View Full Version : Godzilla: GMD, Giant Monsters All Out Attack

July 4th, 2014, 10:21 PM
Just trying it out to see if anyone notices this around here.

I'm not sure what people's reaction to the Legendary Godzilla movie were. Might as well see if anyone likes the teaser.


His eyes felt the size of dinner plates as it towered over them. At least a hundred and fifty meters of insane, solid gold Dragon, standing on two legs. Its wings spread across entire city blocks as it stood between the hospital and Godzilla.

The MUTO behind the hospital let out a pitiable roar as it tried to crawl away, but the king of monsters’ eyes were no longer upon it. Something flashed in them. Recognition of an ancient past jolted the beast awake and it roared, the sound shattering windows and forcing the soldiers further down behind the tipped vehicle.

Then the return, booming, shuddering roar, that even though they couldn’t see him could only mean one thing. The King was charging. They had to move. They’d be right in the impact zone. How could anything, even a beast of this size, stop sixty thousand tons of charging behemoth? it was impossible.

In response the dragon just spread it’s wings and there was a strange high pitched ululating whine. It was almost like a child’s memory of flying saucers and… something… something no one could put their finger on.

He put his hand to the car, about to push off when something glaringly wrong stared him in the face. The car moved under the simple pressure of his palm. With eyes no less wide than before, and as the other soldiers began getting up and calling to him, he put both hands to the car’s frame and with a slight effort a ton and a half of metal moved upwards. He gasped and let it drop to the ground. The car landed lightly on it’s wheels while Martins called out from the crowd, his leap having rammed him into a nearby wall.

That wasn’t possible. That couldn’t be happening. With a glance up another thought struck him. If a car now weighed nothing more than a feather, then by comparison how much would that thing weigh?

“Wait…” he started, but never got a chance to finish.

With a flick of its legs and one powerful beat of those mighty pinions the dragon took off towards Godzilla as if it weighed nothing, for maybe it did. The three block distance between them suddenly becoming all too short as the titans closed upon one another.

Gazing upon the video monitor at the base, his Japanese competitor standing beside him and looking back and forth from scientist to screen, the stubborn one just gasped in horrified agony.

“No, not again… not another Ghidorah…”

In a combined rate that ate up ground at a worrying speed the pair of monsters closed. The King furrowed his brow, thrust forward his arms and leaned into the charge, determined to get the most possible weight on the collision. The dragon, his wings and arms spread as he charged, making him look like the far larger of the two, had a different idea. Shifting it’s massive shoulders it caught one clawed foot on the ground. Its spread wings shifted and filled as if by some impossible wind. Then with a grace impossible in such a creature it sidestepped out of Godzilla’s way in mid charge.

The brains of every scientist in the control room broke, badly.

The size difference between the two became more obvious as Godzilla, for a moment, stood in the dragon’s shadow. The King came up just to the dragon’s shoulders, or maybe a hair above. One eye turned toward the golden dragon there was nothing Godzilla could do but try to understand, no counter he could call on so quickly as his foe reached out to him with it‘s clawed hands, grabbing him while it‘s massive wings all but tented the saurian juggernaut.

On the ground something struck the soldier as the car regained it’s weight and bounced fitfully in front of him. He’d never seen a monster move like that. Not the speed, not the agility, but the precision. That was no beast. That thing moved like a human. He even recognized the technique.

“It’s going to throw!” he shouted, pulling his nearest fellows with him, “Get DOWN!”

The group cowered in the gigantic new shadow passing over them. The children in the hospital rooms, still unable to be rescued, screamed with glee. Godzilla’s eyes went wide as something that never should have happened, never should have been possible became reality… and he cleared them all by a wide margin, landing almost a mile further out into the city with a sound like all the hammers of Asgard smashing down at once.

No one noticed, somewhere further beyond the city, in the far valley, the wounded MUTO screaming and thrashing as a viscous red fluid climbed it’s torso and reduced it to nothing but steam and goop.

July 6th, 2014, 07:12 AM
For some reason, I'm surprised to see this here - *shrugs* - but I've got no idea why.

July 6th, 2014, 01:49 PM
I figure I can put the teaser here and if anyone is interested they can find it on ff.net but maybe I'm overthinking it.

At least putting this here forced me to read it again and notice all the omgwtfbbq grammar errors that may have been cutting down my readership on fanfiction. Though I have looked at the other stories there and I'm a grammar saint compared to some of those people.

July 7th, 2014, 06:41 AM
I can't argue with that last part . . . :rolleyes:

July 29th, 2014, 03:29 PM
World of New Legends, February 2016
In the Southern Ocean, near Antarctica, fifty miles North of the Ross Ice Shelf.

In serene and beautiful dark navy waters a single ship plied the waves. The large vessel, nearly seventy meters of bright blue metal, with REASEARCH prominently displayed in white lettering on the side, slid across the waters at a leisurely pace. Her solid presence a reassuring facet of humanity's power out even on these far seas.

"Kore.<There.>" a man on the high bow of the ship said as he pointed, getting a second sailor's attention, "Yaku shihyaku mētoruda to omoimasu.<About four hundred meters I think.>"

"Masu shihyaku mētoruda to omoimasu.<You think four hundred meters.>" the second man parroted, nodding and turning the device he was manning, a large and powerful harpoon launcher, to the hunt.

"Ii, ii.<Good, Good.>" the first said.

The man, Japanese in manner and aspect, turned and took a risky hop over some equipment that had been hastily placed near his perch. He headed back to the bridge and waved the attention of those on the bridge just to be sure they'd catch him talking. A wave back confirmed that he had been noted. Smoothly pulling up his microphone he glanced left and right, then nodded to one of the five security men that were nearby before pressing the talk.

"Shihyaku mētoru, azuma· tōnan wa, sukoshi ugen watashitachi o motarasu.<Four hundred meters, East South East, bring us slightly starboard.>" he spoke into the mic.

"Azuma· tōnan, ugen mawashimasu ai ai.<East-South-East, turning starboard, aye!>" a voice called back over the speakers, "Kita no owarine ni rēdā sesshoku.<Radar contact to the North closing.>"

Grumbling the man on the fore deck looked down and thought a moment, then came back with, "Tāgetto ni suru tame no jikan? Renraku suru jikan ni kurabete?<Time to target, compared to time to contact?>"

"Yodanwoyurusanai.<Too close to call.>"

"Sore wa kareradesu ka?<It's them?>"

"Massugu watashitachi ni kuru? Koko ni?<Coming straight at us? Here?>"

"Sou, karera wa. Watashi wa chōdo nē. Watashi no ki no shigoto o suru koto wa dekimasen.<Right, them. Can‘t just do my damn job.>" the man said a bit upset, then turned back to the gunner and hopped up near him "Sore o anata no saikō no shotto. Saichō han'i o ataemasu.<Hey! Give it your best shot. Longest range.>"

"Hai!<Yes!>" the gunner confirmed with a nod, sighting in as the ship began to turn.

The first man gripped his microphone tightly then let it back on its strap. He glared in front of the ship as a whale there surfaced, its breath spouting in the distance.

Out to the North the bright blue whaling ship had been spotted. Looking for all the world like a grayish white arrow a vessel sped at astonishing speed towards its target. The eyes of all on the deck and the bridge of the trimaran locked onto first the massive blue harvester, and then to its target.

"The Yūshin is on one." the man at the wheel pointed out, "There."

Another man with binoculars put them down and without a second thought ordered, "Block their shot." his words brimming with a subtle malice.

"On their timing." the helmsman responded, pressing the throttles forward.

"Bridge to crew, we're at battle stations." the other called over the loudspeaker, "Clear the stern and watch for flying objects."

Deep in the Southern Ocean two ships closed on each other. One moving with calm diligence, the other at breakneck speed. Both crawled with activity. Crew members racing around, all but preparing for combat. In the bridge of one ship, and the bow of another, two men held a tense competition. Their eyes were set, the rest of the world didn't matter. Only their own personal quests drove them, one for protection, one for duty. The rest of the world be damned.

The gray-white dart, a type of ship called a stabilized monohull, because why keep names simple, cut through the water, trying to do the best version of a power slide its light construction could handle.

The gunner on the blue ship targeted carefully. He was taking a shot at the best range he could. His finger preparing to trigger his launcher as the other ship began sliding just into the edge of his tunneled perceptions.

With a stern scowl the gunner pressed the trigger. The harpoon flew through the air, riding the blast from its launcher. It's cable trailing behind it as its owner called to his ancestors for luck.

With a stern scowl the helmsman pushed his boat to the limit. The sharp blade cut deep, sliding towards the whale. It's owner whispered a quiet prayer to God for deliverance.

Then a mouth wider than a city bus emerged from the water, snapped shut around the whale and disappeared below the waves.

The men on the bow of the harvester dropped their jaws in shock.

The men on the bridge of the other vessel glanced around in confusion.

The harpoon pierced the gray-white ship high on the superstructure and deflected slightly before continuing on, uselessly to the sea. It was debatable if anyone noticed till later.

As to whether or not the whale would have been hit… sort of an academic question really.

Only the people on the bridge of the Bardot had even enough of their wits about them to talk.

"Was that… was that?" the helmsman stuttered.

The other man looked over at him with a shrug then added, "Maybe it's actually a good thing we changed the name of the ship."

An hour later the gray-white trimaran was abuzz with activity. Floating still in the water the crew rushed back and forth along the deck struggling with a thick cable that was stretched across their ship from front to back.

"Come on, pull carefully." one of the hands said as he worked on the cable in the front, "If we pull too hard we could cause more damage."

"Got it, got it." a girl in the back responded, threading the cable around the back and away from fouling the engines, "No hurry."

"We don't want them to move to far off." a man next to her added, pulling the cable away from the radar equipment.

The girl just smirked and nodded at the big blue boat about a half mile away from them, "Even if they do move, doesn't look like they'll be catching any more whales."

A glance in that direction and the fellow had to agree. It was neither hard to miss the three rows of enormous spines sticking out of the water from behind the blue boat, nor the sound of loud exasperated cursing wafting over the wind across the distance.

"Watashitachi kara sore o nigeru! Sā! Sore o oiharau!<Get it away from us! Come on! Drive it off!>"

"Anata wa sore ga totemo kantanda to omoimasu ka? Watashi wa sore o ya~tsu te koko de anata no ue ni hyōji sa renai!<You think it's so easy? I don't see you over here doing it!>"

A dozen men, many using gaff hooks, others using random things as push poles, were poking and prodding at the gigantic gray flank alongside them. The ship rocked on occasion as Godzilla settled in.

"Ah! Gojira! Gojira!" just too many people insisted on shouting. On the deck the lead man shook his head and looked at the whole scene from underneath the bridge. A swarm of men near him were talking their options over.

"Wareware wa sore o utsubeki ka?<Should we shoot at it?>" one of the security men asked, "Do no yōna mizu no taihō wa dōdesu ka?<What about the water cannons?>"

"Dare kangae wa arimasen.<No idea.>" the man apparently in charge responded then weighing the chances, looked over towards the men manning the harpoon, "Anata ga shotto o shutoku suru koto wa dekimasu ka?<Can you get a shot?>"

The harpoon man signaled negative and pointed back, "Kare wa chikaidesushi, haigo ni aru, wareware wa hi ni fune o idō suru hitsuyō ga arimasu.<He's close and behind, we need to move the ship to fire.>"

Dashing over the catwalk the man in charge motioned the bridge to get the ship moving. The helm was only too happy to get away from their giant guest.

"Watashi wa kare ga kujira no chi o nioida to omoimasu.<I think he smells whale blood.>" the gunner pointed out the slick of red on the front of their ship, "Kare wa yori ōku no shokuryō no tame no watashitachi ni tsuiseki.<He's following us for more food.>"

"Kare wa kubi ni era o motte imasu.<He has gills on the neck.>" the first man said, looking closely at Godzilla's bulk, "Hitto suru no wa muzukashī subekide wa arimasen.<Shouldn't be hard to hit.>"

As the vessel and the giant pulled apart, Godzilla not quite maneuverable enough to keep tight with his target, the gunner managed to get the harpoon launcher around over the high sided bow and aim it towards his target. Someone started shouting from the bridge.

"Ōkina mokuhyō o mita koto ga nai.<Never seen a bigger target.>" the gunner remarked with a grin, and triggered the harpoon. The flying spear flew true into the space between Godzilla's gills.

"Anata wa shōki ka!<Are you insane!>" the ship's captain screamed, storming up the catwalk and pointing over at Godzilla, "Anata wa Gojira ga kono fune ni nanigadekiruka shitte imasu ka?<Do you know what Gojira could do to this ship?>"

"Eh?" the man and the gunner looked at each other, then at Godzilla, then back, and blanched. It seemed to be the first time they'd noticed that the giant monster was more than four times as long as their vessel.

"Wareware wa amarini mo ōku no watashitachi no shigoto ni shūchū shita.<We were focused too much on our work.>" the first man said, bowing his head in shame, "Anata wa watashi no mottomo seijitsuna shazai o motte imasu.<You have my most sincere apology.>"

"Anata ga shita baai wa···<If you've...>" the Captain started. His tirade was interrupted by a shout from the men nearer to Godzilla. A hand the size of their bow had risen from the water and was looming over the vessel. Crying screams of one sort or another sounded from half the people there, quiet prayers were on the lips of the rest.
After a few moments of floating above the whaler like the Sword of Damocles, dripping seawater onto the deck, Godzilla's giant, clawed hand reached over to his neck and gave his gills a drawn out scratch. In a few movements the remains of the harpoon came free from where they were stuck and splashed into the water.

The gunner leaned over his launcher, breathing a sigh of relief. The Captain fell to his knees, finding his breath after holding it for far too long. The first man just stared in disbelief for a second before he found his voice.

"Wareware wa yori ōkina fune o hitsuyō to shite imasu.<We're going to need a bigger boat.>"

Scaring the hell out of the men standing there, and setting their already frayed nerves just on the edge of sanity, Godzilla's huge head rose from the sea. He glanced to the right, away from them and with a splash that could have easily been mistaken for a rogue wave, dove. It took only a minute for the spiraling giant to dip all but his spines below the waves and reverse course.

The men on the whaler started to cheer, but the sound died in their throats. Over the sounds of the seas and even Godzilla parting the waves a frightening, unmistakable sound could be heard. The sound of metal, buckling and tearing en masse, brought another panic to all the seamen in sight. This time it was not themselves they were concerned for. Somewhere nearby a ship, a large one, was dying.

Wheeling about in the sky a white helicopter, piled full of people, tried desperately to gain altitude. It's pilot had managed to get at few hundred feet into the sky even with the load. Desperation could do that to a person. Somehow, maybe because of how loud the screams were, or maybe because of his fevered imagination, the pilot could swear he still heard the people left behind.

"Come on! Come on! Get out of there!"

"Watashi no ashi wa, watashi no ashi ga kieta!"


"Nigeru! Nigeru!"

"Run! Run!"

Below, in the dark blue ocean, miles from anywhere, two vessels sat side by side. The pair were both dead in the water, stopped still. One was a long black vessel with a large deck and many protruding structures. The other a ship was less than half as long, colored in a strange urban camouflage scheme. Crew scrambled around both ships and there was a mad dash to get as many people from the larger vessel to the smaller.

"Come on! Come on!" a balding man was still shouting in English, pushing people towards his boat. He flinched as another one of the taller nearby structures came crashing down, pulling the radar mast and a number of connected wires with it.

A man was screaming on the far deck. The falling wires had caught him and taken a chunk out of his body. His blood mixed with the rest, for the ship had been covered with blood, even before the attack. Maybe the blood pouring out of the spillage ports had attracted it in the first place. None of it mattered now, just the dying and the fleeing.

The whaling factory ship, a vessel bloodied by its own duty in the dispatch and dissection of giant whales, now was beginning to tilt away from the vessel, normally its enemy, that was trying to save its crew. A few men slipped, many held on. Others dragged them up, most of the time they came back with a seaman, other times only half or less.

On the far side of the vessel it was like the blood itself, cast incautiously into the water, had come alive seeking revenge. A breathtaking wave of viscous red fluid stood as if frozen over the deck and poured itself onto the ship, In defiant denial of gravity the red mass strove up the sides of the factory vessel and lashed out at anything moving, trailing sparks and bleeding smoke.

The man, cut by wires just a moment earlier, was touched by the thing. In seconds there was nothing but electrical arcs and bones where he lay. In a few more moments even that was gone. It had been like that with everything. The balding man averted his eyes and knew for sure the reason there where no whales on the deck, nor even half the crew here there should have been.

Above them, latched onto the side of the stricken ship for support, the wave of red fluid reached upwards to the height of the tallest mass. It towered above all of them and many screamed, afraid it was about to fall forward and wipe them all from the world.

Looking back the Captain of the second ship glanced down to see how far a jump it would be to get back to his vessel. He'd probably break a leg not using the ladders, but it would most certainly be worth the pain to stay alive. A few of the Japanese had tumbled off in the shaking and his crew were tending to some and pulling the rest out of the waves. It was only a matter of seconds before he would have to leap too, but like hell would he desert any living being to die while he could help pull even one more man to safely.

The ship shook again. Everyone looked up, expecting the wave to fall past the remaining masts and onto them all, but the great red expanse was retreating. Flowing away it took more than a minute for the entire mass to disengage itself in an almost painful looking series of wrenching movements before the boat was clear. Without the tons of extra weight pushing it off-balance the factory ship bounced upwards and righted itself so quickly it hit its neighbor with a resounding bong like some lone bell sounding out from the deep.

Grabbing a boarding ladder to hold himself steady the rescuer looked around with confusion and concern. The screams of pain had not let up and there was a lot of work to do. He and half a dozen Japanese men crossed the ship while others broke out every emergency kit and first aid box on both vessels. The deck was still a whirl of confusion.

"Kore da!" one of the Japanese men called out, pointing and while the Captain hadn't caught the words he didn't need them to know the meaning. Out in the sea, already almost a half mile away from the two ships, a slick of red colored the waters. The way the whole thing stuck together and moved faster than many speedboats unnerved him.

"Why did it leave?" he voiced, almost subconsciously, not expecting an answer.

"It's a predator." a voice with a strong Japanese accent responded from beside him, and the Captain noted to his surprise that one of the people he would never have considered a true researcher actually spoke halting English as the man continued, "The only reason it would leave, would be, if it sensed prey, something bigger than us."

"That doesn't leave many things." the Captain said, mulling it over, "What's a bigger concentration of life than us out here?"

"We're about, to see." the researcher replied, pointing towards the sea, "It's boiling,"

The man's words rung true. Out nearly a mile from the paired ships the water was a churning red soup. Something large was struggling just beneath the surface. The battle was joined on the scale of ancient colossi as the great red mass bubbled, slithered, fretfully over something that wasn't quite falling as fast as a man or a dead whale, something with a hint of scales and spine.

When Godzilla broke the surface, bellowing like all the beasts of Africa had decided to scream obscenities at the sky in chorus, hell did finally and truly break loose. Roaring and scratching the great one shook and twisted, trying to get loose the horrid mass that coated him in connected red splotches. Arcs of electricity jumped from giant spine to giant spine while Godzilla's skin steamed like fresh lava touching seawater.

Tendrils of red reached up and wrapped themselves around Godzilla's neck, burning at him with their strange touch and fighting to get into his gills. The great saurian behemoth used its mass and tail to push itself upwards, ripping at the offensive gunk that attacked it. Back down the mass pulled at him and he roared again. Up Godzilla strove and down the thing pulled. The ocean around them boiled as more and more of the red gunk reached up to topple the titan in its grasp.

With a strong heave Godzilla flexed his back and pulled at the lassoes of syrup confining him. His nostrils flaring Godzilla let loose and even louder roar of indignation as his foe pulled him down. Pulling to the left and the right the red stuff got Godzilla's chin to the water, then sunk his head. The spikes on his back began to disappear under those crimson seas. The giant's head broke the surface again as he struggled. The look on his face, even as animalistic as it was, read as incensed rage for a moment before he was pulled back under.

The men on the factory ship gasped in amazement as the giant beast sank further into the water. Their eyes were open wide, their jaws slack in amazement. The battle before them was incomprehensible, the scale, the mass, and now… that strange blue glow.

The spines at the tip of Godzilla's tail lit. The inner fire caught with the sound of grinding gears meshed in under that of a charging dynamo as it traveled from one spine to another, ascending the giant's back. The tip of his tail sunk below the waves but the red slime was no longer following it. It breached the surface in a mass that quickly turned into an expanding red ring. The substance of it lapped over itself, spreading as if each part of that fluid was trying to get as far away from what lie beneath as fast as possible. It wasn't enough, not nearly enough.

Godzilla burst out of the water, his spines glowing blue, his chest burling as air filled his lungs, then with a sudden lunge forward he let fly the beam. Swinging his shoulders and head from right to left, his tail pushing him to complete the arc his blue plasma flame scoured the ocean's surface. The red slick burned like oil.

Finishing his circle Godzilla set the world aflame.

July 30th, 2014, 09:50 AM
Ah, translations. Much more fun, this way. :)

August 29th, 2014, 02:16 PM
The world before knowledge.
Much further North.

Even on the side of a mountain it was oppressively hot and humid so close to the equator. Trees of many types spread out as far as the eye could see. The early morning sun beat down on the jungle landscape.

Through the trees there were hints of movement. Birds flitted from place to place and the odd animal crawled or slithered here and there. Something else moved in a group silently through the wilderness but in a small sunny clearing along their path, the sound of a loud radio shifting through channels would have covered a multitude of sins.

Twenty men, all wearing various shades of green, milled about doing little but trying to get out of the hot sun. The sun had just risen past the mountain to their East and things had taken a languid turn. Many sat around, working on the mix of guns and weapons they were carrying. A few took care of their ammunition, either slipping bullets into extra clips for their antiquated but common AK rifles, or laying out the ammo bandoliers they'd been wearing so that the newly risen sun didn't make the metal uncomfortably hot. Others sauntered around, carrying their guns at ready while headed from place to place while one man worked the tuning on an older model radio, trying to find a good AM station for the news.

The radio blared English as he hit a good station during a report, "Sixty Philippine soldiers suspected of involvement in bank robberies have been removed from their assignments and sent on combat missions against communist rebels, the armed forces reported Wednesday. The soldiers, mostly privates, were members of a security force assigned to guard the Camp Aguinaldo general military headquarters in Manila."

A few laughs broke out as the radio operator tried a different station, "Chinese Lunar New Year is Tomorrow, prepare for the festivities…"

Uncaring, the radio man, a swarthy fellow wrapped in olive clothing to help camouflage him in the jungle, switched to a different station, "…President Corazon Aquino today called for…"

Amidst a chorus of boos the man switched channels again, quickly this time, "…announces that the 24-hour air campaign continues with 67,000 sorties flown, focusing on Scud sites and the Republican Guard. More images of dead civilians from yesterdays air strike on a Baghdad bunker in the residential al-Amerieh district, which Iraqi officials insist had been converted into an air raid shelter, have filtered into worldwide news services. American officials race to decry the images as faked. Sources indicate a major announcement by the Bush administration is coming tomorrow."

Two dark-skinned, black-haired, men walked over and motioned their fellow off the radio. They both crouched down beside it before switching the set over to FM.

<VERY loosely translated from Bisaya>

"May gani wala ta didto.<I'm glad we're not over there.>" The first mentioned, fiddling with the dial, "ka-ubo jud ng mga buanga na.<They're going to get badly hurt.>"

"Sus, unsa may labot nato sa ilaha.<Ah, who cares about them?>" The other replied, smacking the first's hand away, "mas importante pa ang atong gina storya.<What we were talking about is far more important.>"

The first laughed as he rubbed his hand, "sa tinuod lang, nindot ang ilahang kanta.<There is no argument. The music they play is far deeper with more feeling. Your stuff might as well be pop.>"

A few eyes fell on the pair as they randomly switched between stations. They were making a lot of noise, fighting over the dial. Not many people seemed to care.

"Kung gusto ka'g shagit-shagit ug kanang ibangbang imuhang ulo murag rocker.<If you like screaming and throwing your hair around.>" The second retorted with a chuckle, "Mas naa may exposure ang akua. Ug dili man gago ang drummer.<Mine gets a lot more exposure, and the drummer isn't a jerk.>"

"At least naay duha ka kamot ang gago.<At least the jerk has both arms.>" The first man countered, rubbing his scruffy beard and stabbing his hand forward to turn the dial back.

The second man, the slightly bigger of the two, pushed one hand in the first's face and yanked the dial back so hard the radio couldn't keep up and all it made was a squeal, "unsa may ginahimo sa imong laki sa ilaha? Boom boom boom lang pirminti.<What does your guy do with them? Just BOOM BOOM BOOM BOOM all the time.>"

In the far corner of the camp another militant, an older looking man with a fuller but better trimmed beard, looked up from his maps and growled. Shaking his head decided to put up with the loud pair no longer.

"Tama na nang sige'g lalis ana beh. Dapat loyal mo sa islam.<Stop arguing about that and be loyal to Islam.>" He said in rebuke. The pair just looked at him in confusion.

"Unsa ma'y atraso aning rock and roll sa Islam?<There's nothing against Islam about Rock and Roll.>" They said almost together.

The older man's rage grew and a vein began to throb visibly on his forehead, "Kanta na sa demonyo, ayaw mo'g paminaw ana!<It is the music of the Great Satan! Do not listen to it!>"

It caught everyone at the camp by surprise when the pair started laughing at him and turned back to the radio, obviously not impressed by his rant. It seemed that the older men in the camp had little control over the younger ones.

The first stopped laughing and motioned towards the older man, talking to whoever would listen, "Unsa may problema niya, pwede ta mag debate diri. Mindanao ni dili maski asa.<What is his problem? We can have a debate here. This is Mindanao not the middle of nowhere.>"

"Paminaw nimo pangayuon namo siya ug ham sandwich.<You'd think we asked him for a ham sandwich.>" The other chuckled, looking back to the radio.

The older man snorted and looked to those crouching near him with the words, "mga bugo, kung mutawag ang grupong abu sayyaf dili na nako sila i-recommend.<Fools, when Grupong Abu Sayyaf calls I will not recommend them.>"

There were some appreciative nods as the older man looked up towards the pair and started shouting, "Ug palunga ng radyo kay saba kaa...<And shut that radio off! You are making far too much noi...>"

He never got the rest of the words out. The sight of something moving like a shadow in the bushes past the pair caught the words in his throat. A small, hollow, black cylinder slid into sight. The older man's eyes grew wide, but for a second.

Tick Tick, Tick… a sound hidden in the blare of hard rock.

The older men fell backwards, sprouting a pair of bloodstains from his chest as one blossomed on his head. The men near him looked over confused. Besides the sound of the radio the clearing descended into a sudden silence. Men began falling over. Small bursts of blood sprayed from people almost randomly and with nothing but the sound of music hiding the thud of objects impacting flesh. Confusion was total. Surprise was complete. Not a militant in the clearing got off a shot, managed to take cover or even figured how to defend themselves.

It was over. The last body hit the ground less than nine seconds after the first shot. There was stillness for almost half a minute before a hand signal was given and three, half unseen, men carefully skirted the clearing, checking every possible contingency until they were confident and gave a hand sign back. Five men with dark clothes, warm weather hats and green face paint broke into the clearing like a bolt from nowhere. They slipped quietly and confidently different spots. Three headed to the ridge on the far end of the clearing and went prone against it while the others, staying low, began to retrieve every map, communication and radio setting they could find.

"What are you guys doing?" a voice called out from where they had come, "That radio will cover a multitude of sins."

"Didn't realize there would be much shooting on this cakewalk." another voice said, more sensibly lower than the first, "Did you hear that report? Things are heating up over there."

A number of soldiers, quiet in their own way but much louder than the first group, moved almost leisurely into the clearing and took up covering positions. Most of the men were young, and blatantly American from their accent if the boonie hats on their heads, the easy smiles, the and Marine kit they were wearing hadn't been enough of a signal.

"Yeah, and we're stuck over here in east bumble nowhere, a quarter of the world away." another responded, keeping his voice under the music on the radio as he kept an eye on the wilderness.

"Don't talk to much about East Bumble." a Marine said as he cleared the brush, "I'm from there, and it's in Pennsylvania."

"Sorry to inform you but they moved your town." one of the first chuckled, "It's in West Virginia now."

"Men are men?"

"Sheep are scared."

There was some sedate laughter and back patting as the Marines set about the camp, their purpose debatable. On the ridge towards where they were headed the three soldiers just glanced at each other in bemused silence. The one in the middle, a man just as dark as those he'd just killed, as much as could have been told under his face paint, directed the other two with quick hand motions. The one to his left, probably a redhead had his hair not been darkened by some splotchy dye, nodded and started to crawl on his belly up to the ridge. The one on his right, a blond-haired, blue-eyed, country boy tried to respond with hand signals but began to get frustrated quickly.

He thought his situation over for a second then whispered to the man beside him, "Why are they so loud?"

His commander smiled back. The look on the relatively young blonde's face, relatively because he had at least five years on the Marines behind them, make him appear if he wanted to shout his statement to the world.

"I can't blame them Hawkins." he replied quietly, "We were all just tossed out here with practically no intel or advanced recon. Hell we were almost kicked off the boats into the zodiac. I can't imagine what those Marines went through."

"I don't even know why we need them Chief." Hawkins bemoaned.

"No recon, no one's going through another Panama, we need bodies." the Chief replied then pointed back, "See, bodies."

The blonde soldier let out a quiet snort of derision, "I don't need recon for this job, people getting in my way, or anything unnecessary going on in my head and distracting me from what I have to kill."

"You never were one to put much thought into things." the Chief said with a shrug, "But we can point you at things and you make them dead, so there's always room for you."

"Don't be so flattering Chief." the younger soldier said with a grunt and turned away to make sure the Marines at least didn't turn the radio off, but to his surprise they were too busy listening to it.

"Heh, you'll find your place one day." the commander remarked mostly to himself as he turned up and gave the soldier who'd crested the ridge another signal. The confusing hand sign he got back forced him repeat the sign as he low crawled up to see what was going on.

"I don't think we brought enough bullets." the soldier whispered as the Chief came up. He was about to look over the ridge when a voice to his right caught him short.

"We'll just have to make them last longer."

The Chief glanced over at Hawkins who was practically right beside him already, even though he'd not been even looking in the right direction when his commander started up the ridge. The fact that the young man had caught up with him, soundlessly, without sparking a bit of notice impressed the older soldier. Taking it into account for later the man looked up over the ridge and gasped in shock.

"Dali kuhaa na!"

Down over the forty-foot ledge was a larger open field, but this one had been obviously cleared from the jungle, right down to the dirt, and leveled with heavy equipment. Thousands of people, possibly almost ten thousand, hurried about the clearing, carrying things, moving machinery and generally making themselves useful. The scene wouldn't have looked out of place had the people in it not been such a random bunch. Business executives still in their suits worked side by side with women of the night and men that looked like they'd lived under a bridge for years and hadn't bathed all the while. Some women even had babies with them as they cleared rock and refuse from the center of the open area.

In the midst of it all rose a gantry with catwalks and machinery. Below the conglomeration yawned a large, man-made, delving. A deep mine had been holed straight down into the earth, out in the middle of a jungle, near an active volcano.

The absurdity of the whole scene made those viewing it twitch. That still didn't stop their detached, professional, eyes from picking out men standing along the entry points to the plain with firearms not held but on straps and ready to be brought up and fired at any time.

"Thirty five gunmen, one lead near the hole." the redhead pointed out, "Can't count the civvies, there are way to many, but if it matches the number of missing, maybe fifteen thousand."

"We'll take losses breaking into that." the blonde pointed out, "There's no way to sneak in."

"Hali diri!"

"Now aren't you glad we brought the Marines?" the Chief said with a glance back and a grin, and after he gave the Marines an appreciative wave he added, "Time for them to earn their pay."

With nods and grins the three soldiers slid back off the ridge. Down on the cleared plain, one man, the one that the redhead had pointed out as lead, glanced up to where the soldiers has just been. A knowing smile split his features as one of his eyes gleamed gold.

World of New Legends, a quarter of a century later.
Six hundred miles North-West , on the outskirts of Manila, Philippines.

"Isda! Isda! And Isda ko may kaunting Mercury kesa sa iba!"

The open air market was a bustle of activity. Dozens of people coming and going made anyone getting anywhere in particular something of a challenge. The vendors called out in their native tongues as people meandered this way and that while shopping.

In the midst of the locals a few foreigners, some more obvious than others, could be picked out from the crowd. Here and there an Australian accent cut through the ruckus. Occasionally the sounds of people talking in proper Queens English came from taller Europeans here and there. Through it all a man wearing a black hat strode with definite purpose.

"G1 this is G5, G1 this is G5."

"Ito bang prutas ay hinog?"

"G1, G1, come in Chief."

Sighing, the man in the hat stopped and leaned up against a tree. He was tall, well-built, and out of place for the heat of the area, wore mostly black from his hat to his trousers. Only his shirt, a mottled gray color, stood out from the rest. Even the light windbreaker he wore was black.

Taking a glance around the man talked to no one in particular, "What's going on, any changes?"

"There you are Chief." that high-pitched voice in his ear spoke back, "We're getting cross chatter from multiple sources in your area and we've been just trying to clean it up."

The Chief nodded to no one in particular. He absent-mindedly scratched his throat with a thumb, sending a noise to the tiny microphone implanted therein. His receiver, implanted near his ear, crackled in reply.

The man reached into his windbreaker and pulled out a book that was slightly smaller than a dime novel. He smiled and looked appraisingly at the author's name, Ehsan Yarshater, in gold lettering on the spine, then nodded and put it away in favor of a smart phone.

"G5, confirm target location." he said, thumbing up the image of a man, a middle easterner by his complexion. There were multiple images of the man, who was always dressed as if he was going to work, in different groups of people, many of them with guns.

"He's still up at the cement works." the voice in his ear responded, "You were right. Spotters confirm other members of the Revolutionary Guard have secured the area."

"Thought they'd hole up there." the man said with a nod, "Good lines of sight, easy egress, and access to their target. Tell the *spotters* not to slip up."

"Don't worry, she won't." the voice advised with a serious tone, "You'd better change into kit, but G1 are you sure about this. I know it's you Chief but twenty-five well-trained, armed, men… they're very serious customers and you're barely armed. You might as well be walking up to them and tweaking their noses."

"Handle your own concerns G5, you just keep on the sat and cam feeds. I'll handle my own job."

The land sung out with the rumble of heavy equipment. Dump trucks, pay loaders and bulldozers trundled their way past buildings full of complex machinery and covered in rock dust. Beyond them a strip mine stood out past the trees like a yellow scar in the mountainside. Cleared out of the thick Philippine forests the buildings, vehicles and dirty yellow-white roads stole their land from nature. Looking like nothing less than a wound in the planet the area surrounding the Cement factory stood as conclusive proof of how highly natural beauty stood in mankind's eye when money was involved. The world paid more for concrete under their feet than for forests cleaning their air, so the forests had to go, in patches, and the Earth had to be ripped and raped, in plots, for human progress.

The cement works itself was huge. Along with its corresponding strip mine there was more than a mile of bare dirt and rock in the middle of the forest. At the South end tall buildings and cement processing equipment stood out, looming over even the tallest trees, while two long buildings nearly the size of large strip malls sat along the Eastern side near the woods.

Atop the Easternmost building, running with both and unusually fast and incredibly silent gait, was a single lone figure. Dashing down the slope of the roof he leapt off it, across a thin access road, and onto the next building without making a sound.

Dropping down like a second skin on his new perch the Chief looked for his next placement. He'd planned things out from satellite map but avoiding lines of sight was more of a problem for the here and now. To fit in to the whitish-gray buildings and soil he'd changed clothes to a gray t-shirt and loose-fitting urban camo pants. His light complexion and blonde hair seemed to be helping as well, though he'd chosen his path to avoid line of sight so precisely he probably could have worn bright pink without attracting attention.

Slipping down onto the covered platforms over the conveyor system he slipped quickly along the skyway. He had to be careful, far more than usual, since there was no cover up on the roof and none of these places were really designed to hold human weight for more than occasional maintenance. Quiet movement hadn't been in the design plans either and keeping quiet over what was basically sheet metal was taxing his skills.

"You're right that there's only one guard at the chosen entry." G5 was speaking in his ear, "But he's probably more there to lead people out in case of emergency instead of stopping anyone from getting in. That building is a warren of hazards, choking dust, limited visibility, and blind turns with no clear map. No one's getting in that way."

The Chief smiled and nodded. He knew the spotters could see the motion and it would relay back to the screens. Catching him in real-time from overhead would be much harder, but they couldn't really tell a nod from orbit anyway.

He could be a little less silent on the approach as his path took him over a number of loud vehicles and even louder machinery. It still took him a while to get over all the long buildings and lower himself down, unseen above the guard. The man on duty looked positively bored as he looked from side to side, keeping an eye on the plant workers, though he obviously didn't see them as a threat for as little time he gave them, and gave occasional scrutiny to the vehicles that passed.

"This one's going to be hard." G5 warned in his ear, "He's hard to see on sat and the spotters say he doesn't move around much. Watch for his weapon hidden behind him, if he gets a shot off…"


"You are the luckiest son of a bitch…" G5 groaned with only a hint of envy, "How the hell did you get him to fall like that? He just looks like he's asleep."

The Chief shook his head as he peeked into the door way from the top, then bothered to speak to the voice in his ear with a few quick words that were so sub-vocalized they never passed his lips "That's the point."

"Yeah yeah, some days you make this look to easy you know." G5 said with a pout in his voice.

The Chief had already disappeared into the building, crawling in upside down in a very non-military sanctioned movement that would have done a gecko proud.

"Good luck Hawkins."

September 13th, 2014, 09:23 PM
Norzagaray Cement Plant
Three Minutes Later

One of the truisms of the concrete business is that those who produce it, often are its first users. As such even the office buildings around the plant contained their fair share of concrete, simply because it was readily available. Inside one such building in the front corner of the complex, near the main shipping docks and a pond, an unusual group had taken up temporary residence. As a group they fit in rather well in their working attire. Their complexion, while not the Spanish and Polynesian mix of the locals, was just tanned enough to match rather well and keep them from standing out if one was looking from any distance.

To most people they were just like the foreign delegation inspecting the plant and collating their findings that they were supposed to be. They constantly looked over the plant workings. In their collection of facts and figures they had detailed analysis of materials, chemical composition, by-product production, air quality, work hours, labor research… Dozens of different criteria, which while ridiculously thorough, could if one stretched credulity a bit, be the needs of a terrifically picky client with a lot of time to waste.

If there was something to put lie to their pretense, the two men walking through the corridors of the plant, smiling and nodding to the locals, and putting in some random chit-chat with their associates as they hunched over pages full of numbers, visually would not be it. One, tall and bald, with a bit of ex-military poise to him, chatted amicably with the other, a shorter man whose demeanor, slightly hunched and sighing off and on cue, seemed terribly world-weary. Still, both were quite smartly dressed in blue business shirts, sans tie, and gray twill pants. They radiated corporate competence. If only the local staff was fluent in Persian, they probably would have noted some problems with the duo.

Translated from Persian/Farsi

"Very good, very good." the taller man was saying, looking over the facts and figures from one of the staff, "We have confirmation of numbers and disposition?"

The Iranian staff member nodded, and handed the tall man a sheet of facts and figures not unlike the half a dozen on his desk.

Looking back to the shorter man the taller said with a broad smile, "It seems like the problems we may have had on that end will be fixed shortly." and handed the form back to his underling.

"That is very good Zakaria." the shorter man said with a nod as he and his compatriot carried on down out of the office and into another corridor, " I'll admit I was surprised when an important Ansar-Ul-Mehdi like yourself was sent to work with a humble basij like myself…"

"The Imam thought this operation was important enough to send one of his own protectors Doctor." Zakaria interrupted, sounding important and sagely, "Even Soleimani would never have approved of such a bold action were it not for the nature of the threat."

"So we are here, so far from home." the shorter said with a sigh, "Your men?"

"Busy advancing plans and reviewing the security situation. Your friends are a little lax." the big man admitted, "Nothing that twenty Qod from Pāsdārān e Enqelāb can't fix quite quickly. We are very good at that in the Sepāh. Though I would rather that we were a little more familiar operating together. We did have to rush more than usual."

"You came to the rescue with admirable speed my good fellow." the doctor replied, "You seemed to have few problems getting in."

"Thank the accidental aid of the Sunni in the South." Zakaria remarked with another of his huge smiles, "All of our enemies eyes are watching down there. I've noted the average westerner can't tell a Shia from a Sunni even if you explain it to them. It seems to be helping for now, but smarter minds will undoubtedly get hold of the data eventually. One unit in particular."

"You can tell me about that in a bit. I'm a physicist. I do devices, not getting them places and who to get them past." the shorter man advised as they turned a corner and checked in with one of their guards, then continued with an edge of incredulity creeping into his voice, "We are good? The Russians are actually holding to their part of the deal?"

"They have more defenses against the… *problem* than we do, yet also far more to lose." the larger man replied, glancing up and about as they passed through an area with a higher ceiling, "We have the two large, lead-lined, suitcases you asked for, though they are prohibitively heavy, and the strontium ninety to put in them."

"Good, good. My office is down this way. " the doctor said with a nod then motioned towards one hallway, "…and your, one unit in particular?"

"A group my Qod comrades met in Iraq during the American's invasion. They were defending the remains of an Osiris class nuclear reactor that had been destroyed by the Zionists decades ago. Both sides took casualties, but they never broke and proved formidable foes, ones we have reason to believe are operating in this area." Zakaria explained, "and the travels of the infamous Doctor Mostafa Ochbelagh, when he approaches such an area where they are active in, will surely bring their attention."

"Heh, infamous so soon." the doctor replied with a sigh.

"You are considered a hero to the revolution, and were very important to us even before your… unfortunate change in circumstances."

"What a nice way to put it." Dr. Ochbelagh said with disgust and sarcasm dripping through his words, "So your formidable friends. They are a danger to our operation?"

The pair turned a final corner and came to a hallway with one door on the right while Zakaria continued to speak, "Possibly, they have one…" he said then stopped and motioned down the hallway, "You have no guards in this hall?"

"That is my office there." the doctor replied, moving towards the door, "and that way is into the main plant, a more confusing warren of hot, dusty, practically impassable machinery, filled with workers and choking cement particulates I have never seen, but we do have a guard on the outside entrance."

"It will have to be worked on." the big man said as the doctor got out his keys and unlocked the door, then started in before Zakaria could suggest going first wasn't the best idea, so he just continued, "There is one man in particular…"

"Oh there you are doctor." a voice interrupted Zakaria as Mostafa entered the room, "I've been hoping I'd catch you to ask you about your insistence on referring to Iran as Persia in your peripheral works."


The first thing Dr. Mostafa Ochbelagh found unusual in the moment he'd entered his office was the American man sitting on his desk, in dusty gray fatigues, looking intently into a small hand book of some sort. The second thing he noticed unusual was the rather miraculously produced automatic pistol that was now resting over his shoulder and pointed at the new man. He would have sworn just seconds ago that his associate Zakaria was not armed in any way.

"Your 'one man in particular' I suppose?" the doctor asked his guardian with neither the least hint of fear nor the appearance that anything was out of place. He could practically feel Zakaria's nod over his shoulder.

"Oh I don't mind your friend doctor." the new man, a strongly built blond, said without raising his eyes, "I was just wondering why you insist on using Persia, a name taken from Greece, to describe your own country when more noted individuals suggest Arya and therefore Iran would be the proper term."

"A sincere enough question." the doctor said, switching to a slightly accented English while ducking under Zakaria's gun and heading for a stove and tea set on the right side of the room, "I suppose you'd rather an answer in English? Your attempt at Farsi being halfway decent aside, I can tell you'd be more comfortable there."

"Doctor." Zakaria said sternly to bring the man's attention to the problem at hand. The American glanced over at the tall man and all but froze him with an eerie smile. Maybe it was the way it made the trained protector, willing to throw himself in front of any adversary for his charge, feel like he was already a dead man that caused that twinge of unfamiliar fear, or maybe it was the slight sparkle of gold he caught in the man's eye as he looked at him.

"Oh it's alright Zakaria." the doctor replied, pointing at the wall they'd just walked past, the one between them and the office, "That is one of the few structures here not made of concrete, if he'd wanted us dead we wouldn't be here."

"One does not debate gifts from Allah Doctor."

"Well then I'd appreciate you checking on all my people and yours." Mostafa retorted while putting on some tea, "Or do you think this man is alone? I'll be fine, go." then switched to English while turning back to his guest, "I hope you don't mind I only have tea here. Coffee isn't a staple of mine."

"No that's fine." the man said, nodding and looking back to the doctor while never really taking his eyes away from Zakaria, "I can handle hot tea on occasion."

"His name is Byran Hawkins." the big man said, vanishing around the corner. If he was going to return, or grab his men then cut and run, the doctor was not aware of.

"Ah, Mr. Hawkins." the doctor said with a smile as he clicked up the stove heat.

"Dr. Ochbelagh." Hawkins returned with a nod.

"Well acting like your question wasn't just a very well-chosen ruse to get you in the door…" the doctor started, turning his back to the stove, "The Greek word Persia which you know refers to the East, was created from the name of my home province of Pars, the cultural homeland of the area now known as Iran. It is simply an extension and exonym that refers to the heart of my country, and is a completely preferable name to the Sassanid term eran and therefore Iran."

"That is a way of looking at it from the standpoint of pure facts." Hawkins pointed out, tapping his book, "But I wonder if it isn't also a defeatist way of looking at it."

Hawkins turned himself towards the doctor as the teapot started to steam slightly. The Iranian man cocked his head a bit and raised an eyebrow at the statement.

"Well no, really." Hawkins continued, "I have to wonder if the conquest of Iran by Greece and their subsequent naming of the entire area as Persia, which is one of their words, makes its continued use seem like the act of a conquered people."

"I've never really…" the doctor replied as his pot steamed, then bent down to look at Hawkins' book, "Wait is that… well of course that's from Ehsan Yarshater, is he still working at Columbia? He'd be in his nineties now wouldn't he? Of course he'd not want the country named after Pars. He's from Hamedan! Hell he's old enough to remember the country being Persia… did you check your sources?"

"I'm sorry if ulterior motives don't get listed in the bibliography." Hawkins said with a smile and a nod, holding the book to the side, "It seems to have done it's job anyway."

"I suppose it has, you really wouldn't give a damn if we called the whole place Grand Funk Railroad would you?" the doctor said with a laugh, getting the tea bags ready, "Is Chai ok?"

Hawkins looked around the room then nodded again with a shrug and a smile.

"But if you're making an attempt at dialogue, and trying so hard at it." the doctor posited, pouring our the water, "Well I can't imagine you're trying to *talk* me out of what I'm doing."

This time was Hawkins turn to laugh, so hard in fact he had to hold off taking the offered cup for a few seconds, before he got out, "Hell no, I'm here to help you."

"Help?!" the Iranian bomb maker almost croaked, "Wait, not stop? But why… wait, wait… You're after the MUTOs too?"

Hawkins cocked his head to the side then extended his hand to shake the doctor's and said, "We haven't been properly introduced. I'm Chief Hawkins, US Navy, and the operational lead on the American G-Unit. We make the big bad things that shouldn't live in our world dead."

The Doctor looked for a place to put his cup, and finding one, deposited it on his desk before he shook the man's hand, a bit of confusion on his face, "You do know that's not exactly in your best interest. You'll be going against your own Monarch Unit." he pointed out, "Their objectives are very clear on the topic."

"Yes yes, I read the report and it's a nice pile of dung. I can see why you're worried about it, but your government has taken a somewhat narrow, self-centered, view on the matter." Hawkins replied, putting down his book and pulling out his smart phone, "The attempt to use Insectoid MUTOs as directed, biological, anti-nuclear weapons is such a crock and such an obvious disaster in waiting everyone who knows about it is taking a stand. We hope you'll join us."

"Well… err… that's quite unexpected." Mostafa said, stuttering a bit, his expression sort of like a youth who'd just been told the test he'd just taken would give him more points for every question he got wrong, "I'm not sure I can trust such a reversal."

Hawkins paid him no mind, but simply worked on his smart phone then pointed the screen at the Doctor. Mostafa bent over to look at what was displayed. It was a three-dimensional map of something indistinct, but the Iranian recognized it quickly.

"I checked your intel when I got to your office. That was a pretty tricky way of getting yourself maps of the upper levels." Hawkins said, sounding slightly impressed, "Here's the whole thing. Do you think you could plan out a proper dispersal pattern in the next few days with this?"

The doctor chewed on a knuckle for a second, looking the display up and down, "There are a lot of variables." he pointed out, "I can't do it just from a look, could you bring that out to the printers for us to get a hard copy?"

"Printout? Really?"

"I'm a little old-fashioned." Mostafa said with a shrug, sadly looking to his now probably wasted tea, "I have a hard time with these three-dimensional models, my perspective gets screwed up without something to hold in my hands."

"Not a problem." Hawkins remarked, dropping off the desk, "I need to go that way in any case. Hope Mr. Zakaria isn't too quick with his guns."

"You treat it all like it's a regular day at work." the doctor said as he moved with Hawkins out the door.

"You wouldn't believe my regular day at work."

"I would guess not, but is it troublesome going against your own government?"

"Monarch isn't my own government Doctor." Hawkins pointed out as he also wordlessly went over the data on his phone with the bomb maker, moving the image this way and that, "G-Unit's authority is American only and comes straight from the top. Monarch hasn't felt like 'us' for a very long time."

The Doctor nodded and took the smart phone to check out a few places of note before handing the device back to Hawkins. Mostafa hid his surprise and discomfort that Hawkins had known every turn they'd made before they'd come to them, unlike his own protector. The fact that his encounter with this American was a very well preplanned and possibly even rehearsed matter crossed his mind not for the first time.

"That does happen to groups with specific powers over time." the Doctor said with a nod, "They compartmentalize and lose touch, rarely share notes. I've seen too much of it."

Hawkins could only nod and shrug yet again as he made the third turn without being told. If the fact they hadn't passed any guards on this trip was bothering either of them, neither spared the attention to show it.

"So, five containment units for creatures, on radial spokes under the hills around Angat Dam." the Doctor said, verbalizing what he had seen, "Tunnels made as a warren, both to confuse those entering without permission and to allow the maximum possible number of different egress sites for removing the creatures. This looks odd though, why such large exit tunnels?"

"Not my concern at the moment." Hawkins replied, looking at the map, "Does it make the area any harder to flood with radioactive particles?"

"No, no we have plenty." Mostafa assured him, "We only need to make certain areas inaccessible. See the extra layering of radiation absorbing materials here, and here, and also around the containment vessels makes me particularly assured that I can leave that place a dead zone while neither risking radiation leakage outside the facility nor risking giving our trapped friends a good meal."

"Getting Zakaria to trust the operation is going to be hard in the early running." the Chief explained, "We're going to have to give his Qod friends something to do. I've already got teams for clearing out the underground."

"I'm sure someone will have to clear the outbuildings and add-ons to the generator complex." Mostafa said without concern, "These special forces people never seem to be at a loss when you tell them to find something to kill."

"Quite." Hawkins said with a chuckle.

With that the two arrived side by side in the main office. Zakaria was standing confidently in the middle of the room, looking as unarmed as ever. The men at their desks looked a bit more unsure of themselves and shifted about uncomfortably. A number of new, well dressed, men stood leaning on the side wall, and a couple more stood lazily by the exit door.

"Oh good!" Dr. Mostafa said with a spring in his step, hurrying over to a man at the closest desk, "Amjad, open up a wireless connection for Mr. Hawkins, we need him to transfer over some files."

"I could get the files Doctor." Zakaria said, in both a menacing tone and perfect English, "We don't need him for them."

Hawkins smiled and walked up to the taller Persian, "So, only seven here?" he remarked with a thin-lipped grin, "You're cutting it short, the other thirteen will take a while to cover a facility of this size, not that it will matter, you'll never catch her."

"Her eh?" Zakaria said, returning an easy smile. Their smile contest was interrupted by the sound of Zakaria's radio crackling and a voice calling over it.

"Mr. Zakaria, who are these people?" the voice, apparently one of the taller Persian's Qod troops, asked, "Some crazy witch just hung Navid up a tree by his underwear. I do not think they respect us."

Hawkins tapped a few buttons to link his smart phone up to Amjad's wireless then took that same hand up to his face to rub the bridge of his nose and remarked, "Yeah, her… don't ask."

"It will take Navid quite a while to live that one down." Zakaria admitted, his eyebrows raised then returned to Hawkins with a bemused smirk, "If you were trying to impress me it worked. I wouldn't have imagined that possible from a woman."

"I'm not trying to impress you. Someone just has a really bad sense of humor." Hawkins admitted.

"And how do you feel about this Dr. Ochbelagh?" Zakaria pressed, checking his compatriot, "Working with an American after your loss?"

The Doctor glanced over, but if he was going to say something he was quickly cut off by Hawkins angry return statement, "That's low, the man has a lot of grief to work through and he's not going to get any better with you goading him." the Chief said, "What am I supposed to do, apologize for some nameless bureaucrat in my government, or for all of Israel? I can't so I won't bother. I was going to avoid bringing the whole thing up for the man's sake but you just had to go there."

"I'm sorry you think I'm a slave to my grief Mr. Zakaria." the Doctor said with a sigh as the plans came up on his screen, "My family is in a better place. I don't hate any individual American for it, but their whole accursed system. It's just unfortunate that I can't bomb that."

A pall of silence fell over the room. Only the tall, self-assured Iranian and the cocksure American seemed oblivious to it, lost in their staring contest. Even the men along the sides of the room seemed less comfortable in their own skin from the exchange.

"Do you have it yet Dr. Ochbelagh?" Hawkins pressed, looking to his smart phone for the completion readout.

"Yes, we do." the Doctor replied, glancing up at his protector, "No more trouble right now please Mr Zakaria."

The taller Iranian just shrugged. Hawkins headed for the door, putting his smart phone away and double timing it.

"Will you need some sort of ride Mr. Hawkins?" the doctor asked.

"Nah." the Chief replied, heading out the door with only a short glance at his watch first, "Should be one coming up now. I'm just in time. Your Russian friends will be in contact to coördinate our efforts."

Besides the Doctor, the whole room let out their collective breath as Hawkins jogged out the door and across the courtyard. Zakaria began sending his troops around to check the facility and get set to move to a different advanced deployment.

"The Russians are working with him?" the tall man asked the Doctor and got a nod in return, "We've stepped into something more convoluted than we believed."

"I'm just glad you didn't start shooting." Ochbelagh said, looking to the maps and setting up some printing jobs, "A man like that will rarely leave anything to chance."

"I'm aware." the protector said, looking concerned, "I'm usually good at judging the time to attack someone, but I never saw a truly unguarded moment. He unnerved me, and that's odd. Maybe it was those odd sparks of gold I saw in his eyes."

Checking his watch again Hawkins jogged out to the connecting road. The dust clung to him like an extra skin outside the plant. He hoped no one noticed or asked about it, but with the strip mine up the road and the cement plant here it shouldn't attract too much attention.

He glanced back, checking his rear then started to talk beneath his breath.

"G5, G5, you get that?"

"Got it G1, decent trade." the voice in his ear returned, "G4 picked up a few things from the wireless, everything we could grab quick and looked interesting."

"Good, everyone clear?"

"Like they could catch her, hell I've tried to catch that rear for years… gack oww… no smacking G4... No I did not ask for it."

"Sounded like you did G5." the Chief chuckled.

"Opinions are like assholes." G5 defended himself, then added, "And what the hell is wrong with Grand Funk Railroad?"

The Chief just shook his head and moaned under his breath, "And I got stuck with the god damn Piccolo."

"What was that Chief?"

"My ride's here, I'll keep in touch." Hawkins replied, waving to a white van that was coming up the dirt road.

"Didn't sound like what you said."

"Leave it."


With the sound of gravel crunching under tires the white van slowed to a halt in front of the Chief. The sliding door on the side of the van popped open to reveal a number of smiling faces, a mix of locals and foreigners, in the dark space beyond.

"Hey Chief!" one of them called, "What's up? Can't believe you're still jogging to work. Don't you know that'll take forever?"

"Never bothered me before." the Chief replied with a smile.

"Well you being late will probably bother Mr. Stevens." the man said, then waved Hawkins toward the van, "Come on, we'll give you a lift before you get in trouble."

Smiling, Hawkins jumped in the opened door and took a seat among the passengers. The van erupted in a lively chatter, something no one inside seemed a stranger too.

"Much obliged." Hawkins remarked, nodding to the man.

"Not a problem."

With that the man slid the door back closed. In moving the door back into place he completed the symbol on the side of the van, a plain black glyph of two triangles pointed towards each other.