Center of Crisis #1: World of Kaiju

“What happened? Where am I? I hurt like hell…guess that means I’m alive still…So warm and wet…am I bleeding? Probably…” I think to myself. I feel disoriented. I strain to open my eyes but they burn from the smoke-filled air. My arms covered in blood but it’s not my own…it’s his.

Towering overhead shrouded in an ominous fog was a massive 450-meter tall monster…A kaiju…the first of his kind ever discovered…Dubbed Tsieg, nobody knew what his true form was. All they knew was wherever he went an ungodly trail of destruction was left behind. Thanks to him half of Miami is a smoking ruin.

“BWOOOOOH!” Tsieg bellows as he crashes backward into a skyscraper.

Tsieg may have destroyed half of Miami…but the kaiju he was fighting destroyed the first half. The internet called him Cetra, a bipedal rat Kaiju made of crystal who was just as tall of Tsieg but three times as violent. They said he first appeared in Central America but until recently we never knew if it was even real. He got dragged way out of his normal range by another Kaiju that flew off…and I’m here stuck laying in Kaiju blood while they have a death match a few blocks away…

“GRAHHHHHH!” Cetra hisses at Tsieg while swiping at it with its claws. Striking Tsiegs chest and drawing blood in the process. I almost feel bad for Tsieg…almost…Tsieg pushes back Cetra and begins to glow a neon yellow glow.

“BWOOOOOOH!” Tsieg calls out as he releases his Cosmic Breath. Tsieg was the first Kaiju to ever appear….and was without a doubt also the strongest…Cetra is sent soaring…He’s still alive but has had enough. He leaves Tsieg and returns inland. Without an opponent, Tsieg leaves…but the damage is done…Miami is destroyed…and whoever was left alive would have to find a new place to go…until another Kaiju popped up anyway…

I’m still disoriented and shifting in and out of consciousness. I start remembering a lot of stuff that happened before this…voices coming in and out…maybe this is what the whole “life flashing before your eyes” thing feels like. I can see some stray beams of light through the smoke-filled skies. I begin to remember the start of this hell on Earth with the Kaiju Eclipse. It was about 7 months ago on August 3rd, 2024.

My name’s Kim Park and I was part of the North American 1500m Men’s Track & Field team for the Summer Olympics in Paris, France. Since I was a kid I dreamed of being able to run for the United States and managed to succeed at 19. It was my big chance to win the gold for us. I remember the anxiety and adrenaline I felt. I had run before a crowd before but this was the Olympics. The whole world was watching me while I tried to make my dream come true. Not to mention the US needed me to win…No pressure…I remember the smell of the grass, the sunny day, and the roar of the crowd.

The race starts and everything melts away. All I’m thinking about is my dream finally being within my grasp. I’m not even paying attention when I finally realize I’m near the front. Just David Reid from Team Jamaica, Wade Conklin from Team Canada, and myself. Beat them and I bring home the gold. Then it happened…during the final stretch of the race the sun was eclipsed and a meteor shower followed shortly after. I remember thinking it looked amazing. I only glanced up at it for a second but that was enough. Without realizing it I had been passed and the race ended. I didn’t just lose the gold…I made 4th place…didn’t even make the podium. All those years and in what’d be my first and last attempt it’d end in failure. This was the first thing the Kaiju Eclipse took from me…

“Gotta move…” I think to myself. The only thing worse than dealing with a Kaiju was dealing with the people who survived them. When each continent had their own Kaiju to deal with and the world started to end good will and etiquette went out the window…”This is disgusting…” I’ve been wearing my red exercise gear since it all went to hell. Now there’s glowing neon Kaiju blood staining it on top of the dust and grime. “Need to find somewhere to clean this off…Wait, where’s my pack?” I take a few seconds to look for my brown messenger bag. I used to use it to carry my books in college and now its carrying supplies to keep me alive. Hate having to search for it through this…Not even a lot of blood but it feels like a pool. Luckily I manage, to find my bag. “A little beat up but still useable. Hope my waters still sealed…” I put on my red Team USA Cap and head out. I can hear voices nearby and I don’t want to be anywhere near them.

“Hello? Is anybody still alive?” A woman’s voice calls out.

“Don’t think about it Kim. Just keep moving.” The further away from the voices, I get the better I feel. “Need to think…Cetra came from back from the northwest towards Alabama. Looks like he decided to head back there with his tail between his legs. Tsieg came from the northeast from the ocean. Probably heading back after that beating he took.” Since the Kaiju appeared having a good sense of direction and foresight was a key to survival. “Looks like I’ll be heading to the country.” Ironically, the safest place for me right now was following one of the things that leveled my home. I know Tsieg will return and I’d like to be as far from the coast as possible when that happens.

Kim had his plan set but he had other matters to attend to first. Number one was finding a place that still had running water. The aftermath of a battle between Kaiju was never a site you could get used to. Entire cities leveled in minutes. Places and people caught in their path rendered unrecognizable. The skyscrapers that made cities so spectacular being toppled over cost more lives than the monsters that knocked them over. Kim locates the Promethean Hotel and lets out a cautious sigh of relief. The hotel was damaged but it still looked stable. He heard they were a 4-star hotel. Not that he was picky nowadays. The power was out in the building and debris littered the main lobby alongside discarded luggage.

“Looks safe enough…need to find a room that’s still open.” Without power, the room keys won’t work. Trying to force open a metal..ish door would waste too much time and energy.

After several minutes of searching the first three floors, Kim finds an open door. Cautiously surveying the room as he enters. A nice living room with a coffee table and couch sat opposite a small kitchen. A closet door sat next to the bathroom.

“Please work…” I think to myself. Entering the bathroom I turn the faucet and get greeted with actual working water. “Thank god! Looks like its only cold though…could be worse.”

With a chance to relax briefly he puts down his messenger bag and discards his stained clothing. The ice cold shower was the highlight of his week. After cleaning and drying off the next step was cleaning his clothes. Nobody had a concrete idea what Kaiju blood consisted of or if it was radioactive. All he knew was the sooner he got rid of it the better. With that taken care of, he gets his things, straps his shoes to his bag, and leaves. If there were people they could follow the trail of blood from his clothes or dirt from his shoes to find him. It didn’t take him long to find another open room. Its door held open by a do not disturb sign. Kim smiles to himself at that fact. Removing the sign he enters and searches the room. Unlike the first room, this had been inhabited by people before Cetra first arrived. The bed was disheveled and two sets of bags and clothing were left strewn about the room. Looks like it was being shared by two women.

“Might have to get another shower if I use this bed…not that I planned to anyway.”

Taking his things; Kim makes his way to the somewhat spacious closet, closes the door, and rests against the wall. Not as comfortable as a bed but safer. If people came to the room he’d at least have some time to get prepared. Maybe even avoid being found altogether. Kim closes his eyes and drifts to sleep. In his dreams, he remembers the past before Kaiju existed. It was about twenty minutes after his failure to win his race. His teammates were trying to console him to no avail.

“Come on Kim it’s not the end of the world.” Barry Palmer was from Texas and was also my best friend on the team. He didn’t make it past the first round.

“I wasn’t fast enough…” I lament to myself. It wasn’t my first loss but it was by far the worst I’ve experienced.

“It wasn’t your fault. I blame whatever that weird eclipse was. Thought astronomers were supposed to predict these things.” he wonders aloud.

“I shouldn’t have gotten distracted by it. The others didn’t.”

“That one guy from Spain did. Hell, the whole Russian team got banned for using roids.”

“I guess…” I appreciate his concern but I wasn’t interested in hearing it. Not so soon. No reason to stick around so I excuse myself. There were still about 8 days left in the Olympics. I didn’t plan on spending the rest of today on the field. I’m sure the others will do better than I did…All I could think about was losing and that meteor shower during the eclipse. “The hell was that anyway?” I didn’t know the most about astronomy but I knew Barry had a point. Usually, it’s a special event and the area’s told about the eclipse before it happens. But that AND a meteor shower? Talk about lucky. “Hmm?” On my way back to the Olympic Village where I was staying I see something shining in the grass in a small crater. I kneel down and pick it up. “A crystal?” Never saw anything like it. A shining white crystal that made those diamonds I see online look cheap. The light shone on it giving it a prismatic coloration and it felt like it was glowing. Don’t know why but I started to feel better holding it. “Maybe today wasn’t an entire failure.”

The rest of the Summer Olympics passed quickly. Finding that crystal made Kim feel better but he still wasn’t in a good place. His body was there but his mind checked out entirely. He couldn’t wait to get back to his home in Florida. His family had a celebration waiting for him. Even if he didn’t make the podium he still made it to the finals and that was worth commemorating in itself. Kim may not have won a gold medal but the new crystal he had around his neck was a souvenir nobody else got to bring home. Unbeknownst to him, the crystal shards that appeared during the mysterious eclipse were called Centradine. This is where Kim wakes up from his dreams. His closet was still safe and he hasn’t been robbed…yet…

“Don’t hear anything.” I think to myself. I slowly open the door and peek out. Everything’s pitch black without the sunset shining through the building. “Must’ve been out a few hours.” I pull my flashlight from my messenger bag and use it to check the room. “So far so good. Gotta eat something.” I try to carry light, so the most I have is some fruit. Green Apples being my favorite. “I definitely need to make these last. Kinda miss just relaxing with a TV on. Wonder how the rest of the world’s doing…” That’s when I notice it’s raining. But not just raining, it’s a full-blown monsoon. “Shit…Knew I shouldn’t have slept!” I scramble to think of a course of action as quickly as I can.

Let’s backtrack briefly to September 3rd, 2024 a little under a month after the Summer Olympics ended. This was the day the world changed…the day that Tsieg first appeared…Nobody knew what the creature was, how, or even why he appeared so suddenly. Ever since the eclipse there had been rumored sightings of him but it was always the same. A tentacle here, mysterious ships missing there, and occasionally a conspiracy theory of a government-sanctioned bioweapon gone wild. Nobody could deny what they saw when Tsieg appeared in Germany. Everyone was caught off guard and several towns were destroyed along the coast leading inland. The massive figure covered in fog couldn’t be hurt. There wasn’t even proof that they were doing damage to him at all. The internet began calling him Tsieg after how easily he tore through any military opposition in his path. Japan called him the first real-life Kaiju. Since then the eclipse that rained Centradine to the planet was called the “Kaiju Eclipse”. Whether or not it was responsible for them was to be determined. Either way, we all knew that since then the world had changed. It wasn’t our planet…it was theirs…

Back in the present; normally Kim wouldn’t think anything of the monsoon. But with the reign of Kaiju, he knew exactly what it meant. Back when he still could find a working television or connection to the internet he heard of a particular Kaiju named “Tiruma.” A Kaiju that first appeared in India, it appeared to be a massive Blue Tiger Butterfly. With each flap of its wings brought monsoons. Numerous news reports had suggested that Tiruma was a peaceful Kaiju never directly attacking anyone. Even the sudden rain was said to have been used to stop draughts. But this was where the bad news begins. While Tiruma was not an aggressive Kaiju by nature its presence still had a tendency to bring destruction. But above all else, there was a high tendency for Tiruma to appear shortly before Tsieg did…

“Two choices; stay and hope Tiruma isn’t bringing Tsieg along for the ride…Which is suicide…or leave in the dark monsoon and hope I can get as much distance as I can before either of them do anything major…” The choice is easy. “Taking my chances in the monsoon.”

With flashlight in hand, Kim braves the darkness. His cap provided little protection against the raging wind and rain. He could barely see and the unrelenting wind made it tough to keep his footing on the damaged sidewalks. This would’ve been the perfect time for a raincoat but he wasn’t so lucky to get one. Second thoughts enter his mind as he wonders if it was safer staying in the hotel. But it was too late to make his way back there. He had to keep moving or find shelter elsewhere. A sudden gust knocks him to the ground as Tiruma passes overhead. Even with the darkness, wind, and rain, Kim could see its massive blue and brown wings.

“TARRRRRREEEEEE!” Tiruma screeches as it flies by.

“WHOA!” Kim exclaims as he’s buffeted by the wind. “SHIT!” Is what he’s really thinking on the inside as he rolls along the ground. Doing all he can to protect his head. “I just HAD to leave the hotel didn’t I?!”

Kim manages to get to his feet and brace himself in a doorway. Unfortunately for him, moments later debris flies into his head and knocks him unconscious. Everything goes black as the monsoon rages around him…

Next Issue

Center of Crisis Chapter 2- First Battle


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