GODZILLA: Project Mechagodzilla Chapter 6

Chapter 6: The Long March
 

 
In 2042, Godzilla, who had intercepted Gorath in the Arctic Sea, began to move southward. As part of the European Reconstruction Operation – Renaissance, after decimating the 3rd major transport convoy and the main forces of the Earth Union Navy that were escorting it from North America to Europe, Godzilla landed in New York.
 
The Earth Union capital, which was supposed to have been fortified as an armed city to intercept Godzilla using technology provided by aliens, was completely destroyed in just one night. As a last resort, Exif and Bilusaludo resorted to Operation Prometheus, causing the nuclear fusion reactor of their mother ship to go berserk and burn Godzilla. While this operation destroyed Cleveland and turned the Great Lakes into six lakes, Godzilla endured the attack. Humanity and the two alien races had lost all means to counter Godzilla, as even their alien technology proved ineffective against him. The Earth Union government was forced to transfer its central functions to the former city of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Over the next year, with Godzilla’s 8 intermittent attacks, humanity lost the North American continent, with an estimated 300 million casualties.
 
Given this situation, the Earth Union government abandoned all plans for the reconquest of the Eurasian continent and the European reconstruction. Instead, they focused all their efforts on two plans to defeat Godzilla.
 
The first was Project Mechagodzilla.
 
Based on their 2042 defeat, Bilusaludo designed an autonomous mobile combat weapon – Mechagodzilla – that could reliably eliminate Godzilla. Its construction would take at least 5 years. Given this timeline, it was decided that Mechagodzilla would be built in the former – Far Eastern Autonomous Region, at the foot of Mount Fuji, which at the time maintained the world’s most advanced industrial production capacity, far from the East Coast of North America where Godzilla had appeared.
 
The second plan was Operation Long March.
 
This was a diversion tactic to buy time for the Mechagodzilla construction project. Godzilla’s undersea travel speed was believed to exceed that of the latest nuclear submarines, and even with Bilusaludo and Exif’s technology, it was difficult to detect Godzilla while submerged. Therefore, it was essential to keep Godzilla on land for the Mechagodzilla plan. This was the largest feint operation in history, luring Godzilla deep into the Eurasian continent. The G-Force that had been deployed to Europe was reorganized for this operation.
 
After their brilliant victory in the European Reconquest Operation, Operation Eternal Light, they spent about 4 years in a grueling war of attrition in North Africa and Central Asia…
 


 
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Marni Güneb
 
Private First Class, 2nd Volunteer Infantry Regiment “Egypt” of the G-Force Provisional Africa Corps (at the time)
 

 
Volunteering for the G-Force was my own decision. It’s true that at the time, the options for refugees like us were very limited. But… I wanted to repay the European people who had helped me escape to the UK, even if it meant sacrificing my own life. And we were told that after Europe, it would be Africa and Asia’s turn. I wanted to return to my homeland on my own two feet, and take it back with my own hands. If we could liberate Europe as soon as possible, I could go and rescue my family still stranded in Africa as soon as possible… I think that was the common sentiment among us soldiers of refugee origin.
 
After our victory in Operation Eternal Light, we at the Trafalgar Cape in Spain eagerly awaited the launch of the North Africa Recapture Operation, gazing across the Strait of Gibraltar at the African continent. The threat of Gezora in the Mediterranean was now gone, and Europe was freed from the Kaiju’s threat. We saw more and more people crossing the Strait of Gibraltar, in terrible shape with barely any clothes. But there were still survivors on the African continent, desperately making their way to Europe, hiding from the packs of bred small Kaiju. Deep down, I really wanted us to go to Africa right away, saying there were more important things to do than the European Reconstruction Operation. But I endured. Then 2042 came, and Godzilla appeared again. And our unit received an order – lure Godzilla to the North African continent. Yes, that was the mission we were given – to bring that destroyer, that incarnation of calamity, back to my homeland… …… That was our mission. …….
 


 
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Stuart Maxson, Chief of Production Facilities Management, G-Force Electronic Machinery Technical Corps (at the time)
 

 
I’ve heard the criticism of Operation Renaissance. The Earth Union’s Eurocentrism, prioritizing the reconstruction of Europe over rescuing our suffering brethren in Africa and Asia. They say we should have liberated Asia and Africa right after freeing Europe. In my opinion, that’s just an amateur’s view. No matter how superior your weapons are, if you keep fighting, you’ll eventually run out of fuel and ammunition. The soldiers handling them are the same – if you don’t feed them, heal their sicknesses and injuries, and give them proper rest, an army will just wear itself out like an ice cream in the middle of summer, and eventually perish without even doing anything.
 
Operation Eternal Light was, in a sense, a grand demonstration. It was sustained by a continuous supply from two industrial hubs – the east coast of America and Britain. Yet, it was carried out with little regard for efficiency. People craved results and victory above all else, and we had to deliver. Otherwise, the newly formed Earth Union might have collapsed.
 
Ordering the military to simply advance was akin to telling them to fight using ammunition shipped from New York or London, rather than what was available in Egypt or Turkey. To liberate Asia and Africa, we first needed to establish the necessary logistics. Europe had to be revived as a factory for reconquering Asia and Africa – that was the purpose of Operation Renaissance. But it all came to naught in the ’42 Godzilla attack. Many resources… and most tragically, the irreplaceable human lives of skilled technicians and researchers who could have bridged the gap between Exif, Bilusaludo technology and our own – they were all lost, sinking into the sea along with the ships. It was an irrecoverable loss for humanity, even more so than the devastation of New York.
 
And so, in that state, Operation Long March began.
 
The American east coast that had sustained Operation Eternal Light was devastated by Godzilla. The functional transfer to South America was underway, but there, they first had to build the shipyards to construct transport vessels for the Eurasian continent. Even children barely of middle school age were conscripted as workers for the Mechagodzilla construction project, as there were not enough adult personnel.
 
The bullets they fired, the food to sustain them – there was hardly a way to provide for them. Just make do with what they’ve already taken to the continent…
 
We… we commanded those who had crossed to the continent, in such a situation, to keep fighting Godzilla for years and years until Mechagodzilla was complete…
 


 
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Qihayad-Akbarii
 
Maintenance Technician, 2nd Aviation Maintenance Squadron, G-Force Electromechanical Technical Military Corps (at that time)
 

 
My homeland, though long before I was born, had once purchased from the then-undoubtedly most advanced and powerful fighter aircraft, the F-14A. With variable wings that automatically adjusted their shape according to speed and altitude, missiles with over 100 km range, and superior electronics – considering the power balance surrounding my homeland at the time, it was as if my country had uniquely obtained Exif and Bilusaludo’s military technology ahead of others. But it was a purchase, not something we had created ourselves. We knew how to operate it, but not how it was built. As long as relations with that country remained good, it posed no problems. We could ask if we didn’t understand, and they even sent over fully knowledgeable technicians. However, when a coup occurred in my homeland and relations with the US deteriorated decisively, the situation changed rapidly. Naturally, the US cut off aid. Trying to repair the broken aircraft became impossible, as we could no longer rely on the US. The fighters quickly became unusable, and it took a long time before we could fly the “most powerful fighter” again.
 
The same thing happened to the G-Force fighting on the continent. The G-HED multilegged tanks, Maser tanks, Super-X, F-3YS, and Jaguar combat suits – they were all undoubtedly superior weapons. But they were only possible to develop and deploy thanks to the technology of the alien Exif and Bilusaludo. We earthlings had no real understanding of the underlying principles beyond the superficial.
 
The Mechagodzilla construction project was an all-out effort by the Earth Union…or more specifically, Bilusaludo. All-out. Yes. Virtually every single technician that the technologically limited Bilusaludo had was mobilized for the construction of Mechagodzilla in the Far East. This meant that almost all of Bilusaludo’s technicians abruptly vanished from the units engaged in the Godzilla decoy operations across the Eurasian continent…
 
While the G-HED and Maser tanks couldn’t actually wound Godzilla with their main guns, their mobility, stealth, and traverse ability far surpassed conventional weapons. The same went for the aircraft like Super-X and F-3YS. And the Jaguar combat suits – how heartening they must have been for the soldiers. With that power, they initially carried out the Godzilla diversion mission brilliantly. But that took an even greater toll on the equipment than direct combat…
 
Gradually, the malfunctions that couldn’t be fixed began to increase, and the operation rate of the weapons dropped steadily, bit by bit. All we human maintenance crew could do was follow the manuals left by Bilusaludo to inspect and maintain them. Going beyond that, we had to fumble our way through, especially with the quantum device troubles. We barely understood the avionics and electronics of their weapons – they were based on a fundamentally different system from human data processing.
 
Even before the end of ’42, our units…no, likely most units had no choice but to resort to the worst measure – cannibalization maintenance. Combining working parts from broken weapons to make functional ones, or stripping one wrecked unit for spare parts…it was a slippery slope of course. Operational vehicles dwindled rapidly. Eventually, in the wake of the military’s passage, the discarded husks of cannibalized Maser tanks and G-HEDs littered the landscape. Tank crews who had fought through Operation Eternal Light yet now found themselves tankless always lingered wistfully around the abandoned wrecks. Many of them, veteran tankers whose true capabilities would never be utilized, had to fight Operation Long March as infantry without their tanks. And the Jaguar combat suits…those were like a second skin to the infantry troops…many dug graves for the stripped remains out of reverence. Yes, graves for their Jaguars.
 
The compact coilguns they used were similar – without the power supplies, they were too delicate to keep using without proper maintenance and supply. We had probably rushed to embrace the alien technology too hastily, without the combat-proven credentials that those shining future weapons lacked. By the time the troops landed in North Africa, the soldiers were scrambling to get their hands on the familiar AK-47s.
 
The mighty superweapons that had symbolized the human-alien alliance and the source of humanity’s victory in Operation Eternal Light gradually dwindled in numbers across the Eurasian continent, unable to truly demonstrate their full capabilities.
 


 
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Elliot Force
 
Lieutenant , 7th Mechanized Infantry Regiment, Gforce Temporary African Army Corps (at the time)
 

 
We weren’t just dealing with Godzilla. There were many other Kaiju still left in North Africa – smaller versions of Kumonga and Kamacuras, the Giant Condor, and Meganulon that seemed to have been driven from Eurasia by Rodan. They would always attack us from behind as we tried to guide Godzilla. Our forces were severely lacking, so we couldn’t provide proper escorts for the rear artillery and supply units. Those weak but vital parts were always their targets – the very things we could have easily brushed aside during Operation Eternal Light. If we called for air support back then, close air support would arrive in 5 minutes to drive them off. With our dedicated Superx escort, we wouldn’t even need to call the air force. But in North Africa, the chances of getting that close air support were about as likely as praying to the gods. We’d retreat for our lives, then storm the useless air force base only to find their pristine F-3YSs all grounded by malfunctions. That’s why I kept saying – no matter what those cowardly air force guys say, you can’t retire the A-10 until the world ends.
 
At this rate, we’ll all get eaten by the other Kaiju before even facing Godzilla. What we desperately needed were combat aircraft that could actually fly reliably from those bare-bones runways in North Africa, that our human mechanics could repair when they broke down. Even some museum antiques would do. The air force did end up digging out some MiG-21s from somewhere – and I’m not exaggerating, there were abandoned airframes like that all over Africa – and putting them into service. Those rickety planes were more reassuring than the unusable new superweapons.
 
I guess the higher-ups finally realized how dire the situation was – if it kept going like this, we’d be wiped out in a year, not five, and then Japan would be reduced to ashes. That’s when the Bilusaludo spaceship brought us the “new weapon” –
 
the Type 43 Recon Plane.
 
The talk of having a versatile air force that could be used by ground troops was just a facade. It’s clear they cut costs to the bare minimum. There was hardly any armor, and it was like a flying motorcycle with the pilot’s body exposed. There was no effort to improve the pilot’s survivability. The armament was just a single machine gun. The designer’s reasoning was this: there’s no way for humanity to defend against Godzilla’s heat beam, so armor is useless. It’s better to mass-produce highly mobile craft and focus on efficiency by minimizing resources and simplifying the manufacturing process. What an idiot. Did they think we were only going to fight Godzilla on the continent? How many soldiers do they think were sacrificed to the giant condors before even reaching Godzilla in those crappy bikes?
 
Still, the mobility wasn’t too bad, and being simple in design, they didn’t break down easily. It was better than nothing, at least.
 
There were just so many of them, disposable enough that there were more craft than pilots to fly them.
 
But to do something like that… why?
 
Or did the higher-ups actually think it through that far?
 


 
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Azusa Ichijo, Special Aviation Instructor, 4th Training Squadron, Gforce Aviation Personnel and Training Division (at the time)
 

 
The Type 43 boats were very efficient in the Godzilla luring operation. They drew Godzilla’s attention without being seen as a major threat, not provoking too many heat beam attacks. Their slow, plodding speed was actually well-suited for maintaining distance from Godzilla. And most of all, they were incredibly cheap. That cost included the price of human lives, though. Yes, those were disposable human weapons.
 
In North Africa and later Central Asia, we encountered many survivors, mostly young children. I’m not sure why, but the ones who had made it tended to be the younger ones – maybe they had antibodies to the new plague, maybe their parents tried to save them even at the cost of their own lives, maybe the Kaiju couldn’t find the small ones. They had formed tiny communities of a dozen to thirty people, eking out an existence in abandoned cities and villages, or natural strongholds like caves, scavenging for food and hunting wild animals, even small Kaiju. On the abandoned lands of Africa and Central Asia… we did not rescue them, but conscripted them as soldiers.
 
Operating the Type 43 boats was simple enough for even those children to quickly pick up. Trained soldiers were precious, so the continental expeditionary force decided: keep the adult soldiers and any rescued specialists, and use the locally conscripted child soldiers for the high-risk, death-bound Godzilla luring missions.
 
I was an instructor for those child soldiers.
 
The reports say the local troops fought bravely and with strong unity. Of course they did – how else could those children have survived alone in the Kaiju-infested wilds of North Africa and Central Asia?
 
They were always smiling. We didn’t force them – they cooperated willingly, in exchange for food and shelter. What an awful lie – those are things that should have been unconditionally provided to children.
 
We soldiers are supposed to protect children, not the other way around.
 
I reported what was happening on the continent to the Ministry of Human Survival. I even faced a court martial for it. I have no regrets.
 
It was… it was probably the children I had sent out at some point. I couldn’t take it anymore, so I told them to run away. I said they wouldn’t be used and killed by the adults, that they could escape on that boat and go back to where they came from, and they could live like they used to. But the boy who was their leader said:
 
“I was able to eat delicious food. I slept fully in a warm bed for the first time. My little brother even got medicine. So in return, I will fight.”
 
In broken English, he said:
 
“Chocolate, thank you.”
 
And with that, And they flew off.
 
Two hours later, all the children were dead, and the artillery battalion was able to retreat under cover.
 
Chocolate.
 
Just a lump of synthetic sweetener that soldiers were issued, only caring about the calories.
 
For just a piece of that, all those children happily went to their deaths against Godzilla, just to divert his attention by a hundred or two hundred meters.
 


 

YOU ARE READING STOLEN TRANSLATION. READ THE ORIGINAL TRANSLATION AT GADGETIZEDPANDA.COM


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Johnny Deadman
 
Private First Class, 13th Volunteer Infantry Regiment “Morocco” of the G-Force Provisional Africa Corps (at the time)
 

 
I’ve fought Godzilla 12 times. I’ve shot him in the eye with a machine gun, and rammed him with a hovercraft. How am I still alive? I’d jump off right before impact, and have my buddy catch me. As long as you can trust your buddies, it’s no big deal. If you can’t do that, there’s no way you’d survive… Well, everyone else is dead, but don’t give me that gloomy look, brother. It can’t be helped. Luck only goes so far, you know? It’s about how you use it.
 
It may seem like we’re blaming you military bigshots, but we really don’t. Our lives before you guys showed up were hell. Getting water and food was a life-or-death struggle, and if you got sick, that was it. We had nothing, so we had to kill each other just to survive. Compared to that, life in the military was a paradise. Fighting Godzilla was nothing. We got proper food, good sleep, medicine, even learned to read and write. And on top of that, we got huge guns and badass vehicles to get payback on those damn birds and lions that tormented us. What’s there to complain about? Casualty rates in the operations? Forget that complicated talk, I don’t understand it. It was simple – either bet on surviving fighting Godzilla, or wait to die in Africa and get eaten by those damn lions and rats. The answer was obvious. You guys gave us a chance, and I took it. Simple, right, brother? Look at this – an Oratio boarding pass. I was gonna just die as bird crap in Africa, but you guys picked me up, taught me to fight, and now I survived and got a ticket off this planet. What reason could I possibly have to resent you?
 


 
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Johnny O’well
 
Sergeant, 24th Mechanized Infantry Regiment “Ethiopia” of the G-Force Provisional Africa Corps Reorganization (at the time)
 

 
The soldiers in Operation Long March died shouting “Hail MechaGodzilla”?
 
Who the hell fed you that nonsense? Or is that the official intel stance? MechaGodzilla, MechaGodzilla… Sure, those cheesy propaganda films made it to the front lines, but if you’re gonna send us that crap, how about a dozen Playmates instead, huh? I’ve never even seen it. The last words a soldier shouts have never changed – a woman’s name. Their mother, wife, girlfriend… or their child’s name. Yeah, that’s how they all died.
 
We just thought MechaGodzilla was some useless toy Bilusaludo had built and run off to the Himalayas with – a piece of junk that wouldn’t help against Godzilla at all, just break down. Who in their right mind would believe it could actually beat him? And in the end, that’s exactly what happened, wasn’t it? I knew it would end up like that. “Hail MechaGodzilla”? If anyone died shouting that, may they never rest in peace. We didn’t fight to buy time for MechaGodzilla construction, or to protect the Earth. We fought for our buddies next to us, for the mothers, girlfriends, and kids waiting back home.
 
Is that all?
 
Well,
 
there is one other name I heard…
 
It was…
 

 
Gigan
 


 
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Michael N. Hunter
 
Medical Officer, 1st Tactical Air Force Squadron, G-Force (at the time)
 
What do you want to know?
 
Ah, about our comrades.
 
I have plenty to say about “him”.
 
Many of my soldiers were saved by him.
 
In fact, I probably wouldn’t be alive without him.
 
But in exchange, I ended up putting him through such a terribly difficult battle for so very long.
 
The idea itself was simple. Even a child could have thought of it. No, it was a childish idea – one that was around since they first appeared, I’m told.
 
Whether is it the truth was another matter.
 
There are plenty of records of them battling each other. The famous case is when Godzilla first appeared…and fought the three Kaiju Baragon, Varan, and Anguirus. But we know of rival species that view each other as mortal enemies too, like ROdan and Megaguirus. What saved my hometown from the Kaiju Megalon was also another Kaiju. Ah yes, that’s right, I’ve got your countrymen’s blood running half through my veins too. My dad was a Marine stationed in Okinawa who knocked up my nurse mom and fled back home. That’s about all I know of the bastard. He probably got squashed by Godzilla in New York or somewhere.
 
Well, alright.
 
The year 2029, in Okinawa.
 
Megalon, who had vanished after crossing the African continent, appeared in India and Pakistan, which were still struggling to recover from the scars of nuclear war. It then rampaged in the Philippines before heading north towards Okinawa, Japan. Japan and the US had built a joint defense line, but as it was Japan’s first major operation against a giant Kaiju, they lost sight of Megalon and let it land on Blue Beach. If left unchecked, Okinawa would have surely suffered the same fate as Africa. No, this is a truly tiny island. It might have been even worse. That it didn’t happen was thanks to the sudden appearance of another Kaiju from the vicinity of Manzamo in Onna Village.
 
I was evacuated to a nearby elementary school at the time, and saw it running eastward, towards Megalon. A bipedal creature, with long ears and a mane, like a dog or a lion… or as you Japanese would recognize, a shisa. Yes, it was a Kaiju resembling the legendary shisa of Okinawa, later dubbed King Caesar. Megalon and King Caesar fight ended up in a draw, and Okinawa’s damage was minimized. Some say that if one had prevailed, it would have ravaged Okinawa. But the people of Okinawa, myself included, believe that King Caesar is the guardian deity of Okinawa, who fought to protect us.
 
The famous plan gained real momentum after this incident. I heard the Japanese government started funding research on Titanosaurus directly because of the Megalon and King Caesar affair. We’re all thinking the same thing.
 
In other words, “Let Them Fight” – let the Kaiju battle each other.
 
While China’s Hedorah operation, targeting the rivalry between Rodan and Anguirus, was arguably the first “LTF” attempt, I doubt any country didn’t consider the same idea.
 
He, Gigan, was apparently discovered hibernating on the seafloor off Siberia. The remnants of the old Russian government in the Siberian Autonomous Region were the first to try to turn him into an anti-Kaiju Kaiju, using both Exif and Bilusaludo technology, or so I’ve heard. All I know is about Gigan’s involvement in Operation Long March to lure Godzilla.
 
I’m sure you’ve heard plenty about that operation already? Yes, it was a terrible battle. But all those lives were lost just to keep Godzilla from escaping to the sea – to buy time until Mechagodzilla’s completion. It was an operation that drew the road for Godzilla’s Eurasian crossing with human blood.
 
I was a tactical air squadron’s medical officer, but we didn’t even have adequate medical supplies. Brave soldiers returned from fighting Godzilla on lightly-armored hoverbikes, and the best I could do was let them die painlessly. I had seen Exif and Bilusaludo doctors miraculously reattach severed limbs and revive seemingly dead soldiers during Operation Eternal Light, so it was especially heartbreaking. Why weren’t they here? Why was it only me?
 
Gigan’s first deployment was in the 2042 Suez Distraction Battle. It was a strategic maneuver to lure Godzilla, who was advancing eastward across the African continent, into the Middle East… The success of the operation hinged on whether we could draw him into the Eurasian interior. Yet, the superweapon infused with extraterrestrial technology was almost completely non-operational, and to make matters worse, the higher-ups were telling us to fill that gap with those 43-Type boats armed with only machine guns. It was clear as day that the operation would fail if things continued like this. The front lines were screaming for reinforcements. What they needed most at that time were not just any technicians, but Bilusaludo technicians who could properly operate the existing weapons, and Exif clergy and medical personnel who could tend to the increasing number of casualties.
 
Surely, everyone at the Suez frontline base must have thought it was a joke. I did too. I was skeptical even about using a machine-made Godzilla to fight Godzilla, let alone this… Did the higher-ups go crazy from the shock of Godzilla’s rampage?
 
That Kaiju was more aggressive and vicious than Godzilla. A hybrid of a raptor and a scaled, finned sea reptile. Its claws like sickles. A villainous appearance. I was so uneasy – what if it went on a rampage too, and we were caught between Godzilla and this thing? Fortunately, that worry was unfounded. The Kaiju fought Godzilla, not us.
 
But other than that, it was terrible. The initial battle was a disastrous defeat for Gigan. Gigan had the ability to fly, so it had more mobility than Godzilla. But other than that, it was no match at all. The battle lasted 3 days, and Gigan could hardly get close becuase Godzilla’s beam, just running and fleeing. In the end, both Gigan arms were blasted off by the beam, and it retreated. The soldiers must have thought, “What was this thing even doing here?” But… in the end, Gigan had accomplished its mission admirably. Godzilla showed a strong hostility towards other Kaiju besides himself. Gigan was no exception. Godzilla chased after the flying, fleeing Gigan, eventually reaching exhaustion. The strategic objective had been brilliantly achieved. Gigan was defeated in battle, but it had completed its strategy.
 
Gigan’s battles did not end there. Next was the battle in Raqqa. It appeared with its lost arms replaced by large steel sickles. In that battle, Gigan this time had both its eyes gouged out. In the battle at Tabriz, in place of the lost eyes, it had red sunglasses-like… insect-like compound eyes installed. Baku, Ashgabat, Samarkand, Kashgar…, Gigan fought Godzilla over and over, losing each time, losing a part of its body each time, and then reappearing with that part replaced by machinery. Both its arms were blasted off and torn off countless times. Each time, its equipment changed. Supersonically vibrating chainsaws, converging guided missiles… it seemed Gigan was equipped with prototype versions of any weapons installed on Mechagodzilla. Something like fins on its abdomen… I heard those were Blade Launchers.
 
The frontline soldiers gradually came to trust and even love Gigan. Naturally so. Gigan, with just one body, had accomplished feats that would have required 1,000 hover bikes and 1,000 lives to pull off. The soldiers also picked up tactics for fighting alongside Gigan. While Gigan was engaging Godzilla, they would circle around to Godzilla’s back, and provide support to help Gigan recover its footing when it was at a disadvantage. Just preventing Godzilla from using his beam was meaningful. The soldiers were bound by a shared fate. If Gigan was defeated, they would be the next ones burned by Godzilla. Among the young soldiers, especially the local conscripts, there were some who genuinely believed that Gigan would one day defeat Godzilla. Mortally wounded soldiers who could barely do anything else would grip my hand and ask, “Doctor, what happened to Gigan? Did Gigan defeat Godzilla?” And I would tell them, “Yes, our Gigan defeated Godzilla,” and they would die with a look of true relief.
 
This happened again and again.
 
Far away in the Far East, where Mechagodzilla, that incomprehensible weapon, was being built, for the frontline child soldiers, the shield that actually fought before their eyes, Gigan, who kept returning to fight no matter how many times it was defeated, was a greater hope than that.
 
With Gigan’s support, bit by bit, Godzilla was lured deeper into the heart of Eurasia. Without Gigan, I don’t know how we would have gotten Godzilla to cross the Kyrgyz Mountains. By that time, we had started to hear whispers of that operation plan. A large-scale plan to hold Godzilla at the Himalayas was in preparation. If that succeeded, our battle would be over. We all hoped, “Gigan, please keep going until then.”
 
…But Godzilla isn’t stupid either. Each time Gigan was beaten, it would retreat and revive… it couldn’t keep allowing that forever. It happened in Yarkand. I happened to be in a helicopter when I saw the scene. Godzilla did not fall for Gigan’s lure, and instead forced it into a direct confrontation. In that, Gigan was overwhelmingly at a disadvantage. It was completely one-sided. I felt like throwing in the towel, but unfortunately this was neither pro wrestling nor boxing. Finally, Godzilla tore off Gigan’s wings. After making sure it couldn’t escape, Godzilla tried to deliver the finishing blow.
 
That’s when a familiar sight flashed across my vision.
 
No, not a towel. It was the familiar Type 43.
 
…I heard the nearby unit of child soldiers was the first to move. They attacked Godzilla on their own to try to save Gigan, and soon other nearby units joined them. Eventually the adults joined in as well… Days of conserving forces, keeping themselves safely away while letting the children and the Kaiju fight… I think all the built-up feelings just burst out that day. I saw G-HEDs moving again. They must have brought out the crown jewels that had been kept in reserve. Discipline was starting to crumble. To maintain the chain of command, headquarters had no choice but to formally order it – to support Gigan and cover its retreat.
 
“If we don’t rescue Gigan here, the soldiers will fight to the death. What’s rational about that? Total annihilation of the entire force and failure of the Long March operation, or retrieving Gigan – which is the more rational choice, decide right now,”
 
the commander of the expeditionary force is said to have bluntly told Bilusaludo.
 
…I had thought Bilusaludo was a cold-blooded species who only saw human lives as numbers, but I’ll give him credit for this one.
 
In the end, Bilusaludo deployed their precious spacecraft to the frontlines to recover Gigan. But… I’m sorry to say, I didn’t have much hope. Not only were its wings and arms completely crushed, even its head was totally destroyed. If it could come back from that, it would just be a zombie. At the same time, I regretted that we humans had been so selfish to push Gigan to that state. …I prayed to God. Any god would do – the human god, the Exif god, or even Bilusaludo’s god. Please, let Gigan’s soul find peace, and take him to the Kingdom of Heaven.
 
…Though that was probably a selfish wish of my own.
 
But…
 
But, Gigan did revive after all…
 
It was in 2045, during the Hotan incident. Somehow, three years had passed since we started fighting. Everyone was utterly exhausted…
 
Ah, yes. By then, Operation Great Wall must have already been announced. If we could just lure Godzilla all the way to the Himalayas, the operation would be over… but the Himalayan mountains were far too distant, and we were worn out. Of those who had celebrated the liberation of Europe together, only about one in three was still alive. In the Taklamakan Desert, we were worn down by the scorching days and freezing nights. Maybe Godzilla sensed our weakness, or maybe it was just a whim, but it suddenly accelerated its advance. The frontlines were easily breached, and it headed straight for our rear bases.
 
To save the doomed headquarters, Gigan appeared again.
 
No… was it really Gigan?
 
Its whole body was covered in metallic crystals, and even the lost head seemed to be replaced by a mechanical one. It was less like a living being supplemented by machines, and more like a machine with just a few organic parts left. Perhaps Godzilla recognized it as the opponent it had supposedly defeated before, as Gigan. Determined not to let it escape this time, Godzilla mercilessly bombarded it with the heat beam, blowing off its head.
 
This time, this time for sure, we thought Gigan was dead.
 
But…
 
But impossibly, the mechanical body kept regenerating the lost parts, and continued to challenge Godzilla. Its wings were shredded, its limbs torn off, its neck severed again – yet Gigan persisted. No, perhaps it couldn’t stop.
 
The mechanical body kept trying to regenerate, sprouting multiple new arms, wings, and even heads from its form. It was no longer mere regeneration – it was replicating, multiplying… The soldiers and combat vehicles at its feet were being consumed by the proliferating Gigan. Even the remaining organic parts seemed to be struggling to escape from its own runaway self-propagation.
 
I couldn’t help but pray.
 
That was the only time in my life I’ve prayed to Godzilla.
 
Please, Godzilla.
 
Put Gigan out of its misery.
 
Godzilla’s dorsal fins shone with a dazzling brilliance, and then…
 
I woke up in the field hospital. The intensity of that heat beam blast had reportedly blown away the surrounding troops. I was told Gigan had been completely incinerated. Hearing that, I thanked Godzilla. And selfishly, I thought, “Now Gigan doesn’t have to fight anymore.”
 
…I heard that Gigan’s operation had been completely under Bilusaludo’s control at some point. As I mentioned, Bilusaludo had been testing the technology used for Mechagodzilla on Gigan.
 
So, what was the true nature of Gigan’s final demise?
 
That something that made up Gigan –
 
something that infected living beings and self-replicated, that was machine-like yet not quite machine.
 
Was that also part of the Mechagodzilla technology? Or…
 
Was that Mechagodzilla itself?
 
We Earthlings know nothing about Mechagodzilla,
 
Neither now nor in the past.
 
It was touted as the decisive superweapon that could annihilate Godzilla. I want to believe Bilusaludo was telling the truth. Countless lives were lost for that. If only Mechagodzilla had been activated, we could have defeated Godzilla, I want to believe.
 
But.
 
Remembering Gigan’s end…
 
Was Mechagodzilla truly the savior that would rescue humanity?
 
Or was it something much, much more terrifying?
 
What would happen if Godzilla and Mechagodzilla fought each other. Might the victor become our new enemy?
 
I can’t help but wonder about that.
 
If I said something like this, I’d probably get more than just a punch…
 
I’ve heard that Mechagodzilla failed to start up, and there’s a part of me that feels relieved.
 

 
(As the captain finished speaking, almost as if waiting for it, an older sergeant entered our tent. “Preparations for evacuation are complete. The Saratoga transport plane will take all of us,” said the sergeant. “The pilot is Frank, known as the ‘reckless one,’ so there shouldn’t be any mistakes.” I thanked the captain. “I’m sorry to bother you at such a difficult time. Thank you for taking the time. I’ll find a way to escape too. Let’s meet in Japan next time.” However, the captain said to the sergeant.)
 

 
Sergeant Tani, we’ve had one vacancy. Take this investigator with you as a replacement. He’s needed for the upcoming battles.
 

 
(The sergeant, referred to as Tani, and I exchanged puzzled looks. The captain continued.)
 

 
Right now, what we need is a doctor in India, and what Japan needs is information. If we can learn Godzilla’s weaknesses from your footage… we might buy ourselves a few more days, maybe even time. I’ve fought for a long time. In that fight, I found someone worth remembering. I think it’s enough. It’s time I did as I pleased.
 

 
(Then Captain Hunter rummaged in his pocket and pulled out a small scale-like object.)
 

 
It’s a scale from Gigan.
 
Soldiers who participated in the Great Wall Operation all carried it as a charm.
 
Once the retreat here is settled, I’m heading north. Siberia. What, it’s connected by land. There’s nothing we can’t do. It’s where Gigan slept. Suddenly awakened, manipulated, forced to fight Godzilla over and over again, and then a terrible end like that… We really did something irreversible. We treated him terribly. So at least, at least, I think we owe him a funeral.
 
I’m going to return him to the Siberian sea where he slept.
 
For the soldiers whose lives he saved, and for me.
 
It’s the least we, humanity, can do for what we did to him.
 

 
(This investigation was conducted in 2046, shortly after Godzilla broke through the Indian defense line. At that time, I was searching for video records related to the Middle Eastern Army’s 106th Battalion, which had been wiped out in the final stages of the Great Wall Operation in 2045, delaying my escape from the continent. Thanks to Captain Hunter’s arrangement, I was able to bring it back. Additionally, Sergeant Daichi-Tani, who accompanied me on this journey, continued to accompany me as my escort and friend throughout the investigation. However, Captain Hunter’s subsequent whereabouts are unknown.)


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