The giant battleship rocked violently under the monster's
attack... It's five inch guns now brought to bare. Murphy was struck
by the irony. Two great beasts... (One built by the hands
of man.) Fighting for supremacey. The right to declare victory
over the other, he thought. As he watched, the bigger guns seemed
more effective against the living nightmare. With another defining roar,
it sank out of sight again.
The 'New Jersey' pitched
slowly, damage could be seen around the area of her forward
16 inch turrets. Crewmen were rushing around, trying to get
a grasp of what just happened. Murphy could also make out
a number of injured men, being moved into the ship. More
disturbingly, he could make out a number of maimed bodies... Sue
must have also seen it, because she turned away.
There wasn't that
much time to think about it, though. The monster had returned!
This time, it surfaced very quickly... Engaging the battleship once
more. Now, it was along side the ship, just behind the
conning tower. (Murphy couldn't figure out if the beast was closer,
or if the destroyer he stood on, had moved in.) Either way,
he got a better look at the thing. It's build was that
of a reptile... An ancient design, like a dinosaur. It's wet
body glistened with scales and armor plates. It's mouth was
filled with sharp teeth... The same teeth that had been caught
by the sonar sled's video camera. As he studied the thing, 'New
Jersey' re-trained it's five inch battery... And started firing once
Again, the beast vocalized
it's displeasure. But with no retreat. This time, it lashed
out with more agression than before,.. tearing at the side
mounted turrets. The whole ship now tilted at a wild angle.
Metal shreaked, as fire erupted from several points within
the besieged area. Sue and Murphy watched it all... Both had
been stunned silent. This was horribly unbelievable,.. yet, macarb in it's
fascination. Niether could look away.
Now, the destroyer's
gun trained out. Aiming for the beast. The noise was enough
to snap Murphy out of the fog. Looking over, he saw the
gun swivel outward. "Oh, no... Don't fire!" He spoke aloud to
himself. Hearing him, Sue now looked over as Murphy headed
for the intercom. Grabbing it, he yelled. " Ah, hello?!... That dosen't
look like a really cool idea, right now!" There was a pause,
as an unseen bridge officer answered. " What?! I'm the guy
on back of your boat!.. Watching that thing, tear apart a
battleship!.. Let me ask you someting... What do you think, our
pea shooters' going to do?!... Quick answer there, poindexter... It'll
piss 'em off some more!!" With that, Murphy slammed down
the mic. Apparently, his point was taken, as the small gun
swiveled back to a stowed position. He let out a heavy breath,
and turned back to the chaos.
'New Jersy' was
now listing hard as the monster continued it's wrath. The small
fires had become raging infernos, as ammuntion started to go
up. But, the ship wasn't finished. In what Murphy thought, was
an act of desperation... The forward 16 inch gun turret started
to swivel around. "Ohhh, Shit! Get down!" He exclaimed to Sue.
The woman looked to him, confused for a moment, then saw
what was about to happen. "You've got to be kidding!" She
said, hitting the deck. Booooom! The thunderous sound echoed across
the bay. Shaking the destroyer under the two.
of water shot up around the beast, as the shells angled
in. The sky lit up with an orange
flash of cordite. Now the air was filled by a second, equally
loud noise. Another definnig howl from the creature. This was different,
though... a much higher pitch. Prehaps, one of the shells had
The giant warship
was down by the stern... But the beast looked to be wounded.
It had stopped the assault, and backed away from the foundering
vessel. Murphy watched with a growing sense of victory. "Didn't
like that much, did ya!" But, victory is a fleeting thing...
And the monster was about to prove it. As the two scientists
picked themselves up, the beast now faced down it's adversary.
As it did, the dosal fins along it's back, began to 'change.'
Originally, they had been slung back abit. Now, they began to
'stiffin' up... fingers of glowing blue light eminated from their central
area. Growing intensly bright near the craggy tips. (It looked
as if energy , rather than blood, was now flowing through a visible
circulitory system. Coalesing at the tip of each spine.) The two
scientists watched in aw... That's when the big shock came. An
intense, blue-white flame shot out from the creature's maw... The very
steel of her hull melted, as the 'New Jersey' was hit by
this hateful blast. Explosions erupted from deep inside the ship,
in response of this super hot breath.
The ship sank
quickly... Her bow angled skyward, as explosions continued to issue
forth. On the destroyer, a unified disbelief had taken over. All
actions aboard had stopped, as the stunned crew silently obseved
the end of 'New Jersey.' The creature seemed to be absorbed
as well. Not moving much, since it's flamming attack. As the
for'castle slid down, So did the reptile... Vanishing from sight once
again. Seeing it's withdrawl, Murphy raced back to his sonar.
The echo moved away now... The beast was leaving. Resuming the
same course it had been on, when they first picked it up... Toward
7:00 am, Washington
time. Max was startled out of a dead sleep... This time, by a
stubborn knock at the door. Again, he tried to ingnore it, But the
thumping continued. Lifting his head off the pillow, and rolling
his eyes, Max reluctantly got up. "All right, already... I'm beginning
to see a pattern, here..." He mumbled as he went along. He
grabbed a hotel robe, and went to the door. "If this
is room sevice, do me a favor... Get lost!" He pleaded. "Open
the door, Max!" came the excited voice from beyond. "Stanton?"
"well it ain't, the Avon lady!"
John Stanton rushed
in as if the hallway was on fire. Obviously upset, and intensly
awake. Max was hurting,. still sore, from the thrashing he took
on the boat. Add to this, what he called 'time travel for
the common man'...A.K.A. jetlag. And now, this? "Max, We got a
problem!" Stanton fired. "Yeah,.. It's called coffee... You know where I could
get some?" Max replied. Stanton rolled his eyes. "You remember our
little talk, about Hawaii?" He inquired sharply. Max was awake, now.
"Yeah, why?" " 'Cause, it's already started!" Fired Stanton. "What?"
Max replied with confusion. " I got a call this morning,.. Came
in over the hotline... A guy on the other ends, chewin'
bullets! Sez, they lost the 'New Jersey!" Stanton relayed in his
usual, edgy manner. Max was even more confused, as he tried to
grasp this new information. " wait-a-minute, What?... I mean, a recovery ship,
yeah. Maybe even a destroyer. But not that iron giant, we
saw the other day!.. You sure, you heard 'em right?" "The destroyer
'New Bedford', watched it go down... It's still there... Pulling
what's left, outta the water!" Max felt his jaw drop. It
was all too hard to believe. Running a hand over his
face, he hit the gause bandage. This snapped him too. " Yeah, Ok...
So now what?" He inquired. "We go, that's what!" "Go?? But I just
got here!" Max rebuttled. "Well, your
plans, just got changed. Now, hurry up... We got a 10:00 am."
Max was glad
to be on the plane... It had nothing to do with the snow,
or freezing temps here in the capital. Nor was it, the
fact, they were heading back to Hawaii. It was all about
sleep. About half an hour before landing, Stanton woke him up.
This time, Max was in better shape. "...I still don't get it...
If the problem's that big...What exactly, are the two of
us, supposed to do about it?" He inquired. Stanton shook his
head, smiling. "All those years in the Geology Center, really screwed
you up! All that conservative thinking crap... Turned you to mush!
Strike two, buddy!" He harrased. This little judgmental conversation was getting
old. "Maybe you over-estimate my ability?" He said, flatly. Stanton became
were some of the most open minded, shit I ever saw! Inventive
and slick, yes! Most of the time...Wrong! But you argued them,
tooth and nail! That's the Max Harrison I'm talking about!" Max
sat silent, thinking this over. Stanton continued. "... You don't really
think, this reunion of ours, was a fluke? Do ya?! Now
open your mind!" He ordered...Sitting back.
In his mind,
Max started connecting the dots. "...Fendtech knows the truth about
Godzilla..." He said quietly. Stanton looked on, smugly. " Fendtech's also
as dark, as shadow gets... And, you're in it, up to your eyeballs..."
" Now, you're getting somewere." Stanton smiled, pleased with this. Then,
the light dawned. " Fendtech's a Godzilla deturrent force,..And you're
pulling the strings!" Max said. "That's pretty danmed close...I'm only
the head of opps, I don't pull strings..." Corrected the
man. At this point, Max got the true connection. "...But,
you do recruit!" He stymied. Stanton Smiled wide. "You could
call it that, I suppose. In your case, consider it a promotion...with
quite a step up, in base pay!" Max was struck silent, as
Stanton added. " Welcome to the club, Max!"
By 1:15pm, the
plane had landed. Honolulu was sunny and bright. ( Like it had
been yesterday, when he had left.) The two men entered the
White Sands Hotel around 3:00pm. Max chose the hotel. (But of
course, he was biased.) After checking in, the two parted ways. (Stanton
had a few things to attend to... That only he could.) Max
sat in his room, thinking about Fendtech. He had mixed feelings
about Stanton's news. He didn't like the idea of working
for the Government proper... Let alone, the shadow works. This
was scary stuff... Switching gears, he got in the shower... Once
out, he again tried to call Murphy. (This would be his third
attempt, since arriving this afternoon.) And again, he got the voice-mail.
After a dinner...
(Provided by room service.) He went over a little more paperwork. Murphy
still wasn't around, and Stanton was off, doing God knows what....
The last thing, he had said to Max, was a standard "I'll
be in touch." Now, Max was burning up brain cells... With every
answer he got, another question would come to light. Something
to do with Murphy... (Where was he, anyway?) It was now 8:00pm... And
none of this was getting him anywhere. Time to hit the Lounge.
Max stood by
the doorway, scanning the crowded room. (Why can't the piano
guy, take a day off?) Then he saw them. Murphy and Sue
were sitting at the quiet alcove table, again. Why hadn't Murphy
answered his cell phone? Max started for the table, that's when
he saw Tammy. She was seated as well. (Hidden from his view
at the doorway.)