Tod Slaughter's

Tod Slaughter's

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Godzilla versus Cthulhu: American Apocalypse Part Four

Go read Part Three first!

If the tourists sitting at the slot machines were worried about some giant creature that had destroyed Los Angeles and was now heading east, they didn’t show it. The girl tending the Big Chill Bar at Circus Circus flipped the channels trying to find something that didn’t show a giant dinosaur, but she was unsuccessful. A drunken man in a seersucker jacket he’d been in since yesterday stumbled to the counter and thrust out the giant blue plastic sippy cup he’d purchased from her earlier.
“I need a refill, baby. And a side order of you.”
“You’ll get neither,” she said. “Now run along.”
He didn’t though, and another man, equally drunk, staggered up beside him. This one had a green cup.
“God Bless America!” Green Cup shouted. There was a large smear of barbecue sauce on the lapel of his wrinkled linen suit and another across his cheek.
“Wassat song?” Blue Cup asked.
“What song?”
“The one about America.”
Green Cup raised his green cup in the air and bellowed, “… and I’ll proudly stand up next to you!”
Blue Cup joined in and they shouted in discord, “… and defend her still today! ‘Cause there ain’t no doubt I love this land! God bless the USA!”
“Do I need to call security?” the bartender asked.
But they didn’t reply. Their drunken gazes had found the television. Blue Cup sipped loudly from his plastic straw and seemed unaware that he was drinking only air. A slightly frazzled reporter was standing on a windy desert plateau.
“Despite the military’s inability to contain the creature that so recently destroyed much of Manhattan, top officials are confident they can halt the progress of the beast that has been labeled Godzilla. As you can see behind me, Godzilla is continuing eastward through Death Valley.”
The camera zoomed in over the reporter’s shoulder and far in the distance a black form was visible.
“We regret,” she continued, “that we are unable to provided closer footage as the military has established a no-go zone approximately fifteen miles around Godzilla. They plan to strike the monster with a nuclear device before it can leave Death Valley. Evacuations are underway and authorities are confident the danger to civilians is minimal. They hope to destroy the creature before it can reach another population center.” 
“I’ll give you twenty to one,” Green Cup said, “that they don’t get it.”
“It’s a nuclear bomb,” Blue Cup said, pronouncing it ‘nukyular’. Of course they’ll get it. S’America we’re talking about.”
“They didn’t get that one in New York.”
“Scientists agree,” the reporter continued, “that the creature is a female, but as of yet there are many conflicting theories on its ... on her age and why she has chosen now to emerge from the ocean.”
A trio of jets screamed over the reporter and the camera panned upward to follow them. They shot toward the distant form. A cloud erupted from the ground and obscured the monster and the camera rocked moments later as the shockwave arrived. The monster appeared again through the dust, moving forward at the same steady speed as before.
“It appears,” the reporter said, “that the nuclear option has been unsuccessful. Anyone in the creature’s current path is urged to take shelter.”
The screen switched to aerial footage of Las Vegas, which was a gridlock of thousands of cars trying to leave the city and military vehicles trying to set up a perimeter.
An electronic voice echoed through the Circus Circus. “All guests choosing to remain at Circus Circus should stay on the lower floor until the danger has passed. Please see any associate for assistance. For your convenience, all bars, buffets, and gaming areas will continue operation as normal.” A loud cheer went up. “Thank you for choosing Circus Circus, Las Vegas’ most vibrant casino since 1968.”
Blue Cup banged his blue cup on the bar. “Hey, how about that refill?”
The bartender looked at him coldly. “What the hell. Why not?” She filled the cup. He handed her a fifty and she rang it up as a twenty. “And how about you, sir?” she asked Green Cup.
“Fill ‘er up!”
He handed her the cup and wad of crumpled bills that turned out to be seventy-three dollars. She entered another twenty and handed him back the cup.
“Now why don’t you boys run along and win some more money.”
“Come on,” Blue Cup said. “There’s a blackjack dealer over there that’s got a pair like you wouldn’t believe.”
They made their way to the blackjack table and found two empty seats.
“See, what’d I tell you?” Blue Cup said, nodding his head toward the dealer.
Deal us in, baby. Little strip poker on the strip, if you know what I mean?”
She ignored him, dealing the cards as efficiently as a machine.
“Eighteen,” she said. “Dealer stands.”
“That ain’t the only thing standing,” Blue Cup said. “Hit me, baby.”
She gave him a ten and took his chips. A few hands passed until Green Cup reached into his jacket and came up empty.
“I need some more chips.”
There was a dull thud, followed shortly by another. The voice came again.
“Attention guests. You may hear the report of guns and other weapons outside as our Armed Forces deflect … Godzilla’s … course. Please remain inside on the lower floor and do not be alarmed. Thank you for choosing Circus Circus, Las Vegas’ most vibrant casino since 1968.”
The thuds were closer. Chips jumped on the blackjack table. They could hear the muffled blasts of guns and tanks outside. Television screens showed the great beast at the western end of the strip. Everyone in the casino was now following the battle and some began screaming and running for the door as Godzilla easily breached the military line and began moving toward the strip.
“This I gotta see,” Green Cup said. He joined the flow of people running for the doors and Blue Cup got up to go with him, but first reached into his jacket and put a business card down the neck of the dealer’s shirt. She was fixated on scenes now showing Godzilla trampling the planes at McCarran Airport and didn’t notice.
“Room 213, baby, Green Cup whispered. Let’s get together later.” He joined the surge for the door and looked around for his partner.
The strip was chaos. Godzilla had moved through the airport and was now approaching Mandalay Bay. A line of tanks positioned themselves in front of the Luxor and began blasting the monster. She stopped for a moment and looked down at them. There was a strange humming sound like a giant electric engine coming to life and the lowest of the jagged spikes on the monster’s back began glowing blue. The blue light surged up the larger spikes and the beast opened its mouth. A torrent of blue flame burst forth and washed over the tanks, melting them into shapeless glowing hulks.
A fighter jet flashed by and its missiles struck without effect. The jet swung around for another pass, too close this time, and Godzilla swatted it with the back of a reptilian hand, dashing it into the side of the Bellagio. The monster roared and moved forward, destroying the Excalibur with a swipe of its tail.
Blue Cup stumbled and fell to the asphalt. He reached up and grabbed someone’s leg. Linen pants. It was Green Cup. He fell down on top of Blue Cup. Waves of people washed over them, mindlessly kicking and stomping. Their cups were crushed and the colorful drinks spilled out on the pavement like alien blood. The ground was shaking and Godzilla was looming over them looking a million feet tall. The monster raised a gargantuan foot and it blotted out the sun as they disappeared beneath it.

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Godzilla versus Cthulhu: American Apocalypse Part Three

Go read Part Two first!

The F-16s roared through the air while a procession of tanks and Jeeps crawled up Interstate 95 below them. One plane dipped low over the interstate and Boomer’s voice came over the radio.
“Got your ears on, Hoss? How about we wake up the ground pounders?”
“Roger that, Boomer.” Hoss dropped down behind him. They pushed the planes up to Mach I and smiled while they imagined people jumping from the sonic boom.
“HQ’ll have your ass for that,” Shag said.
“Thanks mom.”
“Now tell me again,” Hoss cut in. “Why can’t they get a tank into Manhattan?”
“Communication breakdown,” Shag replied. “They get to the Hudson River and then no one seems to be able to function anymore.”
“Wrong,” Hoss said. “They can’t get a tank into Manhattan because New York decided they had enough pansies on the ground already.”
“Nice,” Boomer said.
“Breaker breaker,” the squad commander interjected. “Real cute, boys. Now quit grab-assing around out there.”
“Roger that,” Boomer said laughing. “No grab-assing here, sir.
“Official word from the Pentagon is this thing emits some kind of frequency that interferes with communication,” the squad commander said. “You’ll likely be flying dark.”
“But I like it with the lights on,” Hoss said.
“So does your boyfriend,” Boomer said.
The squad commander ignored them. “Go in hot and hit it hard.”
“That’s what she said.”
“Civilians?” Shag asked.
“Collateral damage is expected and justifiable.”
“Lima Charlie,” they replied. “Roger Wilco.”
The spires of New York were now visible and they could already see the thing, black and hulking on top of the Empire State Building.
“What in the hell?” Boomer asked.
“This just in,” Hoss said, “Boomer’s mother vacationing in New York. And it looks like she got into a fight with the Statue of Liberty.”
“Looks like she kicked its ass too.”
They banked right over Jamaica Bay and circled the city.
“That thing is three hundred feet tall,” Shag said. “Gotta be.”
“Let’s see if it likes Sidewinders,” Hoss said. They shot out over Newark and made a wide right turn, crossing the Hudson River again and coming in low over Yankee Stadium.
Boomer wanted to say something funny about catching a ballgame but found himself unable. He wanted to fire the missiles and blast the creature from its perch, but his hands wouldn’t comply. It seemed as though the creature was the entire world now. It was in his head, not because it wanted to be, but because it was the only thing that mattered anymore. He felt the same sort of horror that someone who is completely paralyzed might feel if a giant spider were crawling up their legs toward their face. His hands fell from the controls and he slumped in his seat, overcome by terrible alien visions.
The F-16s screamed over Central Park, low enough to rustle the trees now. Boomer watched mindlessly as Shag slammed into a hotel and Hoss flew into Trump Tower so hard that his jet blew out the other side in ball of fire and glass. The upper half of the tower buckled and fell down onto the Crown Building, crushing it like a crystal hammer.
He was tearing down 5th Avenue now just feet above the cars and trucks that littered the street like toys abandoned by a child called off to dinner. His head rolled back and he could see the thing directly above him, crouching still like some monstrous statue save for the writhing tentacles, and then he collided with the Flatiron Building at five hundred miles an hour.
Neither the thing nor the chanting worshipers paid the screaming jets or fiery explosions any mind.
“ia! ia! Cthulhu!” they chanted. “ia! ia! Cthulhu!”
The thing turned its tentacled head westward. It bleated its terrible call once more and crouched down, crushing glass and concrete with its clawed fingers before leaping from the summit. The force of its legs destroyed the upper floors and sent them raining down where they obliterated the worshipers chanting below. The thing circled the city once, blasting the air with its horrific cry, and then flapped west over the Hudson River.