Cold Fire was a preliminary to the pending full-length piece of which this is the pre-credits sequence. At the time, it didn't have a title. Now it does.|
Tuesday, September 11, 2288
WDF Wayward Son (SDF-17)
Musashi, Outer Rim Territories
GOJIRA WAS DEAD: to begin with.
He stood at the end of one of Deck 29's transverse corridors, bellowing at the top of his very considerable lungs for his shipmates to follow the sound of his voice. Many did, plowing through the smoke and vapor that flooded the hallways from fires and ruptured coolant lines. Coughing, choking, some of them nearly out on their feet, they half-ran, half-staggered down the corridor, hands out, faces desperate. Without time for more than a gruff, reassuring word or two, he heaved them bodily through the hatch behind him into the last of the level's lifeboats. All around him, the great ship shuddered and groaned in what his experienced ears told him were almost certainly her death throes.
"Come on!" someone cried from inside the lifeboat. "Get in, get in, let's go! You've done enough!"
Gojira was about to concur and climb aboard when he spotted movement at the far end. There was someone else over there, panting and stumbling.
"Hang on!" he called over his shoulder. "One more coming!"
"There's no time!" the person nearest the boat hatch insisted. "Besides - your place is the only one left!"
The saurian figure turned his head to look into the hatch and saw that it was true. The boat was full apart from one station, of the Universal, Standing type catering to crew members with non-humanoid body plans. With Final Protection Mode engaged and a full evacuation called, he would have been perfectly within his rights to step through the hatch, dog it behind him, and take that place for himself. Whoever that was blundering through the smoke was in the wrong place, well away from his or her proper evacuation station, and the regulations clearly stated that in such circumstances, one was on one's own.
Then he turned back to the corridor, growled, "Well, I guess I'm staying, then," and strode away from the boat. Three long paces away, he met the approaching crew member. He didn't recognize her. A young Vulcan woman, her face bloodied from a cut on her forehead, she wasn't wearing a WDF uniform, but rather the field-duty coverall of a member of the Vulcan Science Directorate. Gojira wondered how she had ever ended up down here, so far away from the labs, but there was no time to ask. Between the smoke and the blood in her eyes, she was virtually blinded.
"Hang on, I gotcha," said Gojira, catching her around the waist with one arm before she could stumble straight past him. She tensed at the contact - even under the circumstances, no Vulcan liked being so casually touched - but then went virtually limp, either with fatigue or relief.
"Please help me," she said quietly, her voice flat, and then she passed out.
Gojira carried her back to the lifeboat hatch over his arm, like a waiter with a towel, and handed her through to the engineering crewman who'd been exhorting him to get aboard. "Get her to that U-station and lock her down," he told the man, and before he could argue, Gojira backed out of the hatch and punched the activator that closed and sealed it. Then, without looking back, he started off down the corridor, heading inboard toward the engine room. A few seconds later, he heard the percussive THUMP of the lifeboat launching behind him.
Right. So, he thought. Going down with the ship.
But not without a fight./* Alexandre Desplat
Godzilla: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack (2014) */
Indifferent to the smoke, the heat of fires, and the toxic gases, Gojira smashed his way through inoperative power doors and slid down ladders, making his way relentlessly toward the core of the ship. She was without power and helpless before the enemy's onslaught, but her sheer mass meant they were taking a long time to kill her, and she was still barely alive when he crashed through the last barrier and into the main engine room. Shoving fallen cables and broken bulkhead segments aside, he waded through the rubble toward the holy of holies: the Reflex furnace itself.
As he drew nearer, he saw the reason why the Reflex furnace had gone offline: Its containment vessel was breached. A huge, jagged crack ran almost completely across the face, and through it he could make out the shadowed shape of the core itself, glowing dully in its powered-down state. Even dark, it was dangerous; the average humanoid could survive no more than thirty or forty seconds' unprotected exposure to an idling Reflex core. If it had been powered up, it would've been throwing out enough energy to vaporize anybody standing close enough to see it.
The SDF-17 shuddered with another direct hit. Above, a maintenance catwalk up on Level 3 broke away and fell, crashing down on top of Gojira and entangling him in a mass of sharp metal. Roaring with fury, he tore it apart and rose again, pushing on toward his goal. When he reached the master status console, he was slightly surprised to find it still working, but what it told him wasn't good. There seemed to be someone still alive up on the bridge, and based on their control inputs, whoever it was was trying to fight back, but the Reflex furnace was cold and backup power offline. All those efforts were doomed to futility.
Unless, of course, there was someone still alive in the engine room who knew how to cross-connect the emergency fusion batteries and restart the furnace.
The ship came back to life with an almost organic shudder as his hands raced across the console. What few lights weren't broken flickered fitfully, then came fully back on, but their light was entirely swallowed by the blazing blue-white brilliance that poured out of the fractured core containment vessel. No human or near-human lifeform could survive the intense heat, much less the more exotic effects of direct exposure to Reflex energy. Even Gojira felt the former, and knew that the latter was killing him...
... but what the hell did it matter now anyway?
He felt the deck shiver under his feet as he restored attitude control. Whoever was up on the bridge didn't miss the opportunity. Through the snow on the situation screen, he could see the SDF-17's bow lining up with the flank of the monstrous GENOM ship. He knew what was coming next.
Gojira hung grimly on to the bucking console as the SDF-17's prow punctured the GENOM starship's hide. Working furiously, anticipating his unknown colleague's actions on the bridge, he cut motive power the instant they stopped moving and rerouted everything the ship had left to the Reflex cannon. As if his voice alone could make the weapon's punch even stronger, Gojira uttered his most full and terrible roar as he threw the switch, adding it to the shattering sound of the blast as the SDF-17's dying shot tore the enemy's guts out.
Then the light from the furnace's core sputtered and died to a glow that would've been virtually imperceptible had not all the lights gone out, plunging the ruins of the engine room into otherwise-absolute blackness. The shriek of tearing metal resounded through the ruined hull as the Wayward Son fell away from her ruined enemy and began, inexorably, to fall.
Gojira sank down behind the engine console and let himself fall to the floor. Time to rest. He had nowhere else to go, nothing else to do, now, and he was so tired.
Now I've done enough, he thought to his unknown crewmate, and everything went black.
Eyrie Productions, Unlimited
Undocumented Features Future Imperfect
The Nakajima Defense
coming to the EPU website