Chapter 1: Prologue
On a beach along the northern side of Monster Island, there was a large house that sat facing the ocean. It had been built a long time ago, in the traditional Japanese architecture, with a rising porch, sliding doors, and a wide, open space in the center. The main room, with them split off into two other half sided rooms, was elaborately decorated with traditional paintings, artifacts, and mementos. Outside of the house, along the wooden staircase, were offerings of flowers, letters, candles, and miscellaneous items.
The house was empty at the moment, except for the one human sitting out front of the doors. She looked out to the vast sea, shuffling some cards in her hands. She was waiting.
Her name was Kasumi Miyamoto. She was a friend to the ones who lived here, and tonight she was helping them prepare for a very special occasion. However, as was usual, her host was running late. It was already over an hour past the time they had agreed on, and although she was bored she was not completely bothered. She had expected it, and had brought with her some cards and snacks and other things to occupy her just in case.
She was about to start on a new game when she heard the familiar splashing sound coming from the shore. Looking up, she could see the darker figure of her friend rising up out of the waves, shaking himself off of seawater. When he saw her on the porch, he gave a slight wave.
Kasumi quickly packed up her things and stood, smiling as she made her way down the stairs to greet him. The kaiju was a little over seven feet tall, with grey/black colorings and sharp, jagged dorsal fins from his neck down his back and tail. The rest of the world knew him by one name; Godzilla, King of the Monsters. But to Kasumi, he was much different than that. That was the stage name, an act for the camera.
“How was your swim, Daisuke? Find anything interesting?” she asked. He responded with a half smile, and pulled up a netted sack from his side. When she got close enough, he opened it and let her look inside.
“A couple Knick knacks from a shipwreck, some other metal pieces I thought were cool looking, and this.” He reached in and pulled out an enamel pin of some Japanese cartoon icon. “Almost makes me wish I wore clothes so I could wear it around.”
“You could give it to me to wear, as compensation for making me wait so long for you to get back.” she offered, holding out her hand.
“Ack! No way!” he growled, lifting the pin away from her. “You haven’t been waiting that long! You’re just trying to make me feel bad.”
“It’s been almost two hours, Daisuke!” she complained loudly, but playfully.
“Liar, I don’t believe you.” he teased back. The two of them continued their banter as they made their way up to the house.
They had known each other since they were children. Kasumi was the daughter of one of the movie executives at Toho Ltd. where the Godzilla films were made. Daisuke was the son of Kaito, the previous Godzilla, who was the son of Shin’ichi, the kaiju to play the original Gojira.
Most of the fans referred to the movies in eras, depending on which kaiju played the part of Godzilla. For Shin’ichi’, it was the Showa Era. For Kaito, it was the Heisei Era. Daisuke’s time on screen had been dubbed the Millenium Era. More recently, however, his younger brother, Tarou, was gaining popularity with his film in America. Daisuke didn’t mind that, as it gave him a well needed vacation from moviemaking.
He set the pin on one of the side tables, among his collection of other strange items he’d found while diving in the ocean.
“So what exactly is it that you dragged me out here for?” Kasumi finally asked, setting her shoes outside the door before coming in.
The large kaiju sighed and looked towards the wall opposite the main doorway. There was a giant, handmade painting that hung, almost as big as the wall itself. Traditionally painted depictions of creatures that looked similar to the kaijus of Monster Island were scattered around all over it, coexisting with handfuls of humans. His grandfather had told him how it had been a gift from the original inhabitants of the island, back when this building had been a shrine.
In a way, it still was a shrine. Daisuke didn’t really live her, he slept in the ocean or along the beach in the outdoors. But he did come here every day to keep his few belongings and make sure the candles were still lit and the flowers fresh. Occasionally some fans would come by and he would happily greet them, pose for photos, and he would tell them more about the shrine and his family’s lineage before the movies.
“I’ve been thinking a lot about my family.” he admitted. He noticed a candle had burnt out and moving across the room to replace it as he spoke, “My father and my grandfather loved visiting the mainland and making these movies, meeting new people and expanding the human’s understanding of their kaiju neighbors. But in doing so they left a lot behind here on the island. I think we all got a bit caught up in the fame and glory that came with being a big celebrity.”
“That’s for sure,” she agreed, coming over with a lighter for the candle. “I remember the way you started acting after your first big hit. It totally went all to your head!”
He chuckled. “I was pretty young and dumb, wasn’t I?”
“Don’t talk like that,” she elbowed him, “It makes me feel old. We’re the same age, you know.”
“But seriously, Kasumi,” He said, his smile fading, “After the big success of Tarou’s recent film, I just feel obligated to do something. Something to bring my whole family together for a while out here, and get away from the fast paced high energy that comes from being in the spotlight.”
“Your whole family? You mean Tarou, Kaito and Shin’ichi?” she asked.
“No, I mean the whole clan. Everyone.” Daisuke said firmly. Kasumi grit her teeth, unsure.
“I don’t know...You dad and your grandfather haven’t spoken in years. And I thought that after Finals Wars came out there was some tension between you and some of the others. Especially...oh what’s his name again? Garvin?”
“Gavriil,” he sighed, “Yes, I know. But that’s exactly my point. We’ve all grown distant and displeased since getting involved in this human culture nonsense, no offense.”
She shrugged. She had grown up in the heart of the business. She knew what he meant.
“We were once a very close knit community of creatures, who cared for and depended on each other. Now we’re divided and poisoned from fame and monetary influence. I just figured that perhaps if we had the chance to come together and be the kaiju we were actually meant to be, it would help things.” He said, referring to the painting on the wall. They both starred up at it for a long time, before Kasumi finally spoke up.
“And how do you plan on getting everyone to actually come here?” she asked. He smiled down at her with his rows of sharp teeth.
“The traditional way, of course.”
Chapter 2: A House Divided
Daisuke attempts to reach out to the others and invite them back to Monster Island. But where exactly is everyone? And are they willing to face one another when there's so much underlying tension between them?
Shin'ichi = Showa Era
Kaito = Heisei
Daisuke = Millennium
Garviil = 1998
Tarou = Legendary
Ryuu = Godzooky/Hanna-Barbera
Hoshiko = Spacegodzilla
Ayame = Baby/Junior(?)
Of all the kaiju in the Godzilla clan, Ryuu had been the last person who expected to be called back to Monster Island.
He wasn’t even sure if he counted as a “godzillasaur” or whatever they called themselves. All he knew was that he was distantly related somehow, but never really felt any kind of connection to any of them. From what he remembered, they didn’t really ever care for him either.
In fact, when he was just a newborn, he had gotten into a dangerous situation that had almost killed him! But the ones who rescued him had actually been humans, not kaiju. A group of scientists studying marine biology had come across him in peril, and he bonded with them instantly.
Initially, he hadn’t wanted to leave Monster Island, since he was born there. The humans had tried to coax him to accompany them on their travels, both for study and for companionship, but he had been too scared to go. But after a few months of neglect and lonliness, he swam off to find them.
None of the other Godzilla kaiju had taken notice of him because he had a strange mutation that gave him webbing under his arms, and his sharp teeth didn’t grow in until he was almost a teenager. He didn’t have any kind of fire/atomic breath, either. And without any fire or teeth, is was a clear sign that he was weak. Besides, most of them were busy with the humans on the mainland anyway. Why couldn’t he spend time with humans out at sea?
And so Ryuu grew up with the scientists, captain, and boy who inhabited the S.S. Calico, and he did not look back.
Full grown, and pretty old for a kaiju, he now stood at an impressive ten foot seven inches; the biggest of the entire clan. The humans he had been raised by had grown old and long disbanded, so now Ryuu spent his days in a port in Morocco, helping load and unload cargo from ships. His size and strength made him ideal for such a task, and he enjoyed putting himself to helpful tasks.
So when Daisuke showed up out of nowhere one morning and invited him back to Monster Island, he scoffed at the idea, thinking it to be some cruel joke.
“I don’t need to go anywhere,” he snarled to his cousin. They stood on the docks facing the Atlantic Ocean, ships of all kinds coming in and out all over the place, while humans bustled all around them. The sky was grey and cloudy, and the salty smell of the sea mixed into the breeze.
“I never said you had to,” Daisuke retorted back, trying to keep his cool, “I’m just proposing the idea to you. There’s a difference.”
Ryuu looked the millennium Godzilla up and down with his dark eyes for a moment of silence. The two of them barely looked to be related. Aside from the pathetic excuse for wings under his arms, Ryuu was a more green color than Daisuke’s dark grey/black scales were. His dorsal fins were shaped different as well, looking more like symmetrical star shapes than his cousin’s jagged, irregular spikes. Not to mention the size difference, and the fact that Ryuu had dulled tusks poking out from his lower lip, while Daisuke had finely pointed fangs.
“I’ve seen you guys on TV and in the movies and everything. And that’s already more of you than I ever want to see,” Ryuu said gruffly. “Why would I ever want to come see your ugly mugs face to face?”
“Closure, perhaps?” Daisuke tried. But that only seemed to piss him off more. He took a step closer to him, his intimidating height forcing the darker kaiju to shift back and crane his neck to keep eye contact with him.
“I never needed you lot back then, and I certainly don’t need you now. Not for a damn thing.” he said in an even lower, darker tone.
“All right, all right, I can take a hint.” Daisuke put up his claws and walked around him, back up the pier. When he was only a few feet away, however, he turned to look back at him. “But if you change your mind, the offer is still open.”
Ryuu snorted and bared his teeth in a mildly threatening manner, watching his cousin slink back off into the crowd. Closure, yeah right. It had been over forty years since he’d left Monster Island. If he’d wanted closure, he would have gone to get it by now.
And yet, as he headed back to work further down the docks, he could not help but think that maybe...just maybe...that really was what he needed.
Gavriil had been so young when he came to America to make his movie in 1998, and afterwards had become so lost. Hollywood was huge and intimidating, even for a kaiju like him. If it hadn’t been for Nick Tatopoulos, his now legally adopted father, he might not have been as lucky as he was. Nick and Gavriil had bonded closely while filming his movie, and when Nick found out about the kaiju’s awkward situation, he offered to help. It didn’t take long for Nick to take him fully under his wing from there.
While his movie, Godzilla 1998, had turned out to be a total flop, it had at least introduced him to the amazing world of special effects and VFX in film. With new Godzilla films coming out from Toho after his film, he’d easily been able to slip out of the spotlight and into something he felt much more comfortable with. Instead of being on the screen, he was editing it. his terrible movie was put behind him, he had a new family, and everything was great.
That was, until “Godzilla: Final Wars” came out.
The iguana kaiju, now spending most of his days across the river from New York City in a small port in Jersey, had left Hollywood and the film scene for good after he’d become the laughing stock of the community for his quick and brutal defeat in the film. The poor screenwriting and human acting his movie was a curse, so he had hoped that a feature in the 2004 film that starred his cousin, Daisuke, would help. Perhaps even redeem his character some. Instead it had only further humiliated him and his legacy.
So when he came home to his warehouse one afternoon to find Daisuke chatting with his father and Audrey, his sort-of mother, he already didn’t like whatever was going on or about to happen…
“I think it would be a splendid idea,” Nick said after they’d gotten through the awkward hellos and down to the reason why his cousin was there. “It would be good for you to go spend some time with your birth family back home.”
“Monster Island isn’t my home and none of them are my family.” Gavriil said bluntly, to which Audrey was quick to scold him.
“It’s been long enough hasn’t it?” she asked, “You’ve been here in America since you were so young. What would be so bad about taking a vacation and seeing your relatives?”
“Why are you on his side?” the younger kaiju asked, clearly getting worked up. Daisuke could sense that this might escalate into a much worse situation, so he stood.
“Please, Gavriil,” he said quickly, “Just give it some thought, okay? You don’t have to give an answer right away.”
The grey/brown lizard narrowed his amber eyes up at him, but didn’t say anything. It wasn’t a no, which was good, but it wasn’t entirely reassuring either. Daisuke thanked Nick and Audrey for the time and showed himself out. As he left, he could hear the shouting starting already, and grit his teeth. This wasn't going as well as he had hoped, but to be honest, he had expected much worse, so that was good, right?
Tarou was a little easier to convince to come, seeing that they were brothers. But Daisuke still didn’t like the fact that he was so busy with his new fame that he had to make an appointment just to talk to him for a few minutes.
They met up in some ritzy end of L.A., where a whole bunch of famous stars and celebrities hung out. It reminded Daisuke of his own days of fame back in Japan, and he felt and awful churning in his stomach. Some of the people on the street stopped him to say hi, take photos, and ask for autographs, which he obliged to with little reluctance. It was nice to be reminded that he was a beloved icon in the Godzilla franchise, but it also surfaced some unwanted memories, conflicting his emotions.
“Nisan! Good to see you!” Tarou said, entering the cafe area where they had arranged to meet. Seeing him was like a breath of fresh air, and they hugged each other tight. It felt like it had been ages since he’d seen his baby brother, although he was no baby any more.
Tarou was, by far, the biggest of their immediate family. A bit more on the hefty side, but he was eight and a half feet, taller than even their great grandfather. Daisuke noticed that he was being tailed by some paparazzi and immediately his skin began to crawl. His chest tightened up a bit and he suddenly lost his appetite.
“Oh, sorry,” Tarou said, following his gaze. “Just ignore them. Let’s sit and order something, my treat.” He waved a claw dismissively at the humans with their cameras and sat down. Daisuke, however, seemed frozen in his spot.
“Daisuke?” he nudged his older brother and woke him from his trance.
“Oh, right, uhh, actually, I’ll just make this quick and get out of your scales. You seem pretty busy.” the millennium Godzilla said hurriedly, sitting and ducking his head so that Tarou’s frame blocked out the paparazzi. The larger kaiju sighed.
“Yeah, it’s been crazy all summer since the movie premiered. I thought I was prepared since I had that other movie back in 2014, but I couldn’t have been more wrong. Long time fans love the new movie so much!” He beamed and puffed out his chest proudly.
“I’m happy for you, Tarou.” his brother said sincerely. “I’m glad you’re upholding the family legacy so well. But I actually came today to see if you want to come back home for a while. Relax, celebrate, spend some time away from it all.” He waved a claw around them, signally the city and L.A. in general. Tarou frowned.
“You know I would love to, but I have a lot going on right now. Surely you’ve heard that the next film is due to come out next year. They went back and rewrote some things after the success of King of the Monsters, so we have to refilm a couple scenes. Not to mention the touring beforehand. You know how it is.”
Daisuke did know, but it wasn’t going to deter him. “I understand, really, I do. But this would be just for a weekend, two days at most. You can rearrange some of your schedule to come see your family, can’t you?”
Tarou seemed hesitant. He scratched the underside of his chin thoughtfully. Unlike Ryuu and Garviil, however, Daisuke knew how to bribe his own brother, and pull at his heartstrings.
“Come on, it’ll be just like when we were pups. We can go deep sea diving, explore the mountain caves, and hunt those glowing moon jellyfish on the beach when it gets dark.” he offered.
The larger kaiju cracked a smile. “I haven’t had any of those in a long time…”
“Plus,” Daisuke added, “It’s a secluded island, remember? No loud noisy streets, no huge buildings or cracked, concrete sidewalks. Clean, fresh air, the cool, blue ocean all around-”
“Okay, okay, that’s enough,” Tarou shook his head with a laugh. “You got me, I’ll see what I can do. But I can’t make any promises.”
The millennium Godzilla nodded his head in understanding, but when he got up to leave, his brother grabbed his shoulder and forced him back down into his chair. “Hold on, now,” Tarou said, “Where are you off to in such a hurry? I haven’t seen in you months, so you’re gonna sit and have lunch with me.”
Daisuke tried to protest, but his little brother wasn’t having it. He was going to treat them both to a big lunch and that was final. The smaller kaiju glanced warily over at the human paparazzi nearby, feeling that tightening in his chest again. He didn’t want to stay around here for too long, but he really didn’t want to leave his brother. It was true, they hadn’t seen each other for such a long time. He was unable to bring himself to refuse any further, but it was hard to fully enjoy it with the flashing cameras everywhere. Even if they weren’t in his face, it was still uncomfortable, and Tarou seemed totally oblivious to it as they ate and caught up.
Just do it for Tarou, his brain kept saying. Endure it for a little bit longer…
The only other kaiju from the Godzilla clan who still lived on Monster island was Hoshiko. In the movies, they had dubbed her “Spacegodzilla”, and had her wear crystals on her shoulders and back. In reality, she was simply Kaito’s twin sister, and the crystals had been added props and effects. Surprisingly, the only thing that was real was the strange fangs that jutted out from the sides of her face. A birth defect that had made the executives at Toho look her over when casting the next Godzilla after Shin’ichi retired. She was bigger and stronger than her twin, but they thought she looked too scary with the strange fangs.
As far as Daisuke knew, she had never been too upset about that in and of itself. It was how Kaito changed after being casted that made her resent the franchise. Especially after the Spacegodzilla movie, when the two of them clashed on set. She had been so mad that she didn’t even come to the movie’s premier.
Daisuke knew that trying to bring her and his father together would be difficult, so he decided it would be better not to mention one to the other. Instead, he went to Hoshiko’s side of the island to ask her over for a dinner of some sort, and then his dad would just happen to also have been invited and they could come together that way by 'accident'.
The lagoon that Hoshiko had claimed for her territory was beautiful. The waters were calm and blue, sparkling in the sunlight. He caught sight of her along the beach with her back to him, about knee deep in the waters.
“Oba!” he called, walking towards her, “Oba, its me, Daisuke.”
The kaiju raised her head and looked over her shoulder to him. To his surprise, another face poked out from her side in front of her. Daisuke stopped at the shoreline and watched her take a step back to reveal a small, adolescent kaiju with her.
“Daisuke, is that really you?” she called, heading back towards him. She was just a bit taller than Kaito, at seven foot eleven inches. Daisuke came up to her chin.
“Sure is,” he smiled awkwardly, “All grown up now.”
Hoshiko glanced around suspiciously as the smaller kaiju came splashing through the water straight up to Daisuke.
“Who is he and why is he in our territory?” she asked in a fierce tone.
“Ayame, this is your itoko , Daisuke. The son of my brother.” The older kaiju explained. “Speaking of which, is he or Tarou with you?”
Daisuke shook his head. “No. Chichi is still living in Japan, and Tarou is over in America film the next generation of Godzilla movies.”
“Tarou took the gig instead of you?” She said, surprised.
“Not exactly,” he shrugged, briefly explaining to them his time in the film industry, and Tarou’s more recent introduction. Hoshiko nodded, but didn’t say much else. Her daughter was carefully examining her cousin with big, curious eyes. She reminded Daisuke of a younger version of Tarou, more on the chubby side and with a more square shape to her face.
“I actually came to invite you over to the shrine for dinner in a few weeks for the seasonal tide changes.” he prompted hopefully, keeping a casual tone so he didn't rise any more suspision. Unfortunately, she wasn’t fooled.
“I appreciate you trying to make things better between us, but Kaito and I have to sort things out on our own.” she said, crossing her arms. He frowned. She had seen straight through him, and so quickly! He gave up, figuring it would be better not to deny it.
“It’s been almost thirty years, oba.” he protested, “You haven’t yet reached out to him and he hasn’t reached out to you. You’re both too stubborn and prideful for that.”
“You’re absolutely right,” she agreed, “But that doesn’t mean you can come and stick your nose in it.” She lashed her tail, splashing at a wave lapping behind her.
“You’re my family, and I have every right to try and do something when you two won’t.” He growled back at her. Ayame seemed to be fascinated by their argument, her big eyes shining as she stood and watched them glare each other down.
“And its not just you and chichi I’m inviting. Everyone’s going to be there. Shin'ichi, Ryuu, Garviil.” Daisuke added. Hoshiko laughed loudly, showing off her awkward smile with her outside teeth.
“Everyone, huh? The whole clan?” she chuckled.
“There’s more?!” Ayame cried in disbelief. She had not yet been exposed to the human world and the monster movies her family had been in, apparently. Daisuke felt and unexpected pang of jealousy at this realization.
“That kind of chaos would be pretty fun to watch, if it isn’t just Kaito and me.” Hoshiko said thoughtfully. It wasn’t the most reassuring comment, but if was a hopeful one.
“If anything, do it for Ayame,” Daisuke pointed out, “She should meet the rest of her family, shouldn’t she?” He gave the little kaiju a smile, but she simply stuck her tongue out at him in a childish manner. However, her mother nodded in agreement.
“I suppose that’s fair. We’ve been isolated out here long enough. But I can’t promise anything good will come of this, you know that, right?” she warned. Daisuke sighed.
“It’s worth a shot, though.”