Center of Crisis #2: First Battle

Center of Crisis Emblem (Text 2.0)

Previously on Center of Crisis…
7 months ago during the 2024 Olympics, a sudden Eclipse and meteor shower blots out the sky. This eclipse, which would become known as the Kaiju Eclipse, marked the appearance of colossal monsters capable of single-handedly wiping out entire cities. As the number of Kaiju appearances increase, more and more cities are leveled. Kim Park, a former member of Team USA’s Olympic team, finds himself trapped in Florida as the Kaiju make their way through it…

“Head hurts like hell…what happened?” I thought as I try to remember what happened. I think it was nighttime when I got knocked out by flying debris. “What’s that sound?” I’m still woozy and trying to wake up. My eyes start to open and I don’t like what I see…

When Kim opens his eyes he discovers he’s not in the city anymore. In fact, he’s in the back of a military van. A pair of voices come from the front of the van, one female, and one male. There are supplies and weapons around him but no windows to see the outside. Not from the floor anyway.

“Where am I?” I think to myself. I try to sit up but my hands and legs have been bound. Even my messenger bag is gone. But they did patch up my head at least… “Need to find a way to get out…” I try to work myself off of my side and sit up without letting them know I’m awake. Don’t know where they’re trying to take me and I don’t care. “The hell did they tie me with?” It felt like one of those industrial tie wraps. “Whoever they are they don’t want me getting out…” All I could do now was just wait and see what they had in store for me. “Wait a minute…Got an idea.” I try to act quick and lay back down in the position they left me. If I’m lucky they still haven’t realized I woke up and if they do come back here maybe I can listen in on their conversation more.

“Crap…we’re gonna have to find another way around.” The woman says as she brings the van to a stop.

[That voice sounds familiar…]

“We couldn’t knock it over could we?” The man asks.

“Maybe…but I don’t want to take my chances of it crushing us in the process. We’ll loop around a block over.”

“Whatever you say, lieutenant.”

[Great…more military…]

I remember it like it was yesterday. It was all over the news that Tsieg had appeared in Germany. The German military was doing more damage to their own home trying to stop him then Tsieg did personally. So not only did they cost tons of property damage they somehow lost a 450-meter tall monster. Everyone was in a frenzy to find him…at least until rumors of the second Kaiju appeared. There were rumors a lizard Kaiju had appeared in the jungles of South America. Only pictures anyone could get were blurry images of a vague outline. Like the thing could blend into the environment. People were starting to think that maybe Tsieg could do something like that too. They named it Sauria even though they didn’t even know if the thing was a lizard. Then on the same day each month a new Kaiju would appear…

Lemuron appeared in South Africa. Naturally, he got named after lemurs but I never got to see it. He was the very first confirmed peaceful Kaiju. People were hoping they could learn from him. Maybe find a way to understand the species. Goldam was a giant echidna crossed with a bear that was found in Central Australia. Thing was as lazy as they come and even to this day nobody has seen it do anything other than sleep…at least I think so anyway. That coming January was when everything took a turn for the worst. You see aside from Tsieg’s first appearance we hadn’t fought any of the other Kaijus we found. Sauria kept to itself, Lemuron was peaceful, and Goldam…well he just slept. Then they appeared…King Trino and Nagara…a nasty pair of Kaiju who popped up in Asia. Both were fiercely aggressive and attacked anything and everything. It was the first time a pair of Kaiju had appeared at once and at the same place. King Trino would always attack during the day while Nagara would at night. It was an unending hell for Asia…Armies were sent in to deal with them. They failed. One Kaiju was bad enough but after the failed attempts to kill them, the pair started working together. Six days after they first appeared, Tiruma made its first appearance and tried to stop them. The night the world would see its first-ever Kaiju battle…

“TARRRRREEEEE!” Tiruma echoes as it flies through the skies. Each flap of its mighty wings brought ungodly winds. Not that it did anything to disturb Nagara. The jet black panther Kaiju was undeterred.

“YOWWWWWL!” She roars fiercely standing her ground. In the night she ruled. She leaps through the air at her prey but narrowly misses from the torrential winds.

Tiruma was brave and wanted to protect its territory. But it knew it wouldn’t win against Nagara in a contest of brute force. “TARRRE!” Tiruma hovers in place and creates a localized tornado. It tore through the ground and trees and flung them violently at Nagara.

“Grrrr…” Nagara growls as she retreats from the tornado. She hated the thought that she was being herded by this insect but knew in a battle of stamina she’d win. All she’d need was one good strike and Tiruma would be hers. For a brief moment, she considered what she was being herded towards. Surely it wasn’t those pathetic metal machines the humans had waiting for her. The ground shakes and she realizes it’s already too late. It lifts up from under her as spiked tentacles wrap around her body.

“BWOOOOOOH!” Tsieg had returned and he was none too pleased with Nagara’s presence disturbing his underground slumber. The humans believed after his emergence in Germany he had disappeared somewhere into Russia if not back at sea. But in reality, he had made a beeline for India and simply submerged himself underground. Sleeping…waiting…and finally, he had returned. It takes little effort for Tsieg to throw Nagara aside like a toy.

“YOWWWWL!” Nagara roars angrily at her new opponent. She had not anticipated his appearance nor was prepared for it. The spikes on its tentacles had dug into her skin but she refused to appear weak and injured.

“Tare…” Tiruma calls softly to Tsieg who simply stands between it and the hostile Nagara. It didn’t know if Tsieg was a friend or foe but it knew that for this fight they would be on the same side. For a new enemy had appeared. As if sensing Nagara’s pain, King Trino awoke from his sleep. The massive tiger Kaiju had blood red fur and black stripes. A truly imposing presence. His hollow white eyes cut through the darkness and were aimed straight at Tsieg.

King Trino stands proud and silent. He sized up the would-be challenger for his territory and was unimpressed. A creature that hid behind fog was unfit to face him. Yet his presence had compelled him to awaken. “BROGHHHHHH!” He bellows through the night. Tsieg remained undeterred but the annoying human presence nearby had thankfully begun to fallback. They were hardly a threat but the distraction could prove fatal. In a single mighty bound, King Trino pounces on Tsieg and bites at what he assumes to be his neck. His bottom teeth draw blood but not the top set. Aside from fog, the coward appeared to have an armored hide.

“BWOH!” Tsieg cries in pain. The speed of the attack caught him by surprise. Using his tentacles he pries King Trino from his body. But the King’s strength isn’t to be taken lightly. Even with all of Tsieg’s strength he had difficulty keeping him still. In fact, he loses his grip moments before Nagara leaps towards him. Instinctively he turns so she lands on her back. His protective shell stopping Nagara in her tracks…mostly…Even with the rain from Tiruma aiding him the longer he fought the more a disadvantage he was put at.

“TARRRRE!” Tiruma cries as it flies into Nagara, knocking her off of Tsieg.

“BROGH!” King Trino roars as he pounces on Tiruma. The poor insect didn’t know what hit it. His claws tearing through its once beautiful wings like paper.

Tsieg has had enough of this king. His body begins to glow a neon yellow glow. It’s light filling in the sinews of its shelled body creating the most peculiar of vague outlines. “BWOOOOOHHH!” He exclaims as he releases his mighty cosmic ray for the first time. Its white light shone through the night and struck King Trino, sending him flying off of Tiruma, into Nagara, and into the distance miles away.

As suddenly as he appeared, Tsieg disappeared once more. Leaving Tiruma and heading towards the sea. The following days Tsieg was headlining all news outlets. The first and greatest of all the current Kaiju had resurfaced and nobody knew what his intentions were. But this wouldn’t be the last time he was seen. Across the planet, more battles like that became increasingly common and many involving him. It was like Tsieg was on a quest to eliminate all other Kaiju with the exception of Tiruma. The military responded in kind and continued their pursuit trying to deal with not only him but all Kaiju. More often than not they’d leave a trail of destruction in their wake trying to stop the Kaiju. A fact many refused to let them live down. The Kaiju Warning System began to be implemented to help evacuate and save lives. With the governments unable to actually deal with the Kaiju some countries began instituting martial law. In places like America, where there was no destruction at all…There was a different problem. Let’s just say there’s lots of proof to support them being responsible for people disappearing. Not that it mattered at this point…

“Think we can stop soon? I’d like to check on our third wheel.” A man says from the passenger seat of the van.

“Yeah…just let me find a place to hide us.” The lieutenant replies. A few minutes pass before she stops the van and exits. From the back, Kim can hear the pair approaching. Shortly later she opens the door. “Looks like he’s still out.”

[That voice…I heard it before.] I think to myself. I couldn’t tell while driving but now it’s all coming in clear. [It’s that woman from the other day. The one who asked if anyone was alive still.] I think you’d call it fate. I ignore her the other day and now I’m tied up in the back of her van. Well, …it sounded not as stalkery to me at least…

“We should get him to a hospital.” The man suggests full of concern.

“Good luck finding one still open in the state…”

“Can we at least untie him? Doesn’t feel right doing that to an injured person.”

[Come on…just listen to the man.] I think to myself. I’m doing my best to fake being asleep but these ties are killing me.

“Yeah, you can go take care of it.”

It takes about 30 seconds to get unbound. Another 30 for me to hear them leave. Probably wanted to see if I was awake or had a trick up my sleeve. A full minute passes when I finally make my move. I sit up as slowly and quietly as I can to make sure they don’t hear me and come back. Jokes on me, by the time I’m finally up I see the soldier staring at me with a pistol ready. [Guess my act didn’t fool her.] I think briefly before it turns to. [Oh shit I’m so screwed!] But I try to not let it show on the surface.

“Had a feeling you were faking it.” she says. Her hands don’t even shake. She’s perfectly calm. “Time for 20 questions. Where did you come from?”

[No idea if she’s the trigger-happy type…better be careful with what I say.] “I live…lived at Miami Beach.” I respond as calmly as possible. After seeing Kaiju up close on a near daily basis, you kinda get used to the feeling of terror. Never get used to the idea of dying and or getting shot in the face though.

“How long have you been here?”

[I can lie to her and she’d never know it…or be honest and try not to get on her bad side…]

“Well?” she asks impatiently. Didn’t even realize I froze up thinking.

“A few weeks.” Telling her the truth couldn’t hurt. Maybe I’ll get something out of it.

“So you were here when Cetra first attacked?” she asks without even pausing. Guess I said the magic word.

“Yeah…” I respond. I try not to think too much about what happened.

“What happened? How did you survive?” It sounded almost like she cared…Having the gun pointed at me constantly didn’t really help.

It’s funny…for about 6 months we’ve been dealing with Kaiju attacks and appearances. But it was always just a news story. You’d hear about Sauria minding its own business in the forests of South America but nobody ever got hurt. Hear about Belorus that weird giant flying fish thing off the coast of Japan that was turning into the new Loch Ness Monster. People trying to get pictures just to prove it was real for some big prize. Even Lemuron just kinda minded its own business. But none of them appeared in the US so it always felt so far away. I was horrible seeing the trails of destruction King Trino and Nagara left…same for the few times Tsieg appeared. But it still felt distant. Like it wasn’t our problem. Nothing had even set foot in North America yet. Seemed like they never would…So much for hopeful thinking…

Next Issue

COMING SOON

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