Of all the things I wrote over the last week – and just about everything today is weekly-fresh, barring CHH – this is the least angry. It’s just about giant monsters.
As was sometimes known to happen a giant monster was causing a disturbance.
Such events had enough inherent excitement that it wasn’t exactly something the general public could just shrug off, what with the destruction of buildings and the danger of being crushed to death and the like. But the novelty of terrifying, towering creatures had worn off a little bit with the repeat performances. Scary yes, cool no.
They were an issue now like any other, and an issue in need of a reliable, practical solution. Fortunately for those citizens presently running for their lives with what few possessions they’d been able to snatch up, there was one such solution available. It was at that very moment being prepared, which would no-doubt have buoyed their enthusiasm immensely had they been aware.
Gunships were being used to agitate and goad the giant monster, the better to steer it in a direction with fewer people and less valuable buildings. Failing that, an area with less valuable people would also suffice. It was mostly to ensure that once that giant monster fell over (dead) it wouldn’t fall on anything particularly important. The gunships irritated the monster greatly with their rocket pods, and it followed them closely, roaring and flailing as was its custom.
Meanwhile, coming in fast, was a missile. It had been launched from many miles away as, being a missile, it had no real reason to be launched from any closer. Earlier giant monster attack techniques had involved flying jets very close indeed and it had gone poorly, leading to official reprimands of those involved and a significant overhaul of policy. Someone had also used tanks, once, and that person was now unemployed. Cruise missiles were now the go-to, and very effective at that.
Giant monsters did not understand missiles, and even if they could (or did; no-one had ever asked them) they were incapable of detecting their approach or maneuvering out of the way in time to dodge. This was something of an inherent weakness of giant monsters, being as how they were also giant targets. As a result, this missile had very little trouble in finding it. This was lucky, as the warhead of the missile was expensive (all of the missile was expensive, but the warhead especially).
What the warhead was designed to do was not to explode. Explosions had very little effect on creatures of this size, which was only to be expected. Something so grossly enormous should not have been able to exist at all – every movement should have seen it coming apart or breaking to pieces by sheer dint of just how big it was. So the ability to maintain structural soundness in spite of external, aggressive forces was a given, really.
This was a well-known phenomenon. The lethality of the warhead depended on it, in fact. The phenomenon had been extensively studied and researched and while it had yet to be effectively replicated what had been perfected was the ability to cancel out the forces involved, if only for a moment. Which is to say – as some of the smarter-arses involved have said – humanity was able to weaponise normal, common-sense physics. That was what the wardhead did. It turned off the special rules the giant monster was playing by, and let the normal rules come rushing back in.
It detonated on contact with the flank of the giant monster, creating a sphere of normalised physics perhaps a good one-hundred feet across in every direction; a perfect sphere of how things should be. It didn’t even last a second but then again it didn’t have to. In that time the monster suffered catastrophic internal damage. It would have taken hours of conventional attack to inflict even half as much; one missile had mortally wounded it in less time than it took to blink.
Following this the giant monster died, though not before inflicting further damage to the local infractrue. Its pain-maddened spasms ruptured water mains and destroyed buried telecommunication cables, much to the dismay of those observing and the delight of those observing who would be being paid to replace them in due time. The giant monster then collapsed, at which point the field keeping it in one piece dissipated altogether and everything became rather messy all of a sudden. Cleanup began immediately.
Post-mortem examination of the giant monster was mostly inconclusive. It almost always was, on account of rapid physical degradation,but it was postulated with some confidence that – prior to death – the warhead had inflicted damage that exceeded expectations for its model. This was taken as great news.
Later, when it was deemed safe, people were allowed home. Those who no longer had homes were not, and were housed elsewhere. They would remain there until they had homes to return to, though there was no exact date for this yet. ‘Soon’ they were told. ‘Soon’ was the official line regardless of how long it actually took, and this was well-known.
The origins and motivations of the giant monsters remained unclear.