, Malvina got in touch with the sergeant.
"Sergeant, can you or your men see anything inside that cloud?", she said in her tongue.
"Nyet, Colonel!", the sergeant replied on the ground. "We see no trace of red anywhere! But even with our ammo dangerously low, we are not letting our guard down!"
"Good, sergeant: with what artillery you have remaining, you are to use the rest of it should you manage to see even the slightest speck of crimson before that beast could…"
Before Malvina could finish her statement, a spray of lime-green puke washed over the ground vehicles & those that operated them. The effects were immediate: the men started screaming in pain & terror as their bodies dissolved into charred remains, bones & all. Vehicles were scorched as if hit by an acid bath, igniting whatever missiles the puke landed on & exploding prematurely, taking out the immediate area & leveling any structures still standing.
Even those in the air fell victim to Chaos' puke attack: jets & choppers were splashed unexpectedly by the acidic lime-green substance Chaos hurled at them, having immediate effects as jets & whirlybirds exploded in mid-air, killing all crews inside. Over 80% of the air assault was virtually wiped out in minutes, leaving no more than a handful of the aircraft they originally started out with.
Not wanting any more casualties, Malvina instructed the survivors to flee the scene.
Not one of them argued the matter, having turned tail & ran.
"Like you said, Eugene…that's disgusting!", Rapunzel said as her husband nodded & Pascal nodded.
"That's an understatement!", Kristoff, Anna, Patricia & Nathan said in unison.
The smoke cloud finally dissipated to reveal Chaos as the monster gorilla beat his chest & roared in victory.
It was then that Gaira & Sanda made their move: with his back turned to them, Chaos was attacked & grabbed from behind as the two siblings took firm hold of his arms & took him on a rough journey as they plow him across the city into buildings like he was a battering ram. To halt his progress, Chaos dug his hands into the ground that became living anchors, creating crevices in the dirt & asphalt as chunks of both went flying everywhere. Gaira & Sanda were caught off-guard by this maneuver, causing them to release their enemy. It also caused the two gargantuan siblings to lose their balance, which is where Chaos acted: with a swift kick to their solar plexus, the red-furred gorilla had sent Gaira flying over to toe Ulitsa 1905 Goda, flattening it like a wooden doll house.
People that retreated beneath the complex felt the vibrations of the impact, but thankfully held very firm & never collapsed, sparing them a horrible death from above.
With Sanda, he was sent over to the building on the right side of Ulitsa Presnenskiy Val, demolishing it beneath his weight & creating a cloud of dust.
Chaos assesses his surroundings while his foes were briefly incapacitated, his eyes staring down a cluster of the city's tallest buildings south from where he was.
His eyes narrowed in pure hatred at the mere sight of them & roared in contempt before charging down the street towards the object(s) of his loathing desire. Cars & other vehicles were flattened like soda cans by his feet as screaming people scrambled to steer clear of the charging monster.
Gaira & Sanda rose from their beds of rubble & caught Chaos running down south towards Moscow's skyscrapers & began their own run after him.
The Eurasia 'Steel Peak' Tower, Moscow International Business Center:
As most everyone was taking shelter at safer areas in Moscow, Pyotr Lipovsky remained in his office of Moscow City's tallest skyscraper, watching events unfold on his large flat-screen television as the hominoid creatures Gaira & Sanda do battle against the red-furred gorilla tearing up the country's capital. Most everyone in Moscow City has fled the area, but Pyotr opted to stay behind despite his staff's pleading for him to take shelter.
With a smirk of assurance, he stated that he'd be okay from this point on, & asked that they should get themselves to safety, which they did without another word.
Now he was alone in the whole building, keeping track of the monsters' rampage.
But when he saw Chaos heading directly for where he was, Pyotr didn't need the television to see the red-furred gorilla: all he had to do was look out his window to see the ape monster plowing through buildings & flattening cars as Chaos stopped at the base of the Business Center & stared with disdain at the Eurasia Tower before letting out a blaring roar & heading for the base of the building.
Police & military in the area stayed clear as the gorilla creature's feet tossed debris & vehicles around like they were toys.
Looking up the skyscraper, Chaos dug his fingers into the structure for secure handhelds before starting to ascend the tower, also digging his toes for support. Doing his own imitation of King Kong's famous climb up New York City's Empire State Building, Chaos went up the skyscraper with ease, creating footholds as the building shook underneath his weight but thankfully held it firm & didn't topple as Pyotr feared it might.
The Russian Bratva boss was tossed around in his office as Chaos climbed, but he managed to stay on his feet the whole time & used the window's ledge for support. His office was another story: furniture, books & anything else not secured were knocked down as many items shattered when they hit the floor, carpeted or not. Lights flickered on & off, giving it a haunted house look/feeling.
The Eurasia Tower shook for over two minutes before Pyotr saw the massive head of Chaos from where he stood at his window, those gigantic primitive yellow, red & black eyes staring right at him as his form filled the length of his windows.
Pyotr could do nothing except stare back at the monstrosity before him for a minute, which felt an eternity to him.
Oddly enough, Pyotr felt a strange sense of familiarity with the beast, & that was when he knew just what – and who – this creature is, or preferably was.
"Kazimir?!", Pyotr says, his voice being heard from the monster outside despite the glass barrier.
The eyebrows of Chaos scowled upon hearing his former name, & he bared his teeth as a mad dog would.
Despite his situation, Pyotr felt no fear of the rogue scientist-turned-giant monster.
You foolish man…you injected yourself with that mutagen sample!, the Bratva boss thought. And those men that I ordered to keep a close eye on those foreigners…they were on your payroll, not mine!
Pyotr knew the truth, & now he was staring at possible death in the face.
From street level, Gaira & Sanda let out roars that caught Chaos' attention as the giant gorilla stared down from his vantage point, taunting them to come up & get him as the gargantuan siblings did the same to face them where they stood.
When they realize Chaos wasn't going to bite, Gaira & Sanda decided to go up after him: the green-haired monster began climbing the OKO Tower, with his sibling also going up the Eurasia Tower – the same one Chaos was currently ascending.
Turning back to the window, Chaos saw that Pyotr was gone from sight: with his attention towards the two sibling monsters, the Bratva boss snuck out of his office as quickly/stealthily as he could & started descending flights of stairs to get to street level. Feeling the building shake again, Pyotr surmised that one of the new arrivals also started climbing on the building, & even he wasn't sure if it could support the weight of two giant monsters.
It was barely holding up one, & Pyotr wasn't sticking around to push his luck: if the building was going to all but collapse under their combined weight, Pyotr wanted to be elsewhere.
Gaira bellowed at Chaos while climbing the OKO Tower, reaching the top in almost no time. The red-furred ape gave him indifferent, scratching the air as if to cause him harm from afar. This keeps up for a minute until Sanda got a firm hold of Chaos' left ankle & attempted to pull; nearly losing his balance but keeping his grip, Chaos used his right foot to kick at Sanda in an attempt to get him to release his hold. Several smacks to the face was what caused the brown-haired monster to finally let go, & Chaos continued his ascension up the Eurasia Tower, with Sanda in hot pursuit.
As he climbed, Chaos puked at Sanda, who managed to dodge the horrid projectile with ease as it passed him & hit the ground, sizzling where it landed. He did the same to Gaira from where he was, only to have the same results as the green-haired hominoid avoids getting hit by the disgusting projectile & hitting only the taller OKO Tower & on the street below.
Failing in hitting either gargantuan creature with his puke attack, Chaos kept climbing until he reached the top & squatted down to face Sanda, who was only several meters away from reaching the top himself.
Chaos had no intention of allowing him to: using his legs as anchors, Chaos batted at the brown-haired hominoid with his fists & struck his arms/hands in order for him to lose his grip & fall. Sanda absorbed the blows handed to him & fought through the pain to maintain his balance while also fighting off his gorilla foe.
But with his hands concentrating mostly on keeping a firm grip on the tower, Sanda was having a difficult time in striking back, giving Chaos the advantage. Gaira can only watch helplessly as his sibling was getting pummeled by the red-furred gorilla before Chaos got in a lucky shot that caused Sanda to lose his footing temporarily as he dangled in the air by one arm & foot.
It gave Chaos the chance to strike: with a powerful right hand, he grabbed Sanda by the throat & actually lifted him up as if he was Darth Vader from the opening scene in 'Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope', where the Dark Lord of the Sith held up a rebel soldier & demanded where the Death Star plans were being held. Sanda fought back with a series of punches to the arm holding him & kicks to Chaos' solar plexus, but nothing would relent in the gorilla's hold on him. To add insult to injury, Chaos began striking Sanda with his free arm, giving the brown-haired creature fists to the face which caused Sanda to see spots before too long.
Fearing for his sibling's safety, Gaira went over to the other OKO Tower & climbed it to the top as quickly as he could. The building shook from the impact of him landing on it but did not topple, & when he reached the end, Gaira was greeted with a terrible sight: Chaos lifted Sanda over his head with intent on throwing him down to ground level, which would quite possibly kill him especially if he's thrown into/onto another building.
Gaira had to act fast: leaping off the taller OKO Tower, he extended his right foot & planted it in Chaos' back & sent him toppling over the edge – taking Sanda with him.
But Gaira would have none of it: with an outstretched hand, he snatched his sibling's in his own & pulled him to safety while getting a solid hold on the Eurasia Tower's roof. Chaos went into freefall & plummeted the full 1,013 feet (308.90 meters) to the ground, crashing into the Central Core complex & flattening the Plot 8 area in a shower of debris.
The sound of a neck snapping could be heard in the immediate area amid the destruction, & the ground shook from the impact. Descending down the stairway, Pyotr almost fell over the side from the jarring of the earth.
Helping Sanda get his grip on the Eurasia Tower, the two gargantuan siblings stared at the body before doing so to each other, wondering in their enemy was truly dead or merely playing possum.
There was only one way to find out: climbing back down the tower, Gaira & Sanda made it to street level & took both of Chaos' arms, checking for a pulse.
They found none.
Shaking their heads to confirm, Gaira & Sanda let out a boisterous victory roar that spread throughout the city & could be heard even through the roaring of the Hind helicopters that flew over Moscow containing The Benice, Fleming, Sugimoto families & their Russian comrades/friends.
Amazingly, the Spetsnaz were pretty much glad that the hominoid creatures were the victors in their scuffle.
Each one grinned in appreciation that not only was Chaos stopped, but that all their comrades that fell prey to the monster that was once Kazimir Volkov were avenged.
The Spetsnaz weren't the only ones who were proud of Gaira & Sanda's performance of the situation.
"smashing job, you two", Elinor said softly, grinning & getting one from her husband.
"well done, Gaira & Sanda", Merida softly said, turning to Elsa.
Both ladies grinned & fist-bumped each other, with Malvina smiling at the display.
In the other chopper, Tajima, Hidemi, Akemi, Emiko, Kristoff, Anna, the Benice family, Sergei, Nikolai & even Boris were pleased with the outcome, destruction aside.
"I'll say this for Gaira & Sanda – they know how to operate as a team!", Rapunzel says.
"Probably better than most human beings!", Anna adds.
"Yeah, well…we're not so bad ourselves!", Eugene put in, putting on his best charming face.
The group couldn't help but to giggle – and agree.
"They may not be wrong about that, Mr. Ambassador", Boris said in his mother tongue.
"Agreed, Boris", Sergei said. "It could be known that certain animals can perform better as a fighting team than we human beings: African wild dogs, meerkats & even ants are some prime examples of it."
"It should be no surprise to see the same behavior in the monsters that live among us on this planet", Nikolai adds as Sergei & Boris nodded.
Gaira & Sanda ceased their victory cry when a feeling hit them at the core of their very being.
It was a very familiar feeling, & they traced its origin to the Hind choppers hovering above – to one helicopter in particular.
It was the one where Merida & her mum Elinor were taking refuge in.
"Those two know that you & Merida are in here, don't they, love?", Gus asked Elinor.
"More precisely Merida than myself, Gus", Elinor corrected. "You know what it is she did for them all that time ago."
Gus nodded, remembering it well.
"Same as Godzilla with me, Gaira & Sanda can sense you somehow, Merida. Am I right?", Elsa asked.
"More or less, Elsa", Merida replied. "Since I've helped get them reunited as siblings, they've never forgotten it even after more than 1,000 years." The redhead faced the Snow Queen. "You & I are somehow drawn to them, only my ties with Gaira & Sanda are more on a positive note than yours are with Godzilla. Sorry, no offense meant."
"And none taken", Elsa replied with a smile, making the redhead do the same.
Malvina's radio came on, revealing it was what remained of the ground forces.
"Colonel Semenov, what shall we do with the monsters Gaira & Sanda?", it replied. "We hardly any forces left to deal with them! Do you wish to send for an air strike?"
"Nyet!", Malvina said firmly. "Whatever forces you have left, do not attack either of them! Moscow's already suffered enough destruction without antagonizing them to continue the chaos!"
"And if they decide to attack on their own? We'll be defenseless if that happens!"
"Not if I have anything to say about it! I have an idea: let's see if those two will follow us where we go! If they do, we can lead them out of Moscow! We'll take them on the path of destruction already inflicted on the city! Whatever happens, do not fire on them for any reason, & let them make the decisions themselves! Understand?!"
"Understood, colonel! We'll pray for its success! Good luck up there!"
"Spasibo!", Malvina concluded before cutting off transmission as Gus gave Elinor, Merida & Elsa the rundown in English.
"Using Gaira & Sanda's attraction to Merida to our advantage, Malvina?", Elinor asked.
"Something like that, Elinor Fleming", Malvina said with a smile. "Personally, that's not such a bad thing, & if those two really do have something of a tie to your daughter, why not use it to benefit our cause & save Moscow from further harm? Plus, I've been informed over the radio that MOGUERA's currently in combat with Godzilla over at the Afanasovo/Belyaninovo area, so if we get lucky…"
"We'll get Gaira & Sanda over there & stop that robot before the pilots kill Godzilla!", Elinor said.
Malvina nodded, getting word to the other pilots of her plan in getting Gaira & Sanda out of Moscow.
When they replied they've already heard her plan, the pilots went into action & flew in a parallel pattern for Gaira & Sanda to follow.
Still getting a strong scent from Merida, the two gargantuan siblings indeed follow the trio of Hind helicopters, going the same route of destruction Chaos & they caused to keep further damage to Russia's capital to a minimum.
As the choppers pick up the pace, so do they.
Like they hoped, Gaira & Sanda followed them like obedient dogs.
Now all they had to do was lead them to the battle between MOGUERA & Godzilla at said districts.
They pray they're not too late.
Godzilla vs. MOGUERA:
Like Gaira & Sanda's battle with Chaos in Moscow, the conflict between the Monster King & Russia's powerful robot went on for nearly an hour, with both combatants taking several hits as MOGUERA showed black scorch marks upon its silver & blue armor. Inside of the cockpit, more than a few systems sparked as one of the monitors went blank after the Monster King swatted the machine a couple times with his tail.
But the crew were just as determined to end Godzilla as he was in dismantling the robot.
Remembering what they signed on for, they pressed on.
MOGUERA let loose with more plasma bolts from its eyes as the maser cannon from the midsection gave the crew enough of a distraction to launch the robot's spiral grenade missiles from MOGUERA's cones. Raising the cones, both opened simultaneously & fired their payloads which streaked right for Godzilla, who was getting a face full of plasma energy shot at him. In ten seconds, both spiral grenade missiles hit their target & exploded with powerful blasts, but did no damage to the Monster King, who retaliated with his heat ray that struck MOGUERA square in the chest.
Even though the robot rocked back from the hit, there was no extensive damage done to it.
Godzilla roared loudly as he stood & stared at the robot, making the crew somewhat nervous.
"What's he doing?", wondered the first pilot.
"Whatever he's thinking of, be on your guard!", the captain warned. "Godzilla is a most cunning creature, so be ready for anything he wants to throw at us!"
A minute that felt like forever passed before Godzilla made his move, & it took the crew by surprise.
"Oh god!", the second pilot said.
Godzilla was charging after MOGUERA!
"Quick…put some distance between us!", the captain barked. "Lay down some cover fire while you do so!"
Activating the robot's treads upon its feet, MOGUERA backed away from Godzilla, who was moving faster than he normally goes on foot, shaking the ground with each thunderous step. MOGUERA shot plasma beams from its eyes, along with the maser cannon from its midsection as it rolled across the landscape, flattening any trees in its path.
The plasma energy shot at & hitting Godzilla neither stopped the beast, nor slowed him down any.
The Monster King fired his heat ray as he charged the robot, striking it in the chest & hitting the maser cannon as it sparked. The readings in the cockpit didn't offer any good news to the crew.
"What is it?!", the captain demanded.
"The monster hit the maser cannon & shorted it out, captain!", said the first pilot. "That weapon is now out of commission!"
The captain swore under his breath.
"What shall we do, captain?", asked the second pilot. "We can't keep backing away from him like this, & all the plasma beams are doing is making him angry!"
"I have an idea!", the captain said. "When I give the signal, do a 180 degree turn on MOGUERA, then activate the rear blades before putting us in reverse again!"
"Only this time, we'll run into & cut him with the blades!", the first pilot answered as the captain nodded.
Both pilots grinned at the idea, having the sound of MOGUERA's blades cutting into Godzilla like they'd done to Anguirus was irresistibly tempting.
"Now!", the captain barked.
As ordered, the pilots made MOGUERA turn so that Godzilla was now facing the robot's back & its rear blades were all whirring. Now Godzilla was confronted by a trio of dangerously sharp blades that can cut even his rough tree bark-like hide, & even a blast of his heat ray didn't slow it down, much less dull the blades that were getting closer.
But Godzilla was just as clever as he was cunning: when MOGUERA got within range, the Monster King side-stepped to the left & used his tail like a whip to swat the robot's legs from behind, causing it to trip & fall. MOGUERA landed upon its back with an earth-shattering thud, its blades cutting into the ground & throwing up dirt & pieces of trees. The crew were caught by surprise, & their bones rattled like jelly within their bodies.
Curse that infernal beast! He's smarter than he looks!, the captain thought through gritted teeth.
The crew's troubles weren't over: with MOGUERA on the ground & upon its back, Godzilla had it at his mercy. Lifting his tail, he brought it down with sledgehammer force, jarring the robot & its crew. Godzilla does this several times as each hit caused sparks to fly in the cockpit, with smoke beginning to pour in.
"Get us airborne…immediately!", the captain shouted.
Pressing a button, MOGUERA fired its jets & pulled it away from Godzilla, who misses with his latest tail slap as his robotic enemy first dragged along the ground & kicked up dirt & brush before rising into the sky at a far distance from its quarry. It didn't stop Godzilla from firing & hitting it with his heat ray, as the energy beam struck MOGUERA on its chest but didn't do much damage aside from causing a few sparks on its armor.
Both mutant dinosaur & Russian robot stared at each other for what seemed like an eternity.
"Aim MOGUERA's arms at Godzilla!", the captain ordered. "As soon as you launch them, we zoom in on him & hit him with a surprise attack! Understand?"
"Yes sir!", both pilots said.
As ordered, MOGUERA lifted its arms & opened its cones, revealing a pair of spiral grenade missiles in each.
"Spiral grenade missiles…fire!", the captain said.
Both projectiles launched from their ports in unison, streaking right for Godzilla. The Monster King blasted them out of the air in twin explosions before they could come anywhere near him. It was what the MOGUERA crew expected of him: while Godzilla's attention was on the spiral grenade missiles, the robot flew at him in a horizontal position & charged the creature like a rocket, firing its plasma beams from its eyes. These struck Godzilla in the chest & face that blinded him temporarily, giving MOGUERA the chance to strike physically by ramming into Godzilla in the side which toppled the beast as he crashed into the ground with a powerful thud that shook the land.
"Quick…let's inject him while he's on the ground!", the captain said.
Nodding, the pilots turned in the air & placed the arms forward.
Before they could get the cones opened, Godzilla opened fire with his heat ray that missed MOGUERA by inches as the robot barely avoided getting hit. The Monster King got up in seconds with a speed that would be deemed all but impossible for anything his size, keeping his eyes on the robot that turned in the air & made another pass for him.
This time, Godzilla wasn't fooled: when MOGUERA fired its plasma beams, the Monster King fires his heat ray at the same time, striking the robot that briefly messed up its guidance systems. Each attempt to knock Godzilla down again was thwarted every time, proving its ineffectiveness.
Hovering in a vertical stance, it was time to switch plans.
"Okay, we're getting nowhere with charging him, so we go to Plan B…Separation Mode!", the captain said as he undoes his seat belt & heads for the elevator behind him.
"Time for the Star Falcon & Land MOGUERA to go into effect, sir?", asked the first pilot.
"Da. When I give the signal, we separate & attack Godzilla on two fronts. Standby."
Stepping into the elevator, the door closed & the captain descended to MOGUERA's leg unit.
When he reached the cockpit of the Star Falcon & strapped in, he contacted his pilots.
"Prepare for Separation Mode on my command!", he said.
"Roger, sir! Standing by!", came the response from pilot #2.
Checking his readings & systems, the captain found everything in working order.
"Separation Mode…start!", he commanded.
With the push of a few buttons, MOGUERA literally split in two as both halves were suspended in the air by a powerful thrust underneath as they each went into two transformations: the bottom half morphed into an aircraft with a pointed cockpit, while the top half transmogrified into something resembling a futuristic land vehicle, complete with a drill pointing forward & treads underneath.
Godzilla watched in a hypnotic state as his robotic rival split & converted into two separate vehicles.
Land MOGUERA & Star Falcon were complete & ready for battle!
Thanks to its propulsions, Land MOGUERA landed safely on the ground as it rolled forward.
"Land MOGUERA, you head underground while I keep Godzilla distracted!", the captain said. "You know the plan…let's implement it!"
"Copy that, sir!", said the first pilot. "Going underground…now!"
Dipping its drill front down, Land MOGUERA dug into the dirt like a giant gopher as it kicked up earth, spraying it behind. The windshield of the burrower vehicle closed shut with a pair of steel blockades as the two men switched to a digital readout of their surroundings, acting as their new guide. It displayed Godzilla's current position as well as their own & the Star Falcon's.
"Star Falcon, we're only 120 meters from Godzilla!", said pilot #2. "Give us time to get the trap set! We'll inform you the moment that we're done!"
"Copy that, Land MOGUERA!", said the pilot. "I'll make sure Godzilla pays attention to me while both of you work down below!"
Cutting off the connection, he flew the Star Falcon at Godzilla & opened fire at the beast with plasma guns on the sides of the cockpit. The beams didn't do much to the monster except antagonize & enrage him, which is exactly what the captain counted on: Godzilla focused fully on the Star Falcon, ignoring everything else as he fired his heat ray at the flying craft. The Star Falcon was as maneuverable as it was fast in flight: the craft dodged to one side & allowed Godzilla's primary weapon to pass without doing any harm. A series of swooping attacks & atomic ray retaliations ensued for a few minutes, with neither combatant gaining the upper hand.
It was just fine by the captain: his job wasn't to bring Godzilla down using MOGUERA's bottom half.
He just needs to keep the beast busy until the Land MOGUERA unit fulfilled its task.
Jarred from digging in the dirt but otherwise fine, the pilots check their immediate surroundings along with the stamina of the land mass after plowing through it for a few minutes.
When they saw how much earth they've softened up & the radius of it, they got in touch with the captain flying overhead.
"Star Falcon, we are ready to lay the trap!", said pilot #1. "Have Godzilla approach our position so he can fall into it – literally!"
"Copy, Land MOGUERA!", said the captain over the radio. "Get yourselves topside & airborne so we can rejoin at a moment's notice!"
"Understood, sir! Surfacing now!", said pilot #2.
Steering their vehicle up, Land MOGUERA ascended & broke through to the surface, spraying dirt & trees before getting airborne from the propulsion units underneath. The Star Falcon flew close & went in an upright position as the land vehicle hovered over it before both compartments converted again into a pair of legs & an upper body with arms & head.
Like a literally well-oiled machine, the two halves reunited & made MOGUERA whole again.
Godzilla fired his heat ray at the newly-formed robot, but no damage had been done as it retaliated with its plasma beams, striking the monster in the face & chest.
As the MOGUERA crew expected of him, Godzilla marched towards the robot as it kept him interested & enraged by its plasma beams, hitting him with no apparent effect.
Godzilla never knew of the trap sprung for him until it was too late: after following the robot for a time, the King of the Monsters stepped into the pit of earth softened up by Land MOGUERA, acting like a giant sand pit. Godzilla was caught by surprise as he stumbled & fell into this soft patch of ground, landing onto it with a shaking thud as dirt kicked up in sprouts around him.
It was the chance the MOGUERA crew were waiting for!
"This is it!", the captain said. "We won't get another chance like this! Extend the arms & finish it…now!"
"Yes sir!", both pilots said.
Raising the robot's arms, the pilots opened the cones but instead of spiral grenade missiles, they've revealed two large syringes that were more than able to pierce even Godzilla's flesh.
And pierce him they did: as Godzilla struggled to get himself out of the trap, MOGUERA flew straight in & stuck both needles in the Monster King's side, going in all the way as the beast roared in pain & defiance.
"Needles are in!", cried the first pilot.
"Inject the poison into him…now!", the captain cried. "Every drop of it!"
Nodding, the second pilot pressed the button to initiate the flow of the deadly poison concocted from Godzilla's own blood as the tanks containing it began pumping the fatal fluid into the monster's body. Godzilla felt the fluid enter his body & bellowed a roar of dissatisfaction & tried to get loose, but MOGUERA held him firm as he was getting his lethal dose.
Even from a distance, the occupants of the three Hind helicopters could see the moment of truth occurring.
Gaira & Sanda were still trailing behind them, & they too can see what was happening.
When the choppers halted in mid-air, they stopped themselves.
The Benice, Fleming, Sugimoto families & their Russian friends were horrified at the display, & they all felt a huge sense of dread, seeing as to how they failed to prevent the inevitable.
"We're too late!", Hidemi said in her tongue as she, Akemi & Emiko turned to their husband/father. "Tajima…"
The scientist could only nod.
They did it…the Russians actually did it!, he thought as helplessness washed over him.
His feelings were shared by everyone else, & even the Spetsnaz aboard felt a pang of guilt.
The Hinds' & Gaira & Sanda's presence did not go unnoticed by MOGUERA's crew.
"We have unwanted company, captain!", said pilot #2.
"Ignore them!", said the captain. "They can do nothing to halt our progress! How are we doing with the tanks?"
"We're just about done, captain!", said pilot #1. "Both tanks will be drained in 3…2…1…"
When he announced that both were bone-dry, MOGUERA backed away from Godzilla & extracted the needles in his flesh, leaving two punctured holes that dripped fluid. Enraged, the Monster King lashed out with his tail & struck the Russian robot with bone-shattering force. MOGUERA took to the air & put more distance between it & Godzilla, who fired his heat ray at his mechanical enemy, scorching only a portion of its armor.
Godzilla's attack on MOGUERA didn't last long at all: in moments the poison injected into him took effect at an accelerated rate, & his vision was blurred as he began wobbling on his own two legs. Stumbling in his steps, Godzilla headed south as he started dripping from both his puncture wounds & his mouth, somewhat foaming like a mad dog.
Those in the Hinds watched as the Monster King made a weakly retreat.
"Godzilla", Elsa & Merida said softly.
Like everybody else, the Snow Queen & former DunBroch princess felt sympathy for the Monster King, seeing him in pain like this. It especially went for Elsa: despite having a huge pang of contempt when she first saw his reign of death & destruction in Tokyo on New Year's Day last year, the Snow Queen learned much about the beast since, & has gained her respect even though they would most likely never have as strong of a bond as Merida does with Gaira & Sanda, or Eugene & Rapunzel do with Mothra.
Seeing Godzilla in anguish like this ripped her apart from within.
Even an animal like Godzilla doesn't deserve to go through such suffering.
The crew of MOGUERA, however, were devoid of sympathy of any kind: they relished in seeing Godzilla being in such pain & would gladly savor the sight of watching him drop to the ground & expire.
Each of these men had a very good reason for their cold-heartedness.
This is for the crew of the Bolshevik, monster!, the captain thought with fierce glee.
Poisoned or not, Godzilla wasn't one to go down without a fight: he struggled to stay erect on his own legs as he made his way towards the nearest body of water, unaware that the Klyazma River was in the other direction.
MOGUERA's crew still wasn't done with their job: hovering over towards the lumbering Godzilla, ports on the robot's chest & upper legs opened up. Malvina saw this & got on her radio, trying to contact the robot's cockpit like she did on their way over.
"Crew of MOGUERA!", she barked into it. "You are to cease any further actions against Godzilla & stand down!"
The robot neither slowed nor halted its approach to Godzilla.
"Stand down, you hear me?! That's an order!"
Much to her dismay, MOGUERA did not comply: from the open ports, a slew of long & powerful titanium cables lashed out at Godzilla like angry metal snakes & wrapped themselves around the Monster King's arms & midsection. Once confirmed they had a grip on their prey, MOGUERA lifted up into the air, taking their catch with them. Gaira & Sanda decided to take matters into their own hands & ran towards Godzilla to help bring him down, but MOGUERA got too high up for either gargantuan sibling to reach up & grab the Monster King.
They couldn't even reach Godzilla's flailing tail even when they made a leap for it.
Godzilla in tow, the MOGUERA crew took off as the robot's thrusters went full throttle, going much too fast for even Gaira & Sanda to follow. With their prize in tow, they headed west.
Malvina tried raising the crew on the radio again, but Gus placed a hand on her shoulder & shook his head.
"Forget it, love…they ain't gonna listen", he said plainly.
The Russian wanted to argue the matter, but seeing the faces of Gus, Elinor, Merida & Elsa, she knew the British agent was right, & that it'd be a waste of time.
Nodding, she slammed a fist above the chopper window.
"How'd they even get that poison in their robot anyway, Malvina?", Gus asked. "I thought you told us you didn't find any sign of it back at your base!"
"Do you suppose those pilots in MOGUERA could also be on Kazimir Volkov's payroll?", Elinor wondered.
"Quite possibly, Mum: they also must've switched tanks under Malvina's nose without even her knowing about it!", Merida adds as Elsa nodded in agreement.
"We'll soon find out for sure, but you all could be correct in your assumptions", Malvina says before getting on her radio, speaking in her mother tongue. "Sergeant?"
"Yes, colonel?", came the reply.
"Get whoever you can & head over directly to the docking bay of MOGUERA!"
"Is there a problem?"
"I believe we may have finally found the traitors in our organization – ones on Kazimir Volkov's payroll!"
"Say no more, Colonel: we're one our way over there now!"
"I'll see you there!", Malvina ended her contact with the sergeant.
Out the window, they could see Gaira & Sanda staring down the direction MOGUERA took Godzilla, wondering what's to become of the Monster King. The green-haired creature looked to his brown-haired sibling, who shook his head as if to say he couldn't tell. Which he can't.
Strolling at a leisurely pace, Gaira & Sanda started heading south themselves but stopped briefly to take one last look at the Hind helicopter containing Malvina, Gus, Elinor, Merida & Elsa. Everyone aboard stared back at the two hominoids, with the Fleming family doing so most intently. That especially went for Merida, who gave them a look of worry. Gaira & Sanda could see her expression even from their point of view, with each one giving her a look that more or less said 'we're sorry'.
As if reading their minds, Merida nodded once before the two gargantuan siblings turned & walked away, going at the same pace they started off with, heading in a southern direction.
This time, they didn't look back.
"Go in peace, you two", Elsa said softly.
"And thank you…both of you", Merida said in the same manner.
Merida & Elsa put an arm around & held each other's hand.
Gus & Elinor did the same.
Malvina got on the radio again but got in touch with a different member of her group.
"Major, this is Malvina. Do you read me, over", she said.
"Yes colonel, I am here", came the response.
"The two hominoid creatures Gaira & Sanda are heading south. Do you see them?"
"Da. Even from a distance away, my men & I can see them. What do you want us to do?"
"It's very possible they are heading back to the ocean. Simply survey their path & keep tabs on them. Wherever they wander to, make sure you get people out of harm's way, should they stumble upon a populated area. But under no circumstances are you to open fire on either creature: we've already lost more than a handful of good personnel on this day. Let's keep the casualties as low as possible, so just keep track of them until they reach the water undeterred."
"Understood, colonel. We'll have hourly surveillance patrols as we need them, with no firing."
"Thank you, major. And good luck. Out."
The Russian colonel then got in touch with the pilots of all three helicopters, giving them instructions to head on over to MOGUERA's docking area, & to get their birds refueled once they get there.
Receiving her orders, the three Hind helicopters headed straight to their new destination.
The Gulf of Riga, six hours later:
Godzilla was hanging onto a thread of life as he fought the poison assaulting his body for the past six hours, each one more agonizing than the last. His insides felt like they were liquefying, & he hardly has the strength to get himself loose from the titanium bonds MOGUERA wrapped around him, let alone fight back. His wounds & mouth were still dripping blood, making him even weaker.
Despite his most valiant attempts, Godzilla was not going to escape his fate as they were all flying over the Gulf of Riga, where the infamous battle between the German Empire against the Russian Empire took place from August 8th to the 19th during World War I. People in the area were awoken by the sudden roar of high-powered engines & looked to see a large robot flying overhead, carrying the monster known the world over as Godzilla. Even in the dark of night, people could see both sights clearly with the help of searchlights shining onto them.
MOGUERA's crew ignored the sudden attention.
They were focused on their task, regardless of conditions/circumstances.
"How far out are we?", the captain asked.
"We're about 2/3 away from the center of the Gulf of Riga, captain", said pilot #1.
"Let's not wait. Dump him now!"
"Yes sir!", said pilot #2, pressing a button.
The titanium cables holding Godzilla unravel & were withdrawn back into the robot, causing the Monster King into freefall until he splashed into the Gulf of Riga, causing a tremendous plume of water to shoot up before Godzilla goes & disappears underneath the surface as he sinks like a stone.
Both pilots turn to the captain, who smiled at them. They returned the gesture.
"At last!", the captain says proudly. "Our friends from the Bolshevik can finally rest peacefully, knowing they've got justice done, thanks to us – and Kazimir Volkov! Little did anyone realize, the tanks containing the tranquilizer was replaced at the very last minute by the poison we've injected Godzilla with! Even Colonel Malvina Semenov was all but fooled by the deception, never realizing we've always been one step ahead of her!"
"Sir, what about the original pilots?", asked pilot #1. "Viktor Goraya may have been dealt with once the heat on the theft of the mutagen from Bagorah's tail was high, but they might snitch to the authorities & blow our cover."
"They won't talk. Remember – we know where their families live. If they dare breathe a word of it to anyone, we shall make them watch as we kill their wives & children before doing the same to them."
"I've no doubt they're too scared of us to resist, but if I may, sir, we really shouldn't take any chances", said pilot #2. The captain thought of it & nodded: with the type of crime they've committed, they can't leave any loose ends.
"You raise a good point", he said. "As soon as we get back, inform those men that they're off the hook & able to go back to their families. Then, when they're all together, have our anonymous associate arrange to have each of those men and their loved ones killed. Afterwards, do the same with Malvina Semenov, police colonel Boris Romanoff, the Russian Ambassador, his bodyguard and their foreigner friends. Make sure not even one of them survives."
"Understood", both pilots said.
"Excellent. Now…get us back to base."
With a turn of their control sticks, MOGUERA did an aerial U-turn & headed back to base near Moscow.
Godzilla may be finished, but their ordeal still wasn't over.
Malvina Semenov's home, Moscow, Russia, Sunday, July 24th, 2016, 10:00 a.m.:
The next several hours & days became very eventful.
Once MOGUERA docked at the secret base located near Russia's capital, they were greeted by an armed escort organized by Malvina which were not there to praise the three men for a job well done, but to have them placed under arrest on account of the crimes of treason & attempted murder. Feigning ignorance, the captain & his two pilots acted in a shocked & innocent manner, adding they have no proof of the crimes they're being accused of.
Malvina simply smirked & presented them with a surprise even they never expected: the Russian colonel told the men that not only were they suspected of their crimes, they were also recorded in the very cockpit of MOGUERA, as mini cameras were installed in secret compartments to capture everything both sight & sound.
The captain & his pilots never knew that they went ahead & confessed to everything – from consulting with the rogue scientist Kazimir Volkov, the murder of Viktor Goraya to threatening the very lives of the three original pilots of MOGUERA, their families and Malvina & her friends, including the city's police colonel & country's ambassador – on video. To add insult to injury, it was the three pilots they've threatened that installed the cameras to record it all as they sent out to fight Anguirus when he was literally dropped on the nation's capital overhead.
When the traitorous captain asked how long they've known about their consulting with Kazimir, Malvina simply said that the three pilots they've threatened informed the Russian colonel & everyone else once she arrived at the base. Because they were the ones who installed the hidden mini cameras in MOGUERA's cockpit, they simply played it back for all to see, sealing the fate of the three traitors.
Said people lunged directly for the three pilots they've threatened, but the combined might of the Russian military & Spetsnaz present made sure they never laid a finger on them. When the traitorous captain shouted that their families were dead because of their betrayal, Boris Romanoff informed them that their families were reached by the police & all were taken into protection & away from harm.
Of course, the three rogues tried evening the score by saying that those they've threatened were also guilty of the crimes of theft which lead to the creation of Chaos that brought the city to ruins, but Malvina said it was insignificant because of their crimes, beginning with the theft of Godzilla's blood/tissue samples in the Sea of Japan & consulting with a scientist whose desire was to cause as much mayhem as possible – all because they wished to even the score with Godzilla for what he did to the Bolshevik submarine late last year.
Having all the evidence needed for a conviction, the case against them will be airtight.
They certainly have the motive to put the three away for a long time.
What they don't have yet is the name of their 'anonymous associate' they mentioned after they dumped Godzilla into the Black Sea.
Boris demanded they give them the name, as did Malvina.
None of them said anything, & the Russian authorities did what they were instructed to.
Grabbing their arms, they twisted them in a painful position that caused them to cry out in great pain. The pressure continued when none of them would come clean with what they want to know.
And this time, nobody from the Benice, Fleming or Sugimoto families were disturbed by the Russian authorities' harsh treatment of the suspects. On the contrary, they were glad to be seeing them get their just desserts, & it was all so satisfying.
Considering what they've done, they do not deserve any leniency.
Unable to take the pain any further, pilot #2 finally revealed the name of their secret associate.
It was Chevsky, the Russian delegate.
Sergei was all but stunned upon this revelation, but it didn't stop him & the others from heading right over to the Kremlin to confront the man when he was scheduled for a meeting with his fellow men. When the ambassador, Boris, Malvina & even Tajima Sugimoto entered the room with armed police/Spetsnaz, both colonels of the police & military played a recording to the orange-haired man of the footage from MOGUERA's cockpit and the confession from the pilots which mentioned his name, stunning Chevsky, his fellow delegates and the Prime Minister.
Knowing the gig was up, Chevsky pulled two hidden handguns from behind his back & aimed it at Sergei, firing at the Russian ambassador. Nikolai immediately pulled the man down & covered him with his body, as his job entails, as most everyone else ducked when the bullets started flying before Chevsky made a break for it. Bursting out of the doors, the renegade delegate saw the Benice, Fleming & Sugimoto families outside the room.
Chevsky never got the chance to take any of them hostage, let alone fire his weapons: Merida fired two arrows in a move that made it seem like they were shot from a gun. Both her projectiles struck each of Chevsky's guns, which were knocked out from his hands. Unarmed, he made a run for it but didn't get far: Elsa, still in her MG suit & her guns on her hands, fired a stream of her ice near Chevsky's feet that caused him to slip & fall on his face & stomach.
It was exactly what Elsa did to renegade scientist Koji Matsui in Fukuoka two months ago & gave Boris' people enough time to surround Chevsky & train their guns on him.
And should they be forced to shoot, they won't miss.
Having no way out, Chevsky raised his hands in surrender as he gets handcuffed.
Elsa & Merida were congratulated by Boris, Malvina & their people for the assist in the capture of the renegade delegate, with both ladies & their friends/families smiling as they were quite proud of their performance in assisting the Russian authorities in apprehending their suspect. Boris, Malvina, Nikolai & Sergei inform the group that Chevsky has a day in court with his three accomplices, & thanks to Elsa & Merida, they were all going to make it in a few days.
Anna also added a 'nice work, sis' remark to Elsa, with Gus complimenting Merida with 'good one, love'.
Merida & Elsa grinned at each other, touching their weapons in good faith.
In the days that followed, the group helped Boris & Malvina's people with giving aide to those who weren't as fortunate as others to escape the destruction when Anguirus & later Chaos, Gaira & Sanda struck Moscow, leveling a good portion of it: Tajima, Nathan, Hidemi, Patricia, Elinor, Akemi, Emiko, Anna & Rapunzel helped people that were trapped underneath rubble blocking their escape that was moved by Gus, Eugene, Kristoff, Merida & Elsa – the latter of whom had to sometimes use her ice to make objects brittle before getting smashed to allow access to those who need assistance. Even Maximus, Sven & Angus were doing their part, pulling large pieces of rubble away to find survivors caught beneath & taken over to be checked for injuries.
Any with serious harm such as deep lacerations and/or broken bones were immediately taken to the hospital.
Pascal, even though was too small to move debris, was still doing his part by entertaining children who've been stuck under rubble with his crazy color-changing ability & other forms of amusement to help raise their spirits amid the destruction which washed over their homes.
They applauded the little chameleon for the cheering up during the cleanup, & even some of the soldiers/police found the reptile amusing.
At Malvina's home, Olaf was watching the view from the large flat-screen television in her living room while he enjoys a bag of popcorn he discovered in her cupboard that he made in her microwave; despite the fact that he couldn't be there personally, Olaf was happy to see his friends/family lending a hand to Boris, Malvina & their people.
Way to go, you guys!, he thought proudly.
The Benice, Fleming & Sugimoto families continued helping with survivors until Saturday the 23rd of July, when Chevsky's day in court was scheduled to take place at the Constitutional Court of Russia, along with the three renegade pilots of MOGUERA & the men Chevsky ordered to take out the families of the original pilots once the rogue delegate gave up their names. Among those present at the trial were Sergei Yeltsin & his bodyguard Nikolai, Malvina Semenov, Boris Romanoff, Tajima & Elsa Sugimoto, along with Elinor & Merida Fleming. Elsa & Merida wore their Spetsnaz & Mechagodzilla uniforms, armed with their weapons just in case Chevsky & his three cohorts tried anything funny.
MOGUERA's original three pilots were also on hand, eager to see the perpetrators squirm & sweat under all the evidence/charges that was going to be relayed.
The Russian President, Prime Minister & the other delegates were also present, with each one feeling just as hurt & betrayed as the rest.
All others waited in another room, watching the trial on television.
When it began, Tajima was first to take the stand: he both told & also shown evidence of Godzilla's blood/tissue samples being taken from the creature himself in the Sea of Japan, leaving out no details. He added of his meetings with Chevsky & the delegates at the Kremlin, giving every piece of info to the judge & jury. Next came Malvina, who gave everything she had to offer, followed by Sergei & Nikolai, & finally Chevsky & the three MOGUERA pilots that went rogue. MOGUERA's original pilots displayed the recording captured within the robot's cockpit, showing the actions & words of those that piloted the robot that fought/poisoned Godzilla before dumping him into the Black Sea.
Caught red-handed, the renegade pilots & even Chevsky told the court everything – including their collaboration with mad scientist Kazimir Volkov, who injected himself with a sample of the mutagen taken from Bagorah's severed tail & transformed into the red-furred gorilla the media christened 'Chaos', the name Kazimir gave his monstrous self before aping out.
When asked where the rest of the mutagen they forced the other three pilots to steal for them was, the captain had said that they've given it to Kazimir once they were able. They didn't ask where it would end up or what Kazimir had planned on doing with it, as he stated it wasn't their business to know, & with the mad scientist now dead, the rest of it might never be found.
The trial went on for another two hours before the judge & jury gave sentencing to the four defendants.
The verdict read as follows: for abusing the powers invested in them, committing treason to their motherland & betraying the government's trust along with consulting with a rogue scientist & recklessly endangering the lives of the Muscovites & being an accessory to causing mass destruction within the country's capital, Chevsky, the three renegade pilots & contract killers were all sentenced to life imprisonment with no parole…to Siberia.
With their sentence passed, Chevsky & the rest were all taken outside of the courtroom in handcuffs by the police, with the one-time delegate staring daggers at Sergei, Nikolai, Malvina, Boris, & especially at Tajima, Elinor, Merida & Elsa. It didn't bother them one bit: they had even less love for him than he did of them.
After the trial, the remaining delegates approached Tajima as the scientist expected them to tear him asunder for getting Chevsky on the chain gang to a freezing No Man's Land.
He never expected them to bow in the traditional Japanese sense & explained that they have all been wrong to go misjudge him just because he's a foreigner. Because of Chevsky's actions, they discovered that the real monsters of the ordeal were their fellow Russians, never knowing that corruption was within their homeland all along, let alone within the Kremlin itself. They've also added that they would never be so reckless as to using a nuclear weapon upon Godzilla or any other of Earth's giant creatures should any of them appear in Russia or anywhere near its coast, knowing they'd be killing millions of their very own people if they deployed such a reckless act.
Each one of them asked for his forgiveness for the harsh treatment of the scientist, saying they have no excuse for it.
Sergei, Nikolai, Malvina, Boris, Elinor, Merida & Elsa wait for Tajima's reply.
He smiled & nodded at the delegates, giving them their answer.
In return, they grinned & shook his hand one by one, wishing him & his family/friends well.
Elsa & company smiled themselves, seeing relations between them go from cold to warm.
Even though she wasn't allowed in the meetings over at the Kremlin with Tajima, Elinor surprised the delegates by offering some friendly advice of better relations between them & other nations, giving tips on improving their way of life & not wishing to get themselves into another Cold War with the United States of America. Just as she did back home in 10th Century DunBroch Scotland, she was calm & very informative in speaking with Russia's advisors to their leaders what was on her mind.
It lasted for about 15-20 minutes, impressing everybody with her speech from Sergei to Tajima & even her own daughter but doing so with the delegates most of all.
They acknowledged her diplomacy skills with a formal handshake, & a few even gave the one-time queen a kiss on it, making her grin with delight.
You definitely still got the golden touch, Mum!, Merida thought to the scene with a grin.
She couldn't wait to tell Gus on how she handled the delegates.
When Tajima & his group reunited with the others, they all celebrated with a formal dinner at one of Moscow's finest eateries.
Now, on the morning of what appeared to be their last day in the former Soviet Union, the three families & their four Russian friends gathered at Malvina's home as luggage was being packed & gathered to get ready for departure. Olaf stayed out of his travel bag for the time being but stayed in the room upstairs to keep hidden from Boris Romanoff; while the police colonel was an excellent asset in their trip to Russia as Malvina had been like Sergei & Nikolai both promised she'd be, they didn't want to tip their hand too soon to him in revealing the secrets of Rapunzel, Merida & Elsa's groups, let alone the Snow Queen & ex-Corona princess' abilities of projecting ice & healing wounds with her own hair.
And having him see a snowman that can walk, talk & sing at this time was definitely out of the question.
Maybe in due time, they'll fill Boris in on what Sergei, Nikolai & Malvina themselves already know.
To many, despite the rough road they traveled in their time in Russia, they were almost sad to leave it and their four friends behind.
"Can't believe this is it for us", said Eugene. "We'll all be heading back home to our respected countries & leave all our friends behind."
"We know how you feel about it, Eugene", said Akemi. "We've only just got back to being a whole group again, only to have to disband after almost three weeks together."
"Our only regret is that this trip – which was supposed to have been a simple business proposal – turned out to be more than any of us expected", Elinor said solemnly.
Everyone nodded with Elinor.
Gus took her hand in his.
"We know, love", he said. "It turned into a whole different fiasco, & unfortunately, many good people had paid the ultimate price. But try & remember: as bad as it was, it always could've ended up being much worse."
"Agreed, comrade Gus Fleming", Boris said. "This became one of the worst attacks on our mother Russia since Bagorah hit Volgograd last year, or when the Chernobyl plant melted down thirty years ago, leaving a 65 square-mile area contaminated."
"And long before that, the Nazi invasion of your country that started with 'Operation: Barbarossa' in June 1941", said Kristoff. "Thankfully, they never reached Moscow like they planned."
Boris, Nikolai, Sergei & Malvina nodded.
"Right you are, Kristoff Sugimoto", Malvina said. "My mother – God rest her soul – was only 7 years old when the Nazis first invaded our homeland. But, scared as she was, her mother kept telling her that our people were going to stop the Nazis & send them away, especially since it was her father that helped them do so. It turned out that she was right all along: Hitler's Nazis were driven away, & our land was saved from their tyranny, including Moscow."
"Is your grandfather's service in the Second World War the reason as to why you've enlisted in the Russian Red Army, Malvina?", Hidemi asked. "To follow in his footsteps?"
"Da, Hidemi: my grandfather's services in World War II – and even my great-grandfather's service in the First World War – are the primary reasons for my decision to join our country's armed forces, going from cadet to colonel in good time."
"Your parents would definitely be proud of you, Malvina – following in their footsteps & continuing their legacy which they themselves begun a century ago", Elsa said.
"Spasibo, Elsa Sugimoto", Malvina said, placing her hands upon Elsa's shoulders. "Your own parents would be equally proud of you in being a member of the Mechagodzilla crew. You & Merida Fleming performed well with our Russian Spetsnaz, as did Gus. We were very happy to have you three fighting by our side."
Elsa grinned at that, along with the rest: her parents would be proud to see their ice-wielding daughter becoming a member of the 21st Century's MG crew. Tajima, Hidemi, Akemi, Emiko, Kristoff & Anna already are.
"Spasibo, Malvina", Elsa, Gus & Merida say in unison.
"I guess this is 'sayonara' as we would say, Sergei", Emiko said. "But do us a favor: if you ever need to take a trip to Tokyo for any reason, come by & pay us a visit. We'd be all too happy to show you around our home!"
Sergei smiled at the Sugimoto family's youngest member.
"I shall be sure to do that someday, my lisichka", he said as Emiko kissed him on the cheek. "However, your trips back home to your respected countries will be put on hold for a while."
This bit of news caught the Benice, Fleming and Sugimoto families by surprise.
"What do you mean by that, Sergei?", Nathan asked. "I thought our ordeal & business here in Russia was done."
"Indeed it is, Nathan Benice", Sergei explained. "But at 6:00 this morning, the four of us have each received word from none other than our good friend General Ronald Len Ernie that a…situation has arisen which required professor Sugimoto's attention."
"Did he say what it was or where it would be held at, Sergei?", Tajima asked.
"He wouldn't say of the situation as of yet, but what he did say is that he's already got your family & friends to stay at a hotel over in Paris, France."
"Paris?", the three families said.
"Sergei, as tempting as it is to visit & enjoy the famed City of Love, it wouldn't hurt to know the reason for this trip, especially when it suddenly comes out of the blue", Patricia said.
"All he did say was that it is a matter of national security, & he is asking each & every one of you to trust him on his judgment", Nikolai said.
The three families looked at one another in wonder before Merida spoke for all.
"Of course we'll trust him, Nikolai: he trusted us in the past, so it's only fair that we go & return the favor."
"When exactly do we leave for Paris?", asked Nathan.
"Later today, at about 8:00 this evening", Sergei replied.
The families consulted quietly with each other when Pascal began acting up as if to get his master's attention.
Anna picked up Pascal in her hands as the little chameleon did his best imitation of Godzilla before feigning sick, giving a clear meaning to his mime performance.
"Are you trying to ask us if Godzilla's going to be okay or not after being injected with that poison?", Anna asked as Pascal nodded, looking worried.
"To tell you the truth, Pascal…I don't think anybody here knows just how to answer that question, exactly", said Rapunzel as Pascal sagged.
Rapunzel & Anna looked to each other with solemn faces.
"Professor Sugimoto", Boris says. "Do you believe it possible for Godzilla to survive such a lethal injection like the one given him by MOGUERA?"
Tajima gave the matter thought for a moment before answering.
"It's difficult to say for certain, Boris Romanoff", he says. "Godzilla is unlike anything the human race has ever dealt with in all of its history. He always seems to come back, no matter what we throw at him. Even I am not always correct in making assumptions of the creature, despite the many years I've studied him. I cannot help but to think we've not seen the last of Godzilla."
Not knowing what else to say, Boris nodded.
"At least Gaira & Sanda made it back to the water, as per Malvina's report", Elsa said to Merida.
"True, Elsa", Merida replied. "They went into the Black Sea & disappeared beneath the waves, causing the most minor of damages to the Russian mainland. No doubt they're heading back home to the islands in the south Pacific."
Both Elsa & Merida turned to Malvina.
"So, Anguirus & Baragon will be transported over to St. Petersburg?", asked the Snow Queen.
"On the outskirts of it, da", Malvina answered. "There is a facility – or rather, large holding pens – they want to place the creatures in. It's a plan our government has developed for quite a number of years, with several more currently under construction."
"It may not be my place to say, Malvina, but I personally think it's a very bad idea to try & contain monsters like Anguirus & Baragon", Merida says. "They won't take kindly to being placed inside cages like they were pets or put on display like zoo exhibits."
"I can't help but to agree with Merida, Malvina", said Nathan. "Keeping any of the Earth's monsters in captivity in one's own country is nothing but a fool's errand: they'll find a way to escape & go their own way, causing untold death & destruction as they do. Can't you & Sergei go speak with your government & convince them not to go through with this idea of theirs?"
"Miss Semenov & even myself have already tried on numerous occasions, Mr. Nathan Benice", Sergei said. "But even we cannot dissuade them from going forward with this. As Malvina said, it's been an idea of theirs for years since Godzilla first set foot on our mother Russia 30 years ago."
"So…you really can't do anything to prevent this, Sergei?", Anna asked.
Sergei, Nikolai, Malvina & even Boris shook their heads.
"I am only the ambassador to our country, Miss Anna Sugimoto", Sergei says. "I have neither the power nor the authority to put ideas into action – that is left to the Prime Minister & President. They are the actual decision-makers of our Mother Russia. As much as it pains me to say it, they'll just have to learn the error of their follies the hard way."
Nobody could come up with a response to that, so they stayed silent.
Mercury City Tower, Moscow International Business Center, noon:
Even though his original office was demolished when Chaos, Gaira & Sanda attacked the Eurasia Tower, Bratva boss Pyotr Lipovsky also had an extra business/sleeping quarters in one of Europe's tallest buildings as one of his multi-owned places he bought with his own money. Having escaped the carnage of the three monsters when they attacked the Moscow International Business Center, Pyotr went to see the body of Chaos – formerly Kazimir Volkov – before local authorities cordoned off the area to begin removal of the body as they & the Russian military surrounded it, the scene most reminiscent of the ending of 'King Kong', where Carl Denham stared at the fallen gorilla he captured after his fall from the Empire State Building.
He had resisted the urge to say Robert Armstrong's immortal quote, 'Oh no, it wasn't the airplanes. It was beauty killed the beast'.
Unorthodox methods & reckless behavior aside, Pyotr couldn't help but to pity the poor fool.
Staring down at the city from the top of the golden glass façade building, Pyotr reflected on events he orchestrated himself that lead right up to this moment, from the theft of Bagorah's blood sample that contained the alien mutagen to Kazimir's foolish choice to inject himself with something that was worse than 100 Nagasaki-type atomic bombs.
Although he had hated to, Pyotr lied to police colonel Boris Romanoff: Kazimir Volkov was still on his payroll, having never cut him loose as he kept the scientist on board but left no records of their business ties to keep authorities guessing & making no connection between them. Kazimir's alleged 'release' by Pyotr was no more than a ruse to throw off any trails that might lead back to him, so they may continue their business transactions inconspicuously.
While their relationship was strained at best, Kazimir & Pyotr did collaborate well in regards to new sciences that would benefit the Bratva boss' business & have made huge profits through the years which made both proud & happy when the rubles started pouring in by the truckloads.
Then the mutagen from the Black Hole Aliens made itself known, & that changed things: Kazimir & Pyotr didn't keep in touch as much, & the mad scientist even went so far as to bribe several of Pyotr's own men to work for him by offering not only money but the chance to have a monster to control under their power, just like Kazimir did with three pilots in the Russian military when they were promised vengeance for the crew of the Bolshevik, the nuclear submarine Godzilla destroyed last year, killing all crew members.
And he did it all under the noses of not only the Russian authorities, but also under Pyotr's own.
He had to admit he did not see that coming, let alone that the mad scientist would inject the alien mutagen which made the monsters Vertigo, Armadon & Bagorah into his very own body to transform himself into the red-furred gorilla called Chaos, causing precisely that to Russia's capital.
Pyotr couldn't see it from a mile away, & he suspected that Kazimir became drunk with the immense power the mutagen gave him. It was understandable: just as with Godzilla himself, that alien substance is unlike anything mankind has ever encountered before, & the very thought of being able to create a new species of life & even have it under one's command was so overpowering, it could make ever the sanest of individuals get lost in its radiant beauty.
For Kazimir, it was like winning the lottery.
Pyotr cursed himself for his error, mentally kicking himself for not knowing better that to trust a man whose love for science weighed more on him than the welfare of others including his own employer.
It's also why those Pyotr thought were still his men had been ordered to have the members of the Benice, Fleming & Sugimoto families killed at the hotel, including their four Russian friends Boris Romanoff, Malvina Semenov, Sergei Yeltsin & his bodyguard Nikolai. Much to Pyotr's joy & surprise, each member survived & handled their assailants in the most unusual but astonishing ways one could ever think of on such short notice: handling gun-toting lunatics with no more than food trays of all things, along with exceptionally well-crafted speed & skills.
Pyotr must've seen the video footage of it dozens of times on his laptop computer, & he still couldn't believe on how marvelously they took care of & defeated a cadre of heavily-armed killers.
Sitting down at his desk, he replayed the footage & carefully watched as his hired thugs that followed Kazimir all got their rear ends handed to them by their intended targets: Gus Fleming of course did good for himself as always, but it was the actions of his daughter Merida, along with Eugene & Rapunzel Benice & Kristoff & Anna Sugimoto that really piqued his interest. It was the same as with the reindeer, Andalusian & Clydesdale right outside the hotel, each of whom brought down their assailants with ease by grace, skill & good old-fashioned brute strength & animalistic fury that hardly ever fails an animal whenever it feels threatened. Pyotr also watched the footage captured on cameras over at Kazimir's home, where Merida Fleming & Elsa Sugimoto worked alongside the Russian Spetsnaz with British agent Gus Fleming & Russian colonel Malvina Semenov.
These five people – which also includes Merida Fleming & Elsa Sugimoto – fascinated him to the max, & Pyotr is curious to find out who these seven people are, where they hail from, the works.
Their mysterious files on each only made him want to dig deeper into their personal histories, & Pyotr won't stop until he finds something really juicy about them.
It was one of his goals for the next few days & weeks.
But for right now, he has business to attend, with people he's scheduled to meet up with.
Closing his laptop, Pyotr got on the intercom with his secretary.
"Irina, I have a business trip to attend in a couple of days", Pyotr said, pressing a button on the device. "Make the necessary arrangements & have my private plane prepped & fully fueled by that time."
"And where exactly will you be having your business taking place at, might I require?", Irina replied.
"My business shall be in the city of Paris, France. I will be meeting with some very important associates there."
"I shall personally see to the preparations being made myself, sir."
"Spasibo, moy sladkiy. I knew I could count on you."
Irina cut communication as Pyotr smiled: just like his wife Natasha, Irina had been by his side since he started his empire, always carrying out his orders to the fullest & never once questioning them, no matter what her assignment might be. Irina was a girl who had a very similar background as his wife: she'd lived in poverty during her sad life as a child, living with an abusive father & an alcoholic mother who would go & beat on her whenever either got too raucous in their days, which was often. One day, however, she met Pyotr when he was still a champion boxer & was asked by the man himself if she could handle all his business assets – setting up dates, preparing for his trips, & the like.
Even when he turned to a life of crime as a Bratva boss, Irina still stood firm & did what was required of her. In fact, being in the Russian mafia, Irina had asked for a favor from Pyotr to give a harsh lesson to her parents, wishing to inflict the same punishment on them as they did to her growing up. Her boss was happy to oblige: one night, when her mother & father were up late to wait until Irina got home, she walked in at five minutes past midnight. Before either of her parents could scold, let alone beat her, several men & Pyotr himself walked in & had the man's bodyguards take her mother & father down to the basement, tied them up & torture them so badly, they were hardly recognizable by the time they got finished. Irina savored their pain, gloating on how it isn't so nice when one was on the receiving end of a brutal beating.
Irina's parents begged & pleaded for mercy & swore they'd do better with her, but she wouldn't have none of it: both were beaten within an inch of their lives before getting a bullet to the head by silencer pistols.
Their bodies were never found, & Irina felt like she could marry Pyotr for saving her from an abusive life.
He probably would have married her, were it not for the fact that Pyotr was already hitched to a beautiful woman named Natasha during his boxing days: he loved her with a passion, & tied the knot shortly after recruiting Irina, having twin daughters once Natasha became Mrs. Lipovsky.
Irina wasn't jealous of his wife: on the contrary, she & Natasha got alone quite well, each feeling like they were sisters & did anything Pyotr asked to give his lady love whatever she desired most.
She even became the godmother of his children, making her life ever more joyous.
Irina was proud to be part of the Bratva boss' family, & Pyotr felt the same way back.
He really did believe it was true when people say that good help is difficult to find in this day & age.
Getting on his cell phone, he called the love of his life & filled her in on what was to come.
He then called her over to spend every second he can with her & his kids.
At the undisclosed location:
Having its taste of combat, the creature rested in its chamber more calmly than before. Its first experience with another opponent gave it the appetite for more, but this time it eased in its lust for more blood, instinctively knowing it would get its chance at combat again very soon.
It can feel it in its bones.
The beast was monitored closely by its creators & their two commanders.
"How are his vitals, doctor?", the second-in-command said, speaking Japanese, their chosen language.
"Everything shows that our creation is doing well", the doctor replied. "All vitals are displayed & kept at in the green safety levels. The battle he had with Anguirus & Baragon days ago have dispelled most of his pent-up rage from being cooped up for so long. Because of this, he is better responsive to commands than before. And yet…"
"He still longs to be in more combat", said the leader. "Not to worry: he will definitely get his chance when the time comes. For now, have him fed to soothe his bloodlust & continue monitoring his vitals to ensure everything stays as promising as they are. Any irregularities you detect, inform us at once."
The leader & his second walked away as the doctors/scientists resumed with their labors.
"So far so good, I'd say", said the second-in-command. "Our creation performed better than we anticipated."
"Quite so", the leader said. "He was most magnificent in his first field test of combat & excelled beyond even our expectations. Because of his success, I expect the same kind of results from our other two masterpieces when they become finished."
"Both of them will take some extra time. But rest assured – they shall be ready to be deployed before year's end. That's a guarantee."
"Good. Our plans are going well thus far, so I expect no failures from this moment on: they're too vital for even the slightest error to hamper them. Make sure this is explicitly understood by the others."
"Of course, sir. It will be done. This is simply the beginning."
The leader nodded before both men shared a chuckle of pure malevolence as they walked on.
Much work was to be done.
In the creature's chamber, a pair of feral eyes opened in the darkness.
A soft growling sound echoed the room.
To be continued in:
CREATURES & DAMSELS:
VIVE LA FRANCE
A note to the readers:
Originally, I was going to start this second Disney / Toho trilogy at the beginning of 2019, along with an extra bonus special following it (which will bring my Disney / Toho saga to a conclusion), but certain…circumstances forced me to do so earlier than anticipated.
You've no doubt read where I've had Godzilla, Rodan, Gaira & Sanda trashing North Korea's Pyongyang & then killing its supreme leader Kim Jong Un afterwards. Before you ask, I shall tell it to you straight. Yes, it was deliberate and intentional, & I'm going to explain it all to you why: I am totally sick & tired of that fat, ugly, stupid little #$% threatening my country – the United States of America – with nuclear devastation, test-firing missiles over our allies (preferably Japan), & daring to attack Hawaii & Guam (both a part of the United States) just to show their hatred of us. I've even seen some of their propaganda videos on YouTube of them destroying places like Washington, D.C., not to mention showcasing their weapons in parades for no other reason than in putting a big scare into us, foolishly believing that they're superior to us American people in every way possible.
Well, I got news for Kim Jong Un and his heartless, cold-blooded regime: I for one am NOT going to live in fear of them just because they've decided to persist in pursuing their nuclear weapons program, wanting to wipe us off the face of the Earth! Kim Jong Un is nothing more than a fat spoiled child of a man who is in dire need of a hard spanking (and will get a hard spanking) if he doesn't denuclearize as soon as he can, because we are the American people who can & will stand up to & face evil like him whenever it threatens us! He better learn that America is NOT a weak nation that cannot fight: the Axis Powers once believed that very same notion themselves during World War II, & they all paid the price for their tomfoolery, putting faith in that ridiculous claim! We can fight & we will fight if we are ever forced to do so whenever our way of life gets threatened, & that's a fact! They also better learn another fact about America very well if they wish to keep seeing tomorrow on a daily basis, which is this:
WE. DON'T. TAKE. KINDLY. TO. DICTATORS!
Not only that, we will never, ever allow our country to become a dictatorship – not by anybody!
That's why I made my own little propaganda piece in this story: since North Korea's always making new videos in their attempts to brainwash its citizens into thinking they can win against us, it's time to retaliate & do something on my own to stand up for my country & tell Kim Jong Un that I won't be afraid of him, despite his desire to make us no more than a bad memory. I am NOT putting up with his filthy, disgusting bull #$% any longer!
And guess what? YOU don't have to either: this is also your land, isn't it? Show Kim Jong Un and his heartless, cold-blooded regime how brave & unafraid you are of them in every way possible. Just as former First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt once stated during World War II, 'we are the free & unconquerable people': we are back-to-back World War champions, with many great allies by our side that are ready to stand with us at a moment's notice. Don't ever be afraid to face danger when it presents itself, because that's the way to get enemies to back down…showing defiance however way one can.
It's what I did here during the segment in which Godzilla, Rodan, Gaira & Sanda gave Pyongyang and Kim Jong Un & his regime a very serious thrashing right before having the green gargantua doing in the little weasel by literally chewing him up & spitting him out. Along with showing my defiance towards him, that is also to display a warning to the hermit kingdom that either North Korea quits playing games with America as it has done so many times in the past & permanently stops its nuclear weapons program indefinitely & surrenders them all to the United Nations, or they will get the spanking of their lives – a black eye from which it will never recover from. Just as United States Ambassador Nikki Haley had once proclaimed, 'we will never accept a nuclear-armed North Korea'.
And when America speaks, North Korea better listen!
Usually, I wouldn't want any one of my stories to be copied on a disc unless of course it's myself doing so and/or I give somebody else my permission to, but in this one case, I will happily make an exception: I'm hoping this story you've just read first gets translated into the Korean language & sent over somehow to North Korea, where millions of others who seek freedom can read this & see that Kim Jong Un & his regime get their asses kicked hard by Godzilla & his allies, putting a kaiju-sized glitter of hope to those people & showing that Kim & everybody that blindly follows him are just as vulnerable as those they mercilessly torture/kill without question, & that not everybody is going to fall for any of his propaganda jargon. Seeing Pyongyang & its armed forces getting trampled by Rodan, Gaira, Sanda and Godzilla would undoubtedly help raise the spirits of the North Koreans, especially when they witness Kim Jong Un & his generals getting devoured by Gaira before spitting out their tattered clothing. That would be an ultimate confidence booster for those people under Kim's heels, the image(s) giving them courage to stand up to him and/or escape their home for better living quarters in another country.
That single factor alone proves that Kim Jong Un isn't tough: the people of North Korea are. Yes, they may fear the pudgy, overweight dictator who has no better sense or class, but they also deeply hate, loathe, despise & abhor him with every inch/fiber of their being. That deep hate they have for him helps them to prevail even under the most grueling of conditions any human being has ever endured, giving them the strength to find happiness in the end.
Plus, on a more personal level, I'm also hoping that Kim Jong Un himself reads this story: I want to tell him just how defiant I am towards him, as he is nothing more than a bonafide coward, just like all dictators/terrorists are! I also want to tell him that I won't be buying into any of his lies & deceit, & that I will always be resistant to him right to my last dying breath as millions of others in the United States of America & all its allies are.
For anyone who reads this & wishes to do exactly as I explained, please feel free in doing so with this tale.
With this ONE story, you have my full permission!
On a more somber note, I wish to – again – express my deepest condolences/sympathies to the parents, family & friends of university student Otto Warmbier, who died on June 19th, 2017 after suffering unimaginably by the hands of the North Koreans for 17 months. Fred & Cindy Warmbier, if you are reading this, words cannot begin to describe how devastated I am over the loss of your son who lost his life at only 22 years of age: there's nothing worse in this world than when parents/grandparents outlive their own children. That is a fate I would never wish on anyone, not even on Donald Trump, another man I absolutely loathe, despise & abhor with every inch of my being (I'm sorry, but I do, even though he did help to get your son back to the States just before he died, & that's in his favor, I will freely admit). You both are right: the people of North Korea – most notably Kim Jong Un & his regime – are not victims. At all. They are terrorists, plain & simple. And no matter how long it may take, their brand of cruelty will not last forever: one way or another, they will pay for the inhumane treatment of Otto & everybody else that have been falsely imprisoned/tortured for even the simplest of offenses as Otto was.
Until then, please try to stay strong & don't lose hope: if brave people such as Yeonmi Park, Lee Hyeon-seo & countless others whom have escaped the harsh, inhumane way of life in North Korea & used their voices to spread truth about the life outside of the dictator country & weaken the Kim regime, then there will be a bright golden light shining at the end of this very dark tunnel that is North Korea. The human spirit can overcome any obstacle, & when we become united & stand strong against even the fiercest of tyranny, then regimes like Kim Jong Un's will never stand a chance in hell of winning.
GOD BLESS THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA & ALL OF ITS ALLIES!
Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, Anti-Apartheid Activist & Ex-Wife of Nelson Mandela, 81 (1936-2018)
Steven Bochco, Creator of 'Hill Street Blues', 'NYPD Blue' & 'L.A. Law' TV Shows, 74 (1943-2018)
Bonnie Reiss, Longtime Adviser to Arnold Schwarzenegger, 62
Bill Rademacher, Former Player for the New York Jets, 75 (1942-2018)
Bob Beattie, Ski Racing Pioneer who Helped Launch the Skiing World Cup, 85 (1933-2018)
Johnny Valiant, WWE Hall of Fame Wrestler Known as 'Luscious', 71 (1946-2018)
Ray Wilkins, Ex-Captain of English National Soccer Team, 61 (1956-2018)
Tom Baldwin, Veteran Journalist, 71
Frederick D. Reese, Civil Rights Activist, 88 (1929-2018)
Daniel Akaka, First Native Hawaiian Elected to Congress, 93 (1924-2018)
Cecil Taylor, Pioneering Free-Jazz Pianist, 89 (1929-2018)
Isao Takahata, Acclaimed Japanese Anime Film Director, 82 (1935-2018)
Susan Anspach, Actress Known for 'Five Easy Pieces', 'Play It Again, Sam' & Others, 75 (1942-2018)
Chuck McCann, Beloved Voice Actor Known for Sonny the Cuckoo Bird, 83 (1934-2018)
Donald McKayle, Pioneering African-American Choreographer & Dancer, 87 (1930-2018)
Frank Bauer, French Broadcaster & Voice of Resistance During World War II, 99
Yvonne Staples, Member of Legendary Singing Group the Staple Singers, 80 (1937-2018)
Mitzi Shore, Owner of Influential Comedy Store Club in Los Angeles, 87 (1930-2018)
J.D. McClatchy, Highly Regarded Poet, 72 (1945-2018)
Sergio Pitol, Celebrated Mexican Author Known for 'The Magician of Vienna', 85 (1933-2018)
Daphne Sheldrick, Elephant Conservationist Featured in 'Born to Be Wild 3D', 83 (1934-2018)
Tim O'Connor, Actor Best Known for 'Peyton Place' & 'Buck Rogers' TV Programs, 90 (1927-2018)
Art Bell, Longtime Voice of the Paranormal-Themed Radio Program 'Coast to Coast AM', 72 (1945-2018)
Milos Forman, Two-Time Academy Award-Winning Director, 86 (1932-2018)
Hal Greer, NBA Hall of Famer who Played for the Philadelphia 76ers, 81 (1936-2018)
Choi Eun-Hee, South Korean Actress Once Abducted by North Korea, 91 (1926-2018)
Harry Anderson, Actor Best Known as Judge Harry Stone in NBC Sitcom 'Night Court', 65 (1952-2018)
Jennifer Riordan, Vice President of Community for Wells Fargo in Albuquerque, 43
Vel Phillips, First Black Person Elected to Wisconsin Statewide Office, 94 (1923-2018)
Matthew Mellon, Billionaire, 54 (1964-2018)
Erin Popovich, Wife of Beloved San Antonio Spurs Coach Gregg Popovich, 67
John Melcher, Former United States Senator, 93 (1924-2018)
Carl Kasell, Longtime Newscaster on NPR, 84 (1934-2018)
Patrick F. McManus, Writer Best Known for Humor Columns in Fishing/Hunting Magazines, 84 (1933-2018)
Barbara Bush, Former First Lady of the United States, 92 (1925-2018)
Bruno Sammartino, Wrestling's 'Living Legend', 82 (1935-2018)
David Buckel, Prominent LGBT Rights Lawyer & Environmental Activist, 60 (1957-2018)
Randy Scruggs, Grammy-Winning Country Music Artist & Producer, 64 (1953-2018)
Earle Bruce, Former Ohio State Football Coach, 87 (1931-2018)
Gil Santos, Longtime New England Patriots Broadcaster, 80 (1938-2018)
Tim 'Avicii' Bergling, Grammy-Nominated Electronic Dance DJ, 28 (1989-2018)
Verne Troyer, Actor Best Known for Portraying Mini-Me in 'Austin Powers' Movies, 49 (1969-2018)
Davey Nelson, Milwaukee Brewers Broadcaster & Former All-Star Infielder, 73 (1944-2018)
Bennie Cunningham, Former Pittsburg Steelers Tight End who Won Two Super Bowls, 63 (1954-2018)
Roy Hawthorne Sr., World War II Navajo Code Talker who Enlisted in Marines at 17, 92
Robert Blakeman, Former Assemblyman & World War II Veteran, 92
Sister Agnes-Marie Valois, Nun who was Known as 'The White Angel' in World War II, 103 (1914-2018)
Christian Mondor, Priest who's Known as the 'Surfing Padre', 92 (1925-2018)
Nerses Krikorian, Legendary Scientist at Lab that Made Atomic Bomb, 97 (1921-2018)
William Maldonado, Suffolk County Police Detective, 53
Charles Neville, Saxophonist for Influential New Orleans Funk/Soul Neville Brothers Band, 79
Bob Dorough, Musician Best Known for Writing/Composing Songs for 'Schoolhouse Rock!', 94 (1923-2018)
Al Swift, Eight-Term Democratic Congressman, 82 (1935-2018)
Paul Gray, Lead Singer of 1980s Australian Pop Band Wa Wa Nee, 54 (1963-2018)
Philip Hoff, Former Vermont Governor, 93 (1924-2018)
Paul Junger Witt, Prolific Television Producer, 77 (1941-2018)
Larry Harvey, Co-Founder of Burning Man Festival Event, 70 (1948-2018)
Michael Anderson, Oscar-Nominated Director of 'The Dam Busters' & 'Logan's Run', 98 (1920-2018)
James Hylton, Two-Time Winner in NASCAR Cup Series in 1970s, 83 (1934-2018)
James Hylton Jr., Son of NASCAR Racer, 61
Alfie Evans, British 23-Month-Old Toddler with Rare Illness (2016-2018)
Jhoon Rhee, Grandmaster who was Known as the 'Father of American Taekwondo', 86 (1932-2018)
Pamela Gidley, Actress Best Known for 'Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me' Prequel, 52 (1965-2018)
John 'Jab'o' Starks, Drummer for James Brown's Funk Band, 79 (1938-2018)
Alvaro Arzu, Former Guatemalan President who Lead the Country out of Civil War, 72 (1946-2018)
Art Paul, Illustrator who Designed Iconic Playboy Bunny Logo, 93 (1925-2018)
Dick Edell, Longtime Maryland Men's Lacrosse Coach, 74 (1944-2018)
Alice Provensen, Award-Winning Illustrator of Popular Children's Books, 99 (1918-2018)
Bill Torrey, GM of NHL Islanders who Helped them Become 4-Time Stanley Cup Champions, 83 (1934-2018)
Lonnie Taylor, Professionally Known as Rapper Lil Lonnie, 22
Carlos Gray, Former Player for NFL's Green Bay Packers, 25 (1992-2018)
Afonso Dhlakama, Leader of Mozambican Opposition During its Civil War, 65 (1953-2018)
Doina Cornea, Romanian Anti-Communist Dissident, 88 (1929-2018)
Wim Alosery, Last Known Dutch Survivor of Nazi Concentration Camps, 94
Larry Hunter, Former Ohio & Western Carolina College Basketball Coach, 68 (1949-2018)
John Boyle, Longtime Football Coach, 60 (1958-2018)
Charles Steger Jr., Former President of Virginia Tech During 2007 Mass Shooting, 70 (1947-2018)
Ermanno Olmi, Award-Winning Italian Cinematic Legend, 86 (1931-2018)
Tony Kinman, Country Punk Pioneer who Co-Founded Bands Rank & File & the Dils, 63 (1955-2018)
George Deukmejian, Former California Governor Known as 'The Iron Duke', 89 (1928-2018)
Donald Seldin, Doctor who Put A Medical School on the Map, 97 (1920-2018)
Margalit Like, Environmental Activist & Teacher, 92
James Russo, Former Police & Fire Chief in Hempstead, 72 (1945-2018)
Terence Prejean, Rapper Known Professionally as Big T, 52
Kevin Kamenetz, Democratic Candidate for Governor of Maryland, 60 (1957-2018)
Francis Kiernan, World War II Veteran, 107
Peter Mayer, Innovative Publisher, 82 (1936-2018)
Frank King, Architect who Helped Bring Olympics to Calgary, 81
Chuck Knox, Former Football Coach for Seattle Seahawks, Los Angeles Rams & Buffalo Bills, 82 (1936-2018)
Anne V. Coates, Pioneering Film Editor who Won an Oscar for 'Lawrence of Arabia', 92 (1925-2018)
Scott Hutchison, Founder of Scottish Indie Rock Band Frightened Rabbit, 36 (1981-2018)
Dean Stefan, Writer & Story Editor for 'Catdog', 'He-Man & the Masters of the Universe' & Others (age not provided)
Tom Wolfe, Award-Winning Author of 'The Bonfire of the Vanities', 88 (1930-2018)
Doug Ford, World Golf Hall of Fame Member, 95 (1922-2018)
Margot Kidder, Actress Best Known as Lois Lane in 'Superman' Films with Christopher Reeve, 69 (1948-2018)
Tessa Jowell, Former British Culture Secretary who Helped Bring 2012 Olympics to London, 70 (1947-2018)
Billy Brewer, Former Player & Coach for Ole Miss for 11 Seasons, 83 (1934-2018)
Will Alsop, British Architect, 70 (1947-2018)
Sam Marino, 29-Year Veteran at Newsday, 62 (1955-2018)
Ray Wilson, English World Cup Winner, 83 (1934-2018)
Mike Slive, Former College Sports Executive, 77 (1940-2018)
Lucian Pintilie, Romanian Theater & Film Director, 84 (1933-2018)
Joseph Campanella, Prolific Television Character Actor, 93 (1924-2018)
Paul Carlin, Postmaster General who Fought his Dismissal, 86 (1931-2018)
Richard Pipes, Historian of Russia & Aide to Ronald Reagan, 94 (1923-2018)
Reggie Lucas, Grammy Award-Winning Musician, 65 (1953-2018)
Billy Cannon, Legendary LSU Running Back who Won the Heisman Trophy, 80 (1937-2018)
Patricia Morison, Actress who Starred in Original Broadway Production of 'Kiss Me, Kate", 103 (1915-2018)
Richard Goodwin, Speechwriter who Crafted Lyndon B. Johnson's 'We Shall Overcome' Speech, 86 (1931-2018)
Carol Mann, World Golf Hall of Fame Member, 77 (1941-2018)
Lou Schwartz, Longtime Editor at Newsday, 86 (1932-2018)
Nobukazu Kuriki, Japanese Mountaineer & Entrepreneur, 36 (1981-2018)
Bill Gold, Iconic Movie Poster Artist for 'Casablanca', 'The Exorcist', 'Alien' & Many Others, 97 (1921-2018)
Robert Indiana, Creator of Iconic 'LOVE' Pop Art, 89 (1928-2018)
David Weinlick, Groom in Mall of America Arranged Marriage on June 13th, 1998, 48
Philip Roth, Award-Winning Novelist, 85 (1933-2018)
Clint Walker, Actor Best Known as Cheyenne Bodie in TV Western Series 'Cheyenne', 90 (1927-2018)
Richard Peck, Prize-Winning Children's Author, 84 (1934-2018)
John 'TotalBiscuit' Bain, Popular British Video Game Critic, 33 (1984-2018)
Glenn Snoddy, Invented Fuzz Pedal Keith Richards Used in '(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction', 96
Alan Bean, Apollo Astronaut who was 4th Person to Walk on the Moon, 86 (1932-2018)
James Hampton, Top High School Basketball Player, 17
Herman D. Farrell Jr., Former Democratic Member of New York State Assembly, 86 (1932-2018)
Gardner Dozois, Hugo Award-Winning Science-Fiction Author, 70 (1947-2018)
Ted Dabney, Co-Founder of Atari Inc., 81
William Allee, Former Chief of the NYPD, 76
Anthony Scotto, Teacher & World War II Veteran, 93 (1925-2018)
Bill Mallory, Revered Football Player/Coach, 82 (1935-2018)
Paul Bloch, Veteran Hollywood Publicist, 78
Serge Dassault, French Billionaire & Aviation Industrialist, 93 (1925-2018)
Joan P. Yale, Pioneer in Nassau Policing, 72
Dick Quax, Former Running Great, 70 (1948-2018)
Blake Painter, Captain on Discovery Channel's 'Deadliest Catch' Program, 38
Charlotte Fox, Climber who Survived Infamous 1996 Everest Disaster, 61
Ella Brennan, New Orleans Restauranteur who Operated Iconic Commander's Palace, 92 (1925-2018)
Seymour Glanzer, Lawyer who was Prosecutor During Watergate Scandal, 91 (1926-2018)
Madiha Yousri, Egyptian Actress, 96 (1921-2018)
Henry Bock, Designer of Safety Wall for Racing, 81
Dick Tuck, Democratic Prankster who Targeted Richard Nixon, 94 (1924-2018)
Eddy Clearwater, Chicago Bluesman Known as 'The Chief', 83 (1935-2018)
Clarence Fountain, Founding Member of Gospel Group the Blind Boys of Alabama, 88 (1929-2018)
Bruce Kison, Former Pittsburg Pirates Pitcher who Helped Team Win Two World Series, 68 (1950-2018)
Donald H. Peterson Sr., Astronaut who Spacewalked from the Shuttle Challenger, 84 (1933-2018)
Connie Kurtz, Gay Rights Advocate, 81 (1936-2018)
Milton Edgerton, Trailblazing Plastic Surgeon, 96 (1921-2018)
Sharon Korbel, Wife of Longtime News 12 Long Island Meteorologist Bill Korbel, 70
Miguel Obando y Bravo, Nicaraguan Cardinal Emeritus, 92 (1926-2018)
C.M. Newton, Hall of Fame Basketball Coach, 88 (1930-2018)
Georg von Tiesenhausen, German-American Rocket Scientist/Space Pioneer, 104 (1914-2018)
Robert Mandan, Actor Best Known as Chester Tate in TV Series 'Soap', 86 (1932-2018)
Hugh Dane, Actor Best Known as Security Guard Hank in 'The Office', 75 (1942-2018)
Dwight Clark, Former 49ers Wide Receiver Known for 'The Catch' in 1981 NFC Championship, 61 (1957-2018)
Kate Spade, Iconic Fashion Designer Known for her Line of Stylish Handbags, 55 (1962-2018)
Jerry Maren, Last Surviving 'Wizard of Oz' Munchkin, 98 (1920-2018)
Alan O'Neill, Actor Widely Known as Irish Crime Boss Hugh in FX's 'Sons of Anarchy' Series, 47
Anthony Bourdain, Celebrity Chef, Author & Television Personality, 61 (1956-2018)
Maria Bueno, Brazilian Tennis Great, 78 (1939-2018)
Gena Turgel, Holocaust Survivor who Nursed Anne Frank, 95 (1923-2018)
Danny Kirwan, Former Guitarist & Vocalist for Fleetwood Mac, 68 (1950-2018)
Eunice Gayson, Actress Best Known as 'The First Bond Girl' Sylvia Trench, 90 (1928-2018)
Jackson Odell, Actor Known as Ari Caldwell on 'The Goldbergs' Sitcom, 20 (1997-2018)
Elaine Holstein, Mother of Slain Anti-War Protestor Jeffrey Miller Killed on May 4th, 1970, 96 (1922-2018)
Ines Zorreguieta, Sister of Dutch Queen Maxima, 33
David Douglas Duncan, War Photographer, 102 (1916-2018)
Murray Fromson, Longtime News Correspondent for CBS, 88 (1929-2018)
Dorothy Cotton, Civil Rights Pioneer & Colleague of Martin Luther King Jr., 88 (1930-2018)
Neal Boyd, Winner of NBC TV's 'America's Got Talent' in 2008, 42 (1975-2018)
Samuel Tom Holiday, Navajo Code Talker who won Purple Heart for Bravery in World War II, 94
D.J. Fontana, Longtime Drummer for Elvis Presley, 87 (1931-2018)
Jordan McNair, University of Maryland Offensive Lineman, 19
Anne Donovan, Hall of Fame Basketball Player & Coach, 56 (1961-2018)
Bob Christman, Korean War Veteran & CPA, 86
Gennady Rozhdestvensky, Noted Russian Conductor, 87 (1931-2018)
Keith Fahnhorst, Former Star Tackler for NFL's 49ers, 66 (1952-2018)
Leslie Grantham, Iconic British Actor Best Known for Soap Opera 'EastEnders', 71 (1947-2018)
Matt Murphy, Blues Guitarist Played for Blues Brothers & Howlin' Wolf Bands, 88 (1929-2018)
Elizabeth Brackett, Journalist who Hosted WTTW Show 'Chicago Tribune' for Two Decades, 76 (1941-2018)
Sonia Scurfield, Former Owner of Calgary Flames Hockey Team, 89 (1928-2018)
Jalal Mansur Nuriddin, Poet & Musician Hailed as 'The Grandfather of Rap', 73 (1944-2018)
Jahseh Dwayne Onfroy, Rapper & Singer Known Professionally as XXXTentacion, 20 (1998-2018)
Walter Bahr, Last Surviving Member of U.S. Team that Upset England in 1950 World Cup, 91 (1927-2018)
Dutch Rennert, Longtime National League Umpire, 88 (1930-2018)
Kazuo Kashio, Co-Founder of Casio Electronics Company, 89
Hubert Green, Hall of Fame Golfer who Won U.S. Open in 1977, 71 (1946-2018)
Peter Thomson, Five-Time British Open Champion, 88 (1929-2018)
Tom Flynn, Pennsylvania Funeral Director Honored with ICCFA's 2018 Achievement Award, 79
Leon Allen White, WWE/WCW Professional Wrestler Known as Big Van Vader, 63 (1955-2018)
Dick Leitsch, Pioneering Gay Rights Activist, 83 (1935-2018)
Donald Hall, Former U.S. Poet Laureate who won Numerous Awards, 89 (1928-2018)
Charles Krauthammer, Influential Conservative Voice for Washington Post & Fox News Channel, 68 (1950-2018)
Vinnie Paul, Co-Founder & Drummer of Heavy Metal Band Pantera, 54 (1964-2018)
Constance Adams, Pioneering Space Architect & National Geographic Emerging Explorer, 53
Richard Harrison, Patriarch Known as 'The Old Man' on Popular Reality Series 'Pawn Stars', 77 (1941-2018)
Frank Harden, Longtime Radio Host in Washington, D.C., 95 (1922-2018)
Richard Valeriani, NBC News Correspondent, 85
Brian Donovan, Pulitzer Prize-Winning Newsday Reporter, 77
Rachelle Jones, Veteran Women's College Basketball Referee, 51
Ann Hopkins, Business Manager who Won Supreme Court Gender Bias Case in 1980s, 74 (1943-2018)
David Goldblatt, South African Photographer, 87
Deanna Lund, Actress Best Known as Valerie Scott in Sci-Fi TV Series 'Land of the Giants', 81 (1937-2018)
Dan Ingram, Pioneering Disc Jockey in Rock & Roll's Early Days, 83 (1934-2018)
Joe Jackson, Patriarch of Musical Jackson Family that Included Michael & Janet, 89 (1928-2018)
Phil Rodgers, Golf Instructor & 5-Time Winner on PGA Tour, 80 (1938-2018)
Harlan Ellison, Prolific Science-Fiction Writer, 84 (1934-2018)
Eugene Kim, Veteran Writer of Today In History for the Associated Press, 61
Donald Ritchie, Record-Setting Ultrarunner, 73 (1944-2018)
Irena Szewinska, Poland's Three-Time Olympic Champion Sprinter, 72 (1946-2018)
Jahi McMath, Teen at Center of Medical & Religious Debate on Brain Death, 17
Steve Soto, Adolescents Bassist & Punk Rock Legend, 54 (1963-2018)
Matt Cappotelli, Former WWE Wrestler & Winner on 'Tough Enough' Reality Show, 38 (1979-2018)
Smoke Dawg, Canadian Rapper, 21 (1996-2018)
Turner V. Stokes, Prominent Activist for Nudist Spaces, 90 (1927-2018)
Billy Kinard, Former Mississippi Head Football Coach, 84 (1933-2018)
Patricia Schiller, Washington Sex & Marriage Therapist, 104 (1913-2018)
John Meisten, Probed High-Profile John Hinckley Jr. Case for the FBI, 76 (1942-2018)
Christine Noestlinger, Award-Winning Austrian Children's Author, 81 (1936-2018)
Steve Ditko, Comic Book Artist who Co-Created Spider-Man, Doctor Strange & Others, 90 (1927-2018)