I do NOT own Firebreather or Monster High. This story is written for fun, not profit.
Monster High: Primal Hearts
Prologue: Battle Scars
After things had settled down after the Homecoming kaiju attack last fall, the rest of the school year had actually been pretty good for Kenny; what with Duncan and his girlfriend Jenna hanging out with him and Isabel, and the school bullies backing off thanks to Duncan. Isabel had even gone out on a few dates with him eventually, leading to the mutual decision that they were better as friends, as they had been since they were little.
Home alone for weeks yet again during summer vacation, while his father was away 'on business', Ken Rogers awoke with a start from the pounding on his door.
"Kenny?!" KNOCK-KNOCK-KNOCK! "Kenny, are you there?!"
'Mrs. Rosenblatt? Why is Duncan's mom pounding on my door?' he thought to himself, as he looked at his watch; 4:33 am. He doesn't wake up this early even during the school year!
"Yeah, I'm trying to sleep, Mrs. Rosenblatt. Duncan isn't here", he called out.
"I know, Kenny, but it's important! Can you please come to the door?"
"OK, give me a minute". He yawned as he pulled on a t-shirt, and rubbed his eyes as he walked to the door of the trailer. When he opened it he was immediately pulled into a hug from his best friend's mom.
"Thank goodness you're alright! We were so worried about you all alone out here!"
"What the heck is going on?!" Kenny asked. It was then that he realized that Mrs. Rosenblatt was not alone. His high school gym coach was with her, wearing what looked like a military uniform of some kind. He removed his hat and addressed Kenny in a somber tone.
"Son, my real name is Col. Bradley Barnes of MEGTAF. It is my sad duty to inform you that your father; Gunnery-Sargeant Dennis Rogers, was killed in action last night." Kenny's heart sank. "He was one of the finest men I ever had the honor to serve with. He died a hero".
Kenny would have fallen, if Mrs. Rosenblatt wasn't already hugging him. She gently guided him to a nearby lawn chair. Tears welled up in his eyes as he sat down. 'My Dad? A hero?' "What happened?" he asked as he started sobbing.
"Your father had been with MEGTAF special-ops for years. He announced his resignation and retirement last night and was on his way home to you after a particularly tough mission; when several rogue kaiju suddenly attacked the town. He informed our base, then; unarmed, out-of-uniform, and with no regard for his own safety, he assisted with the rescue and evacuation of hundreds of civilians. He was killed when the building he had just cleared collapsed before he could exit."
Kenny cried uncontrollably. He lost his mom to cancer when he was only 10 years old, and now his dad was gone, too? He used to tell himself and his friends that he thought his dad was a 'secret agent' to make himself feel better about all the time his dad was away….and now to find out it was closer to the truth than he thought!
Wait! Kaiju attack?! He turned towards Mrs. Rosenblatt. "Where's Duncan?"
Duncan sat staring at the floor. The MEGTAF base was mostly a shambles. Dr. Pytel had just finished treating his injuries: few cuts and bruises…nothing too serious. Well, physically, anyway.
Jenna was gone. She had died in his arms. And afterward…he had crossed a line he had sworn never to cross. It was all his fault. So much death and destruction, all because of the simple fact of his own existence…. because he was born.
Most of MEGTAF's troops were decimated, the town half destroyed, nearly a hundred civilians dead, many more injured and/or homeless. With his and Belloc's help, the rogue kaijus had been beaten back, but that didn't matter to those that were lost.
He didn't even notice the door open and close. "Duncan?"
"Kenny!" Duncan stood and embraced his friend, "Dude, it is so good to see you! I was afraid that you might be dead, too!"
" 'Dead, too'? Duncan, who….? Isabel?!"
"Relax, Kenny. She left town for the weekend with her parents, remember?"
Wincing, Duncan's voice broke as he answered softly, "Jenna."
"Aw man, Bro, I am so sorry…."
"It's all my fault! Jenna! Your dad! All those people! If it weren't for me, they would all still be alive!"
"NO IT'S NOT!" Kenny exclaimed as he grabbed Duncan's shoulders. "And if it weren't for you and your dad, a lot MORE people would be dead, too!"
Duncan calmed somewhat. "Maybe."
They sat together in silence then, brothers of battle, loss and pain.
Margaret Rosenblatt and Col. Barnes watched thru the window as the boys shared their pain, loss and strength.
Barnes spoke first. "Rogers has no other living family. And I don't think the foster system will be very good for a kid like him".
"Then he'll come with Duncan and me. We will be his new family", Margaret said. She always liked Kenny, he was a good kid and had been a good friend to her son. "I need to take them away from here, and Duncan needs time to heal. He's in so much pain and heartache right now".
"I agree", a deep, primal voice rumbled from behind them.
They turned to look out through the wrecked wall behind them, and into the large, draconian face of Belloc; the King of the Kaiju.
"Really, Belloc?!" she said, an edge in her voice. "I'm surprised to hear that from YOU! I thought you'd be roaring your pride in Duncan's 'accomplishment' to the heavens for all the world to hear!"
"I AM proud of him for doing what NEEDED to be done! But my pride aside, I do love our son . Whether you choose to believe it or not, I am as distressed as you are to see Duncan in so much pain."
Margaret's face softened. She believed him. She still had her….issues with Belloc, but she still loved him.
Belloc then turned to, "Barnes! The situation has changed. My remaining in the 'custody' of MEGTAF is no longer an option! You now realize I only did it to remain close to Duncan and protect him, and that I could have chosen to leave at ANY time. I am leaving to lead the kaiju loyal to me as their King, and hunt done the rest of these rogues that threaten the peace!" Barnes glared at Belloc for a few moments, then swallowed his pride and nodded in agreement.
"I'm taking Duncan far from here, to start over. The memories of this place will haunt him if we stay," Margaret said thoughtfully.
Belloc growled in agreement. "He needs a place where he can truly be himself and be accepted completely, as well as continue to learn and improve his powers and abilities in safety".
"I think I know just the place", she said. "I was against it before in the hopes of giving Duncan a normal human life. But now, with everything that's happened, it seems to be the best option."
Belloc rumbled softly, "You mean….?"
"What? What place are you two talking about?" Barnes demanded.
"Your superiors at MEGTAF aren't going to like it, but they're going to be too busy rebuilding to object. And besides," she grinned, "my contract with them still puts ME ultimately in charge of my son."