Chapter 8: Lighting up the shadows of the night.
Underground Command Center, Tokyo, Japan
For the past three weeks, the military staffs throughout the world struggled to put together a workable plan. A combination of the list of problems they would face in pulling it off, the nature of the threat, and the politics had forced the staffs to revise the plans several times over bitter arguments. After multiple revisions and long nights, the staffs had now come up with a plan that they could all agree with and now they had to convince their respective superiors.
As the command staff of the JSDF headed towards the conference room they all had grim looks and small circles around their eyes as they considered the briefing that they were about to give to their audience. After several moments of uneasy quiet, Koga commented, "If we had this much trouble trying to convince ourselves that what we've planned here is necessary then trying convincing the Prime Minister and the other heads of state".
Takagi commented back to the admiral, "While they may not like what we're about to propose to them, what we've witnessed during these past months should convince them of what needs to be done to beat the Gyaos". He didn't have to add that none of them really liked the idea at all but it was the best they could come up with in the limited time span.
Soon they entered into the conference room where Matsumoto and his ministers, Nagamine, Kusanagi, and other guests exchanged small talk before they all turned to look as the officers entered the room for several moments. Matsumoto then nodded to the others and they all took their seats as the JSDF officers set up their equipment. It took a few minutes before everything was ready and the briefing began.
Takagi stood up from his seat and took a long hard look at everyone before he began, "Thank you all for attending this meeting". He paused before continuing on, "As you know that despite our forces fighting bravely along with the others as well as the assistance from the monster called Gamera, the Gyaos continue to multiply rapidly". "Eventually their numbers will be too great for us to handle and eventually humanity will perish".
Seeing the grim nods of agreement, Takagi continued on, "So after conferring with our counterparts overseas, we have drawn up plans for an all out counteroffensive". That got the civilians talking as they instinctively understood what that meant, "I understand what you're all saying and if you must know, none of us like the idea as well but the other choices are just as bad if not worse". Pausing for a moment, he then stated, "I believe that my colleagues will better outline the plan". He then sat down as the other generals took to the podium to present their part of the plan.
First up was Otani who steadied himself before he outlined the aerial part of the plan, "The main front in this battle will most certainly be in the air and without it, and our other elements will fail in their own missions". Pointing to the map, he continued, "The mission will kick off with simultaneous air strikes from the airbases surrounding Japan", "Once the Gyaos have engaged the air units coming in from the surrounding areas, we'll join in with our own air assaults". Pausing for a moment to get his words across he continued to speak to the audience, "With luck, we'll lure as many of them away so our ground forces can achieve their own objectives". He then finished by stating to everyone in the room, "I believe my colleagues can explain their own elements of the plan in greater detail".
Bowing to the audience, he then exchanged nods with Koga who immediately took his place. Looking to ensure everything was in order, the commander of the JMSDF briefed the audience on his service's part of the plan, "The naval units will provide fire support to our air and ground units as they engage the monsters", "Also we'll also destroy as many nests that we can get to with our missiles". Looking at the map for a moment he then finished by stating, "One of our most important missions however will be for the submarine fleet to act as our picket fence and our air coordination during the battle", "The other missions is to keep an eye on Gamera and when it is time, to attempt to lure the kaiju to the birds".
He then sat down as the commander of the JGSDF headed up to the podium to deliver the part of the plan that the ground forces, which didn't last long due to the fact that the commanders of the JASDF and the JMSDF had already covered many elements of the JGSDF's participation in the plan.
Once the general had retaken his seat, an uncomfortable silence descended on the room for several moments before Matsumoto asked quietly, "Are you sure that there is no other option we can take"? Takagi shook his head in the negative and his eyes told Matsumoto some of the other options that were all on the table and those options displeased him as well". He then turned to Nagamine and asked
The scientist already had her answer, "We should have enough to outfit everyone for the assault although it may not come soon enough if those eggs start to hatch". Looking at her notes and remembering her own experiences, she then added, "Even though the Gyaos have proven very active in the daytime, I would advise against launching the attack at night since do to do would encounter the largest amount of resistance".
The others looked at her incredulously for several moments as they considered her words for a moment before agreeing with the statement and then Matsumoto asked, "What do you mean about the eggs"?
Nagamine grimaced before delivering the bad news, "From what the satellites and the samples have shown us, it seems that in about a week and a half or less, the swarm will increase dramatically". Looking at the most recent report, she then added, "It will take more than that to ensure everyone is ready".
All in the room emitted a groan as they absorbed the bad news before Matsumoto asked the scientist, "Can you find a way to speed it up then"?
Afraid of where this was leading but realizing that she had no choice, the scientist simply stated, "We'll do everything we can".
Nodding at the acceptable answer, the Japanese Prime Minister then asked out loud, "What about our people that are still on the surface"? All looked at each other as they considered the thought before Minister Okino replied sadly, "Of course we'll try to get to those survivors but our shelters are crowded as it is and we believe that there are only a few".
Takagi jumped in by stating, "Plus to try to rescue them would divert desperately needed resources from the attack itself and at the rate we're going, we need everything we can get our hands on".
Sobered by the reports, Matsumoto nodded and took a deep breath to consider the information he had just heard before he turned to Nagamine, "I'm sorry but we have to push the offensive forward so you have three days to get ready everything on your end".
That news stunned the two for several moments and they tried to think up of ways to dissuade the prime minister but seeing that there was no choice, they grimly nodded. With that the meeting ended as the prime minister stood up from his seat and headed back to his quarters. Soon the rest also departed with some heading back to their quarters while the rest headed for the center to transmit the attack orders".
Both Nagamine and Kusanagi walked down the hall in silence before Nagamine turned to her young friend and remarked silently, "You were somewhat subdued back there".
Kusanagi shrugged before replying back, "There really wasn't anything that I could have said". Pausing for a moment, she then added, "I'm pretty much a regular civilian in comparison to you all". Before Nagamine could reply, the teenager continued, "Even the information that I've found out about when I was back in the states really doesn't compare to the information that you've had to deal with".
Nagamine smiled at her friend's thoughts before telling her, "Well in the profession that forces us to deal with creatures such as this, every piece of information one discovers should be considered since it may prove to be important". Her voice then took on a very earnest and perhaps grateful tone, "And so far despite the fact that most of the generals and politicians really don't like you that much, the information you've learned as well as your experience has really helped out a lot".
Airbases surrounding Japan
While the generals and admirals all over the world briefed their counterparts about the planned assault, scores of aircraft flew to the airbase that surrounded Japan. Already filled to capacity with their own air units, the base commanders, particularly on Okinawa and the other island bases, had to find creative ways to squeeze in more aircraft onto the tarmac as well as their maintenance crews. Meanwhile, the commanders at the multiple bases were busy attempting to coordinate their respective operations so that when they had to go in, they would be able to attack simultaneously from all directions.
At the airbase in Kaneda, the JASDF and USAF officers poured over notes from the recent battles as they attempted to organize the constant counterstrikes. All had deep worn looks as they read the latest combat reports and empty cups lay all around the room. After a few moments, one of the Japanese officers turned to ask his American counterpart, "Can you keep up these attacks on the Gyaos nests or do your men need to rest"?
One of the other American officers answered in a very angry tone, "Yes if you want to kill them all", "Other than that, I suggest that all squadrons stand down for now".
One of the senior American officers in the room silenced the younger man with a wave of his hand. He then turned to answer the Japanese officer, "You have to understand sir the casualties our own squadrons have taken have been very high and we've already had to make adjustments". Pausing for a moment to let it all sink in, "If we continue like this then we won't have any squadrons left to use".
Though the Japanese officer understood what his American counterpart meant, it still grated him and it showed when he replied back, "I understand but if we don't keep up the pressure then the Gyaos swarm will grow stronger". He then paused to take a sip of his drink before he continued to speak, "Also these continuous attacks have allowed the new pilots to gain some experience, which should be better than none at all".
Another American officer growled before he replied back in an angry manner, "Yes indeed they do but they last only for a while and perhaps they don't even survive their next mission".
The room turned silent for several moments before the lead Japanese officer in the room attempted to change the subject by asking, "Do we have word on the other bases as well"? Some of the others shook their heads before the officer took a deep breath and said, "Well then, you'll probably get your wish in terms of attempting to get some rest". All nodded in thankful agreement but the arrival of an aide with a message in his hand and a grim look in his face soon changed that, "This just came in from headquarters and it orders all airbases to be ready to go within a few days".
All in the room emitted groans as they knew what the message meant and an American officer admitted as much when he asked out loud, "I wonder how everyone else will take this damm news".
250 miles Southwest of Tokyo
Meanwhile, the warships circled the four main islands with their radars turned on and weapons ready to fire once they received orders from above. As the already large fleet continued to grow, its commanders had already launched training exercises to help integrate the new arrivals.
Watching the radar screen aboard the USS John C. Stennis, the admiral of the task force winced as he spotted a mistake then turned to the clock before wincing once again. Turning to look at the window, the naval commander took a deep breath before telling one of the other officers, "Alright that is enough for now so tell the others to cease and chopper the commanders here so I can talk to them". While the other officer headed off to signal the other ships, the admiral turned to look outside at the clear night sky as he considered what he was about to tell them. Although the new arrivals learned quickly, he as well as the already "old" veterans knew that the mistakes done in training could kill a soldier in actual combat, especially against a threat such as this. After watching the last Seahawk helicopter land, he headed down to one of the briefing rooms where the other commanders waited for him.
The others were busy exchanging conversations with each other but when the admiral arrived in the room, everyone saluted him before most went for their seats. Once the UN naval commander took to the podium, he looked at his audience for several moments before he began to speak, "Well you've managed to advance far but somehow it seems that you guys have been doing the same mistakes and eventually they'll get you killed". Some, mainly the veterans, nodded while the rest jumped up to defend their performance but the admiral immediately argued back, "Though you guys have learned quickly, it may not be quick enough". He didn't mention the orders he received from New York for that would have hurt morale even more, "I know that you all mean well but if you looked at what you're facing, then you'll realize that any mistake that you make in combat will cost you your life and I need as many live personnel as possible".
That got the audience talking as the admiral in charge of the UN naval forces stepped down and several of his operations officers headed up to the podium in turn to brief the audience on a multitude of subjects. They ranged from giving information about the Gyaos and their locations in Japan, the strength of the military might assembled to meet them and other matters that they would need for the task at hand. As the audience listened in on the briefing, the UN fleet commander watched with a grim satisfied smile as he saw the audience's mood.
Just then, a communications officer burst into the room, "Sir, we've just received this from central command". He immediately thrust this into the admiral's hand and bowed before departing the room.
The UN naval commander looked at it for several moments before his eyes widened in shock as he realized what this meant. Looking at it for several more minutes so as to check that he understood word by word, the admiral crumpled the paper in his hands before turning to everyone else and making an announcement that they would most certainly hate, "Gentlemen, it seems that time is up for we're going on the attack". Before anyone could object, he continued by stating in a cold tone, "Please alert your men and do what you can to get them ready within the next few days".
Seeing that there was no point in arguing, the squadron commanders began to file out of the room with many of them in a dejected tone. As the admiral watched them all depart, he did not blame him and when the last person left, he punched the wall with his right hand for several moments while crushing the paper in his left hand before he threw it into a wastebasket and left the room for the bridge.
Seas around Japan
2:30am, Tokyo time
During the past few days, scores of submarines all over the world moved into position offshore of the main islands while they used their periscopes to scan the coastline. While they were capable of hurting the birds, they functioned primarily as reconnaissance units and as gatekeepers as they observed the swarm.
In an Oyashio class submarine, a Japanese rear admiral and his staff looked through the periscope at the coast for several minutes before he switched with one of his subordinates. After the others took their turns, the rear-admiral turned to one of the communications officers and ordered, "Raise the array and prepare to contact both the other submarines and then contact Tokyo". As the communications officers went about their business, the rear-admiral took another peek through the periscope to ensure that he didn't miss anything. Once he moved away, he said for everyone on the sub's bridge to hear, "This is going to be a very interesting battle to watch". He then asked, "What time do you expect the planes to arrive"? One of the others told him that they had just started taking off.
Airbases in the Pacific:
When the dawn began to emerge in a particular time zone, the airbases in the area began to scramble their complements of planes into the brightening sky with AWACS and enormous tanker aircraft leading the way. Once each massive air group reached its position, it then headed for the rendezvous with other aircraft heading in the general direction. Soon the separate air groups merged together to form an enormous air fleet to rival that seen during World War II.
At Kaneda, Osan, and other bases nearby Japan, the base personnel watched with anticipation as the last planes took off into the sky. Once the fighting start, they would have much business as the survivors returned to re-arm. Also, there was a good chance that once the shooting started, the Gyaos birds would follow the survivors back so the personnel manned the air defenses while evacuating the civilians in the surrounding areas.
Ever since the Gyaos swarm descended upon Japan, the airspace around the Home Islands had been virtually empty of aircraft. Although some did nearby, most of the flights over Japan consisted of military planes as they clashed with the Gyaos swarm in local engagements. For the past few days though, a deathly silence hovered over the area, which was punctuated by the sound of surviving animals and the growling of Gyaos as they slept near their nests.
Soon though, the sounds of hundreds of jets broke the silence over the horizon as they darkened an already gray sky. Roaring in at different speeds and altitude, the air armies soon reached the sea around Japan. Once in, the AWACS transmitted the information to the waiting ships which had already gone to action stations when the sun came up.
In Tokyo, everyone crammed the rooms to watch as the radar screens and satellite systems highlight the positions of the planes in relation to the Gyaos nests. After several moments, Prime Minister Matsumoto turned to General Takagi and nodded at him for a moment before Takagi activated the communications link, "Commence the attack".
A huge cloud of smoke soon engulfed the sea around Japan as the ships and submarines started launching every missile they had in their armories. Once they depleted their missile stocks, the fleet formed a tight ring of steel with all anti-aircraft weapons manned as the huge air armada screamed overhead while supply ships moved in close to replenish the warships.
When the ground started to shake under the swarm, it awoke the Gyaos in frenzy as they searched to the sign of any enemy prey. They would not have to wait long before a swarm of cruise missiles exploded on them or right around them. Some of the missiles could bore through the hulls of American aircraft carriers while others split apart to form bomblets which sliced and diced the many nests. Thrown into a feverish excitement, the Gyaos took to the air by the swarm and soon started slaughtering each other while more cruise missiles began to pour in.
As the ground shook above them, the soldiers and the remaining civilians all huddled together in fear as small amounts of dirt began to rain down upon them. It shook them so much that their commanders had a difficult time trying to calm their men down. As for those waiting in the underground hangers with the planes, the shaking unnerved them the most as well as the raining of dust all over them as they attempted to keep their planes in good condition.
Although the missile fire soon ceased, the Gyaos still went at it for several more minutes before some of them picked up the sound of aircraft heading their way. They immediately turned and dodged as an enormous wave of air-to-air missiles slammed into the swarm. When the smoke cleared, a large number of Gyaos still remained and they all turned angrily and dived headlong into the enormous air fleet.
Stunned beyond belief, the fighters launched everything they had while heading in for evasive maneuvers as the two opposing forces closed. Soon, the two "walls" crashed into each other and it became difficult to separate enemy from ally while the Gyaos sliced, diced, and blasted everything in sight, which included killing other birds as well.
On the AWACS aircraft, the front-line commanders winced in horror as they heard the sounds of a large scale air battle that came straight out of World War II. Although they could not privately blame them, when several commanders from the others nations spotted their fighter squadrons retreating or hanging back from the battlefield, they immediately screamed out into the command net for their men to return to the attack.
The rest continued to bore in at full speed on their foe even though they had already suffered heavy casualties. Using superior numbers many engaged the enemy head on while others tried to lure some of the Gyaos into improvised "killing zones".
Trying to get clear of the battle so as to observe the action for several moments, the pilots watched the fighting gradually move towards the coast although some still remained behind in the air and on the ground to guard the nests. Plunging in to deal with those that remained behind, the squadron leaders ordered the heavy hitters to smash the largest nests.
Enormous large bombers roared in from both North and South at maximum speed as they headed for their targets while trying to avoid the dogfights going on all around them. Some did not prove lucky as several stray laser blasts blew the large bombers out of the sky. Most though reached their destination and soon a hail of bombs rained down on the Gyaos eggs.
Underground Command Center, Tokyo
With the access of multiple modes of communications, the people in the underground command center had a full spectrum view of the action. Satellites and cameras transmitted the visual information while the speakers displayed the audio point view of the action.
Once the satellites and radar systems accounted for nearly all of the Gyaos heading out to the seas around the country, Takagi turned to his fellow commanders, "Now gentlemen lets move to the second phase". They all had equal looks in their eyes before Takagi yelled all over the command net, "All units in country are to commence the attack".
When the airbases heard the news, many looked at each other for several moments before they set grimly about the task at hand. Once the doors for the underground shelters opened up, men and vehicles roared out in a flood as they rushed into defensive positions for they all knew speed was the essence. With the explosions and the roar of the Gyaos in the distance spurring them on, the crews hurriedly readied their weapons to join in the attack. Although hampered by delays due to the lack of training and the constant explosions and screams high above their heads, eventually the remaining planes of the JASDF took to the air to join the massive air assault.
Although, the anti-aircraft units could not get a clear shot against the swarm, they did have some good business as several single Gyaos birds headed for the airfields. While the anti-aircraft defenses blew stray Gyaos out of the sky with relative ease, it just put the crews more on edge as the battle continued unabated above their heads.
JGSDF were also on the move with small battle groups as they made their way to the devastated cities and towns as well as any nests that were nearby. Whenever they spotted a nearby nest, they would either blow it up outright or send in the engineers to destroy them with explosives. Though they did try to pinpoint every nest, the battle groups roared through the landscape as the soldiers looked up worriedly at the explosions in the sky.
Underground Command Center, Tokyo:
Despite the introduction of their own forces into the attack, the Japanese commanders could see that the air battle was turning into a stalemate. Though they did manage to secure advantages, it was a tie for the two opposing forces as they struggled to kill each other as quickly as possible.
Already they had some ugly scares as the map showed that some Gyaos did penetrate the air screen and it seemed that they would be heading over the ocean to the nearby countries before reserves flew in to engage. Meanwhile, camera footage showed the ground forces roaming the countryside to destroy the Gyaos nests or to rescue survivors in the devastated cities.
As they watched the destruction on the screen, the commanders looked at each other for a moment before Otani asked out loud, "I wonder how much we've already lost thus far in this fight".
The American air force general Ferguson replied back with a tense voice, "No doubt a lot already". He then winced as he saw the Gyaos swarm rip several more of his squadrons to pieces.
After looking at the radar screens, Takagi took a deep breath as he considered the losses. He immediately turned and asked, "Are we making any headway against them".
One of the subordinate officers replied from his station, "We're making temporary headway but right now it is a stalemate", "Already we have losses at an average of thirty percent and with some even higher".
Takagi cursed and looked out back at the radar screen for several moments before he spotted Nagamine and Kusanagi would were standing off to the side. As if asking for advice, the general looked at the young civilian for several moments before turning back and yelling out to one of the communications officers, "Contact the fleet and tell them to proceed". The others looked at him for several moments as he watched the radar screen again as if they considered him mad but once they looked back at the satellite screen, they agreed with the decision.
Pacific Ocean, 120 kilometers northwest of Iwo Jima
Looking at their sonar systems, the crews of the submarines surrounding Gamera wondered what they were doing here when a big firefight was occurring up in the north. Also they felt edgy due to the fact that if they would have to wake Gamera in this fashion then more than likely, the kaiju would destroy them first before heading back up to the ocean's surface.
Right in the middle of the steel circle and amongst the ridges, Gamera lay at rest while he gathered his strength before venturing out. The only sign of movement came from the long trail of bubbles that came out of Gamera's mouth as he continued to rest on the deep seafloor.
While continuing to observe the turtle kaiju intently, it took the submarines a while to receive the message but when they saw it, all groaned for several moments before the commander of the lead submarine activated his communications link with the rest of the subs and asked, "Does it seems that he will wake up soon"? The others shook their heads in the negative and the commander cursed before ordering, "Signal subs to lock in solution on the ridges and then fire".
The submarines first discharged their decoys, which created a huge screen all around the monster before they fired their torpedoes at the ridges surrounding the monster. Despite the danger of dealing with an irate Gamera, the subs kept lock on their torpedoes until the very last moments. Once they all felt the shudder the subs immediately began to back off as their crews attempted to lock on the target.
Rudely awakened, the ancient turtle monster swung his arms around for several moments as he tried to ascertain his surroundings. After several futile swipes, the monster roared angrily and immediately ascended to the surface with the submarines observing his movement with great relief.
When Gamera ascended to the sky, the monster roared out loud into the night and scanned the suddenly peaceful waters for a moment before he suddenly sensed something off in the far distance. Blinking his eyes for a moment, Gamera growled in anger as he sensed his nemesis before he suddenly headed to the north with his arms stretched out and the rockets within his legs burning at full power.
High above the four main islands of Japan, a murderous aerial firefight occurred between the most modern aerial force thrown up by the present residents of Earth and the creatures that were the products of the haughty arrogance of the previous residents of the Earth. Although they suffered immense casualties, the human forces managed to achieve a very good ratio in terms of killing the Gyaos.
However many pilots were already feeling the strain with some of the survivors unwilling to fly back into the fight and their superiors forcing them to at gunpoint or throw them into the jails. Soon this and the casualties the human forces suffered would turn the tide back to the Gyaos with the fighters taking defensive measures.
With the Gyaos gaining the upper hand some immediately broke off and headed back inland as they sensed danger from that quarter. Seeing the many devastated nests threw the Gyaos into frenzy and they dove down to the deck as they searched for food and a chance for revenge. Whenever they spotted a relatively intact nest, a few broke off and immediately surrounded it to prevent anyone from attacking it.
Pulling out of the battle momentarily, the squadron leaders winced at the air battle before they started to flood the airwaves with requests for assistance. As the communications crews of the AWACS, warships and on the ground attempted to sort out the confusion, multiple radar systems lit up as they spotted a UFO flying up from the south. Before anyone could react, all saw a large circular object flying towards the battle at very high speed and despite both sides bunching up together, the new arrival fired several fireball shots with care at the Gyaos.
As the smoke and clouds began to clear, the new arrival revealed itself to be none other than Gamera. Roaring angrily at the swarm, the monster fired more fireballs as he plunged into the fray with several fighter squadrons immediately following right behind. The rest loitered back as the squadron commanders attempted to sort it out with higher headquarters. When they got the order to assist Gamera, many looked at each other for several moments before the numerous fighter squadrons reorganized and plunged back into the air battle.
-I drew a mix of knowledge from reading about the massive air operations in the Middle East, as well as from World War II (both the vicious air war over Germany and the later stages of the Battle of Britain (particularly when the Germans launched their first daylight raid on London)). Also after watching a bit of Independence Day, I kinda drew up on that as well (gulps).
-In anyone is wondering why there are heavy bombers involved in the attack and why there is no opposition from the Japanese, well consider them in the situation similar to the French having to fire on their own homeland during D-day in Normandy.
-If you're wondering, well consider the fact that it would really help if one brought a tremendous amount of firepower to help fight off a conventional foe that is seemingly all powerful.
-How well did I do this massive air operation and how realistic it was under the circumstances?
-Should I continue this story alongside my other two or just stop right here? Just asking.