Authors: Greg Cox
Was he truly witnessing the passing of a legend?
* * *
Blocks away, volunteers were excavating a buried BART station. A neighboring building had collapsed on top of the subway entrance, all but entombing it. Collapsed and flooded tunnels had made reaching the station a challenge. It was unclear whether there were any survivors left below, but the crew hauled away the heavy wreckage, just in case. The leader of the crew was growing increasingly skeptical of their chances of rescuing anyone, but then, over the grunting of the workers and the incessant wailing of the sirens, he thought he heard something.
“QUIET!” he shouted.
A hush fell over the site. Straining his ears, he heard it again: a babble of voices calling faintly from beneath the rubble. The crew reacted immediately, clearing away the debris as fast as they could. Hope and excitement lent strength to their efforts. A huge chunk of fallen masonry was rolled out of the way, leaving only a layer of smaller rubble behind.
A hand thrust up from the ruins, reaching for the light.
* * *
News footage from the city played on the Jumbotron screen at Oakland Coliseum across the bay from San Francisco. A caption along the bottom of the screen identified Godzilla as the “King of Monsters.”
Sounds about right
, Ford thought.
He and Sam wandered through the crowded stadium, which had been repurposed to serve as an emergency relief center for thousands of injured and displaced survivors. Ford cradled Sam in his arm while limping on a crutch. His twisted ankle had swollen up badly, but Ford couldn’t sit still, not until he found out what had happened to Elle. A grateful Admiral Stenz had offered to see that Ford and Sam got whatever care they needed, but Ford had insisted on being transported to the Coliseum so he could look for Elle. This was where they were bringing the bulk of the refugees, so this was where he needed to be. Bruised and bandaged, he searched the teeming stadium, looking in vain for his missing wife.
The bomb didn’t go off downtown
, he reminded himself.
She could have survived.
He circled back to the Coliseum’s main entrance, where a fresh crop of survivors appeared to have arrived. Dozens of dazed men and women staggered into the stadium, while others had to be transported by stretchers, gurneys, or wheelchairs. Thick layers of dirt and ash coated the new arrivals, obscuring their identities. Ford peered past the blood and soot masking the strangers. What if he missed Elle because he didn’t recognize her right away?
He was hardly the only person desperately searching for a lost loved one. A ragged mob of survivors waited behind cordons, anxiously scanning the faces of the survivors. A lucky few had their prayers answered. Calling out the names of friends and family, they pushed their way through the crowds to be reunited with husbands, wives, children, parents, or whoever else they had been worried sick about. Tears of joy streamed from faces, people hugged each other deliriously. It was like the “Welcome Home!” reception at the Air Force base a few days ago, only twice as heart-rending. Until this moment, none of these people had even known if the other was still alive.
Ford was happy for them, but he envied them as well. He gazed down at Sam, who looked crushed by the fact that his mom did not appear to be among the arriving refugees. The naked anxiety and disappointment on his son’s face tore at Ford’s heart. Sam’s tiny fingers clutched the toy soldier he had rescued from Japan. Father and son had both come through the crisis intact, more or less, and found their way back to each other, but there was still a gaping hole in their family.
Where are you, Elle?
His ankle killing him, Ford turned away from the cordon, looking for someplace he and Sam could rest until the next batch of the survivors arrived. He began to limp toward a first-aid station, hoping to secure them a spare cot. He couldn’t remember the last time he’d had a decent night’s sleep.
Sam’s jubilant cry electrified Ford. He spun around, almost afraid to hope.
The boy leapt from Ford’s arms and charged into the crowd. Ford was briefly alarmed, afraid that he would lose Sam in the crush, but then Elle emerged from the mob, dirty and disheveled, but walking on her own two legs. Sam sprang into her arms and she hugged him close, laughing and crying at the same time. Lifting her eyes, she spotted Ford limping toward them. A radiant smile shone through the soot and dust soiling her beautiful face.
Ford had never seen anything so beautiful.
Crutch or no crutch, he couldn’t get to her fast enough. They crashed together, squeezing Sam between them, as they embraced beneath the open roof of the stadium. The sun beamed down on them, warming them with its light. The storm had passed and they were together again.
* * *
“He’s moving! He’s moving!”
The cry echoed throughout the crowd keeping vigil over Godzilla. Dusk was falling and the mob of spectators had grown and multiplied over the day. Debris tumbled onto the pier as the monster’s chest heaved and he drew a vigorous breath. A ripple ran down his tail, shaking loose the dust and ash that had accumulated on it. His nostrils twitched.
, Serizawa realized.
The crowd drew back in both fear and wonder. Many of the spectators turned and fled, having suddenly reconsidered the wisdom of coming to see the unpredictable monster, while others remained rooted in place, transfixed by the unbelievable sight before them. Serizawa nodded solemnly to himself. Godzilla was Nature incarnate, eternally resilient and unstoppable. He would not succumb so easily. The monster’s eyes opened, meeting Serizawa’s, and, for a moment, they seemed to understand each other.
Your work here is done
, the scientist thought.
The world is in balance once more.
The moment passed and Godzilla shook his colossal head, as though clearing the cobwebs from his skull. National Guards hurriedly tried to disperse the crowds, who needed little encouragement to get out of the stirring behemoth’s way. People fled up the hill, away from the waterfront, leaving the shore to Godzilla, who stretched his enormous limbs and flexed his claws. Serizawa let the crowd carry him to safety, but his gaze remained fixed on the breathtaking spectacle before him.
Slowly, surely, Godzilla rose to his feet. Scarred but no longer bleeding, he stood like a mountain above the city he had claimed from the voracious MUTOs. His enemies were dead and rotting, but he had survived to tower over the world like the legend he was. Nature, red in tooth and claw, had created him to be the ultimate predator and he had claimed that title beyond any doubt. Where humanity and all its technology had failed, he alone had saved the planet from being overrun by a plague of giant parasites.
But would he now leave humanity in peace?
All across the ravaged city, helpless humans held their breath as Godzilla paused between the city and the sea. They watched from rooftops, balconies, hills, and helicopters as the revived leviathan trudged slowly toward the bay. The earth trembled beneath his cataclysmic tread as it receded from the mainland, wading into the water:
* * *
Cheers erupted in the Coliseum as the Jumbotron carried live coverage of Godzilla striding back to sea. Glancing up at the screen, Ford wasn’t sure if the hordes of refugees were actually cheering the victorious monster or just his departure.
Probably hefty amounts of both
, he guessed.
And, honestly, he didn’t care. While everyone else stared raptly at the giant TV screen, Ford turned away to concentrate on what really mattered: Elle and Sam. He’d seen enough monsters to last a lifetime. From now on, his family was getting his full attention. They were going to make it work after all, just like he’d promised.
He figured his dad would approve.
* * *
The sun was setting over the Pacific as Godzilla sank beneath the ocean, returning to the depths. His jagged fins remained above the waves for a moment, slicing through the foam, but they too gradually vanished from sight. The churning waters settled until no hint of the mighty leviathan remained. All was as it was before.
Nature was at peace.
New York Times
bestselling author of numerous novels and short stories. He has written the official novelizations of such films as
Man of Steel, The Dark Knight Rises, Ghost Rider, Daredevil
, and the first three
movies, as well as novelizations of various DC Comics miniseries.
In addition, he has written books and stories based on such popular series as
Alias, The Avengers, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, Farscape, The 4400, The Green Hornet, Iron Man, Leverage, Riese: Kingdom Falling, Roswell, Spider-Man, Star Trek, Terminator, Warehouse 13, Xena: Warrior Princess, X-Men
He has received two Scribe Awards from the International Association of Media Tie-In Writers. He lives in Oxford, Pennsylvania.
His official website is:
As my sister recently reminded me, an Aurora plastic model of Godzilla (with Glo-in-the-Dark fins!) stood guard atop the dresser in my bedroom pretty much the whole time we were growing up, which just shows how long Godzilla has been a source of fascination to me. I honestly can’t remember what my first Godzilla movie was. Maybe the American version of the original 1954 classic, with Raymond Burr, or one of the later ones with Mothra and Rodan and the rest. But I have many fond memories of watching Godzilla tear apart Tokyo on TV and the occasional drive-in movie screen, so it was a thrill to be able to recapture that excitement again—and I have a lot of people to thank for that opportunity.
My dad, for making sure I was properly exposed to classic Japanese monster movies in the first place.
My editors, Steve Saffel and Jaime Levine, and the rest of the gang at Titan, including Cath Trechman, Nick Landau, and Alice Nightingale, for signing me up yet again.
My agent, Russ Galen, for ably negotiating on my behalf.
Josh Anderson at Warner Bros., along with Shane Thompson, Jill Benscoter and Spencer Douglas for making sure I had all the materials I needed to write the book. Thank you also to Jamie Kampel from Legendary Pcitures.
Gareth Edwards and the team at Legendary for bringing the King of the Monsters back to the big screen in a big way.
Author Christopher Bennett, for letting me tap into his encyclopedic knowledge of classic kaiju.
And, as always, Karen Palinko for putting up with me while I obsessed over a giant radioactive lizard for weeks on end, and our family of four-legged distractions, Lyla, Sophie, and Henry, just because. Henry sadly left us during the writing of this book, but was a big part of our lives for over twelve years.
We’ll miss you, you little goofball.
Did you enjoy this book? We love to hear from our readers.
Please email us at
To receive advance information, news, competitions, and exclusive offers online, please sign up for the Titan newsletter on our website: