Lucy awoke in her apartment, it was June 5th, 9:00 AM. The last thing she remembered was defeating the bird kaiju. The girl lied awake in bed for some time, pondering the previous days. Something was off today but Lucy couldn't quite pick out what it was. The world was moving slowly, a snail's pace compared to yesterday and the day before, even the day before that. There wasn't a call this time, only a text left on her phone.
>Gabriel Holt: "You're not needed today, get your rest while you can."
The text was somewhat reassuring, but it also stirred up new questions. How did Gabriel know that there wouldn't be a kaiju this time? Was he lying? Where are the kaiju from? Why could Lucy take control of them? The questions slowly became more and more disconnected from her current situation until her mind focused on other things.
Lucy didn't feel like going back to sleep. She considered booting up her computer to play videogames, but that didn't feel right for some reason. After picking back up her phone, she sent a text to Kaden.
>Me: "You want to hang out today?"
>Kaden: "YOU'RE ALIVE"
>Kaden: "I'll talk to you more about it later"
>Me: "Uh, sure"
>Kaden: "I'll be at your place in a few minutes"
>Me: "Ok then"
Lucy set her phone down and lied back down on her bed. She hadn't seen Kaden since the day before the first kaiju attack, it was nice to know that he was still alive. Lucy then rolled out of her bed and put on a new set of clothes, as well as her two-tone hoodie and headphones. After taking a closer look in the mirror, Lucy noticed that her left eye was slightly red, not in an unnatural way, but still odd nonetheless. Was this an effect of taking control of a kaiju? She felt pain in her left eye every time it happened, so it would make sense. There were also dark circles under both of her eyes, but that was likely from exhaustion.
It seemed like a moment later the doorbell rang. Lucy walked down the stairs and opened the door.
"Wow, is everything ok?" Kaden's face showed concern as it appeared beyond the now-open door.
"What has you so worried?" Lucy replied.
"You look terrible today!"
Lucy and Kaden walked a few blocks down to a restaurant that the two of them frequented. It was slightly more expensive than fast food, but it didn't taste much different. After walking in, Kaden told Lucy to sit down and walked over to the counter to order food.
"I'd like a fried chicken sandwich meal with cheese and a large cola and a medium salad with chicken." Kaden had memorized this order; he'd ordered this at least a few dozen times before.
"That'll be 15.98 plus tax." The cashier was a young man with short blond hair. He seemed tired but was still clearly paying attention.
"Thank you!" Kaden took out his wallet, pulled out a 20-dollar bill, and handed it to the cashier. The cashier took the bill and handed him back the change and a paper receipt. Kaden then sat down at the table across from Lucy and set the receipt on the table.
"So, what happened?" Kaden asked. "Why did you go silent for 3 days?"
"Oh, I got sick. Sorry." Lucy's answer was an outright lie.
"Really? Normally you're more active online while you're sick."
"Not this time."
"Order number 73 is ready!" A man over behind the counter shouted. Kaden got up, brought the food back to the table, and took the salad off from the tray. Lucy took the chicken sandwich out from a brown paper bag and set it on top of a napkin.
"You know, if you want to order a chicken sandwich there are better places to go." Kaden added.
"I know" Lucy replied, "but this place is closest and has decent prices."
There was a slightly awkward silence as Lucy and Kaden ate their meals. Lucy offered Kaden some French fries, which he politely refused. After eating, Lucy also offered to pay for the food, which Kaden also politely declined.
"You keep asking about me, but is everything okay, Kaden?" Lucy asked.
"Yeah." Kaden answered quickly without looking Lucy in the eyes.
"Something tells me that isn't true." Lucy had a condescending posture about her as she spoke.
"And something about your excuse rubs me the wrong way!" Kaden raised his voice. Lucy was shocked, she had rarely ever seen him like this. "Really weird things have been going on lately and I have a right to be worried about you. It doesn't help that you lied to me when I asked what was going on!"
"Weird things? You mean the kaiju attacks?" Lucy replied. Kaden's expression suddenly changed.
"The what?" Kaden's face bore a look of sheer horror. "What's going on Lucy, what aren't you telling me?"
Lucy felt a sudden urge to vomit, like everything that transpired across the last few days had finally caught up to her. "You... you don't know about them?"
"I've heard eyewitness rumors, but they've all been dismissed as mass hallucinations" Kaden replied, "something about giant monsters and entire city blocks being destroyed. You're calling them kaiju?"
"Yeah." Lucy said. "It's not just me though, Gabriel knows more about them. I think it'd be better if he explained." Though her sudden illness was fading, Lucy was still in shock. "Do you mind if we go somewhere more private?"
"I was just going to suggest that." Kaden shakily picked up the serving tray and used it to dump the garbage into the trash can before placing the tray on top. "Let's head to back to your apartment."
Lucy and Kaden stood atop the roof of Lucy's apartment.
"Has anything happened?" Lucy asked.
"You had another attack?" Kaden replied.
"Yeah. Did I already explain anything?"
"Yes, you did." Kaden said. "You told me that the kaiju have been attacking the city for some reason and that the city repairs itself afterwards. Nothing else."
"Yeah." Lucy looked down to the concrete floor, knowing that she was about to lie again. "That's about all I know."
"I'm surprised your mom didn't try to evacuate; wouldn't you have told her about all of this?"
"I haven't, no. She might not have any idea yet."
"I take it you want to keep that secret, too?"
"I take it this isn't on the records yet?" A man with circular glasses and long black hair stood in a framework elevator alongside Gabriel. They were riding the elevator downwards, below the underground city.
"It is, actually" Gabriel replied, "just not all of it."
"You're a cunning creature, I'll have you know that." The bespectacled man replied, his hand clutching a clipboard with pages of notes attached.
"I certainly hope so."
"I take it that you knew about this before any of us did?"
"You're correct this time, Dr. Miller." Gabriel was leaning against one of the elevator's structural beams and crossing his arms. "Though that one was a much easier guess."
"I suppose it was." Dr. Miller flipped through his notes, though he wasn't looking for anything specific.
"I ran into your son the other day-"
Dr. Miller immediately dropped his clipboard and grabbed at Gabriel's neck, dragging his lightweight body up the beam. "Don't you dare touch him, you monster!" He shouted.
"You should relax" Gabriel smiled mockingly, "I'll make sure nothing happens to him." Gabriel fell to the ground as Dr. Miller begrudgingly let go of his neck.
"I take it he was exposed to the DCP?" Dr. Miller asked while turning his back towards Gabriel.
"Everyone was." Gabriel answered. "There's nothing I can do about that short of using lockdown on the whole city."
"That was crossing the line, you know that."
"Wasn't my idea."
Dr. Miller looked back towards Gabriel. "What do you mean? No-one else could have done it."
"Oh, I assure you that I was responsible" Gabriel said, "but that call was made by the tamer, not me."
"I take it the tamer in question is the new one?"
"Indeed, she proves to be an interesting specimen."
"What's her name?"
"Wouldn't you like to know."
Dr. Miller scowled at Gabriel. "I suppose it's not my problem, is it."
The elevator opened to reveal a metal structure built above a dark chasm. Gabriel and Dr. Miller stepped out towards the edge of the structure. A deep, pulsating sound could be heard from within the cavern.
"What is this?" Dr. Miller asked, mesmerized at the awe-inspiring, disgusting thing that he glimpsed below. It was a bizarre black mass that moved with the cadence of a beating heart. He didn't know whether he wanted to scream and run or jump down to find out more. "What are you?"
"That's what you're here to find out, isn't it?"