March 23rd, 2026

Northern Mariana Islands

1659 hours

The pilot had said they would be expecting "turbulence". Had Newt been a normal civilian scientist, he would have agreed, but his experiences under Marshal Pentecost, constantly moving from base to base to better react to the kaiju attacks, had made him quite accustomed to turbulence. Gottlieb was faring much worse, huddled in the back of the helicopter looking like a half-drowned rodent, and Newt guessed it might have been a side-effect of the Drift the two had made with the dead kaiju in Hong Kong.

Then again, there are a lot of things sticking around from plugging into that thing, he thought. He shook his head and looked back to the cockpit. "How much further?"

"We're starting our approach now, sir." the pilot called. Newt smirked a little; he liked it when people called him "Sir". He turned back towards Gottlieb.

"Hear that? Almost there."

"Thank God for that." Gottlieb muttered, gagging as the helicopter dropped from the sky. "Always hated these bloody things. At least flying around Hong Kong was only for short periods, but this?"

"Hey cheer up a little; we get a chance to poke around some kaiju remains."

"Didn't the last time you 'poked around' kaiju remains almost end with you getting eaten?" Newt frowned and looked away. He still owed Hannibal a punch for trying to feed him to a kaiju, but that was a matter for another time. He pushed his glasses higher up on his nose just as the helicopter landed, grabbing a nearby bag of supplies and standing up as the engine died down.

Newt stepped out of the helicopter, Gottlieb following behind as best he could. They were surrounded by a collection of tents and small shacks, with various scientists and workers running to and fro. Soldiers and vehicles from several Pacific nations stood silently amongst the camp, watching for any signs of foul play. All this needs is a Jaeger, and we'd be back at the Shatterdome... well, except for all the sand. Newt and Gottlieb continued on, stepping off the tarmac just as they were approached by a mixed group of scientists and soldiers, led by a tall man in his late sixties.

"Doctor Geiszler?" the man asked as they neared.

"Please, call me Newt," Newt replied, holding out his free hand. "Only my mom calls me 'Doctor'."

"Of course." the man smiled, the kind of smile that makes one feel uneasy. "I am Doctor Joseph Kroeger, head of the science detachment here. I must say it is a pleasure to work with a man of your calibre, Mr. Geiszler." formal names aside, Newt was enjoying his fame among the scientific community. People that had dismissed him as a "Kaiju Groupie" were now taking him seriously... well, except for those that called him "Two Brain" because of some messed up paleontology facts, but at least they knew who he was.

"Thank you." Newt turned slightly and gestured to Gottlieb. "This is my numbers guy, Hermann Gottlieb-"

"I am not your 'Numbers Guy'," Gottlieb snapped. "We are colleagues; we should have equal standing."

"Call it whatever you like, you're still a numbers guy." Newt turned back to Kroeger. "Anyway, that's Hermann. He's got a better head for numbers than anyone else I know."

"I hope we can put his skills to good use." Kroeger said, giving another of his off smiles. "Come, I'll show you two the site." the group began walking, Newt doing his best to stay at the front of the pack.

"I didn't get a chance to fully read that packet you sent me," Newt said once he did manage to catch up to Kroeger. "But what exactly are we dealing with?"

"Kaiju, obviously, but there's a little more than that." the group exited the camp, following a small line of rope into the brush at the center of the island. "Tell me, Mr. Geiszler, of all the kaiju you encountered during your time as part of the Jaeger Program, were any of them capable of reproduction?"

"Well... one was, but we never actually saw them..." Newt made a few gestures with his hands to illustrate his point.

"Ah, say no more." they passed through a grove of short trees. "Well, what if I were to say that we found something that might point to something a bit more... conclusive as to whether or not kaiju are capable of breeding." They stepped out into a clearing, where even more soldiers and scientists stood. At the center of the clearing was an egg, a large greenish egg roughly the size of a truck. Several men in radiation suits were scanning the egg with various machines, relaying their findings to others farther away.

"We found this during a satellite flyby two months ago," Kroeger explained, leading Newt and Gottlieb closer to the egg. "Took me another month to convince the world leaders to send a team out here to study and collect it."

"... kaiju egg." was all Newt could say at first. "If this is a kaiju egg, why don't you guys have bigger guns for when the thing hatches?"

"Governments; they have their reasons." Newt did not like the sound of that answer, but passed it off for now. "Anyway, we've done a few scans and the egg most likely will not be hatching soon."

"And that's supposed to make me feel better?"

"Mr. Geiszler, I thought you enjoyed studying kaiju."

"Well... yeah, just not when they're trying to eat me." Kroeger chuckled before turning his focus back to the egg. "So, you've got the egg. Where's mommy?"

"That's where things get a little interesting. This egg has not been at this particular spot for very long."

"And by very long, you mean...?"

"Just before we found it." both Newt and Gottlieb recoiled in shock.

"Two months?" Gottlieb asked. "But the Breach has been closed for almost a year."

"It is possible that one of the kaiju that came out of the Breach may still be around, only focusing on this egg instead of attacking one of our cities." Kroeger countered.

"Yeah, we tracked every kaiju that came out of the Breach," Newt said. "We killed them all."

"But who's to say that this isn't one of the first kaiju that exited the Breach, before the tracking system was perfected?"

"And somehow managed to lay and keep a hugeass egg hidden from us?"

"Stranger things have happened." Newt frowned; something about the situation did not seem right, magically disappearing kaiju notwithstanding. Yes, the prospect of a kaiju egg was very tempting, but he did not have as much information as he would have liked.

"Well, Mr. Geiszler? Shall we get to work?" Kroeger asked.

"Uh... Sure. Where do we set up?"

March 23rd, 2026

Seattle, United States of America.

2037 hours

"Ladies and Gentlemen, we are beginning our approach into Seattle. Please return your seatbacks and tray-tables to their full and upright position." Raleigh Becket blinked a few times, pulling his head away from the airplane window. His entire body was tense from being in a terrible sleeping position for the last few hours, but compared to conditions up on The Wall or the Shatterdome it was not that bad. Raleigh blinked again, trying his best to adjust his eyes to the low light of the cabin before looking to his companion Mako Mori, who was using his left shoulder as a pillow.

Not wishing to disturb Mako, Raleigh turned back towards the window. Outside, dark clouds and rain were all that welcomed them to Seattle. Raleigh had visited Seattle once or twice before the kaiju arrived, and from what he remembered it had rained then as well.

Doesn't matter, he thought. I've dealt with worse things than rain. Raleigh was pulled away from his thoughts by Mako stirring.

"We're landing?" she asked, her words slurred due to fatigue.

"We should be on the ground in a minute or two." Mako nodded and sat up, although she was a little hesitant in letting go of Raleigh's arm. "Sleep well?"

"Not really. I was never good at sleeping on planes, or any vehicle for that matter." Raleigh shrugged just as the plane touched down, jostling the other passengers in their seats. Mako and Raleigh paid the others little mind, the Japanese woman chuckling slightly at the others before catching herself. Had she been anyone else she would have come off as someone who enjoyed the misfortune of others, but she was an ex-Jaeger pilot; turbulence was nothing compared to being smacked around by an angry kaiju.

Like most of the city, the Seattle airport was still being rebuilt. The kaiju had attacked Seattle twice, destroying both it and the Jaeger tasked with defending it in 2022. Now, Seattle was rising from the ashes, the scars of battle slowly disappearing as Humanity reclaimed the city. With the airports operating again supplies and commerce were able to flow more freely, and society was allowed a chance to heal.

After retrieving their bags the two exited the plane silently, slipping through the crowds and Customs with little difficulty. Now, there was no fanfare, no crowds flocking towards "The Heroes of the Breach", nothing; just Raleigh and Mako, alone amongst a healing city.

After so many years of fighting the kaiju, Raleigh was content to leave it at that.

"Raleigh?" Raleigh was shaken from his thoughts and looked over at Mako. "You seem distracted. Is something wrong?"

"No... just letting my mind wander, that's all."

"Do you always have to look so serious when your mind wanders?"

"It's better than looking like a complete idiot... not to say that hasn't happened before." Raleigh chuckled a little. "I remember my mom used to get freaked out about that sometimes. I'd just be staring off thinking about something and she'd run over and act as if I was having a seizure."

"Ah." Mako stepped around another group of people before continuing. "How long did this go on?"

"About two years, before she just gave up and moved on to something else." Raleigh's spirits dropped a little. "She was very good at moving on..." Mako was silent, knowing full well what Raleigh was referring to. She shouldered her bag and fell in place beside Raleigh, occasionally looking over to see if he was okay.

She understands... Raleigh thought. I know she does.

"So," Mako asked as they exited the airport, trying to find a more comfortable subject. "Where exactly is this apartment you've been telling me about?"

"About an hour's drive south." Raleigh answered. "A friend of mine from when I was up on the Wall invested in a few complexes a week after we blasted the Breach; he said he'd be willing to let me have first pick if I ever decided to come back to the States."

"He sounds like a very generous man."

"I saved his life once; I guess he wants to return the favor." His energy renewed, Raleigh smiled again. "You'll love it; it's far enough away from the city so we don't have to worry about people poking around looking for us, and I heard it's got a nice view of the mountains to go with it." he would have continued had Mako not shushed him by placing two fingers against his lips.

"You picked it out." she said, smiling. "I know I shall love it." a quick peck later, and the two continued down the street, arms intertwined with one another.

This just keeps getting better and better, Raleigh though, giving Mako's hand a small squeeze.

March 25th, 2026

The Marianas Trench

0034 hours

The beast awoke from it's slumber, collected silt and debris rolling down it's side. Clouds of dust filled the water as it rose from it's resting place, and dozens of lesser creatures fled as the beast began it's nightly hunt.

For the past three months it had been feeding, diving down to the depths in search of squid and schools of fish. The Others had chased away most of the good prey, but they were gone now, the prey was returning, and the beast was allowed to traverse the ocean in peace as it had for thousands of years before. Silently it turned and dipped into the trench, it's eyes scanning the dark for prey.

It knew that it could not stay down here forever. Soon, it would have to return to the egg. It would hatch soon, and the beast would no longer be alone amongst the darkness. There had been the Others, but they were enemies of the beast, and had attacked both it's home and it's egg. The beast had driven off or killed a few, but while the beast was strong the Others were more numerous.

So it fled, egg in tow, until it had come here, and it had found peace.

Peace had long eluded the beast. The Others had come before, and the beast hid from them. Then Man had come, and once again the beast found itself driven from it's home. It had fought, it had killed many, but more would come. So it retreated here, and it found the egg. Then the Others had returned, and the cycle had repeated itself.

Now, though, it would have peace. Even if it had to spend the rest of it's life lurking in the shadows, it would have peace.

Out of the corner of it's eye it saw a large squid, passing slowly in the murky depths. Despite it's immense size, the beast moved with supreme agility, catching it's prey with a quick snap of it's jaws. There was no struggle; the squid was dead and swallowed before it even knew it was under attack. Rising, the beast scanned the water for prey, snapping up the occasional small school of fish or wayward shark.

It would return home soon. The egg would hatch, and the beast would know peace.