The GNP Presents:
Futurian Nomenclature: A Cautionary Tale
A Story by Daniel DiManna
Inspired by the 1991 film Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah
Characters and Events Created by Kazuki Omori and Toho Co. Ltd.
Wilson couldn’t help but smile.
They had done it. He had done it. After all the waiting, all the preparation, all the moving temporal parts coming into perfect alignment… their mission finally had its key component.
Wilson finally had his monster.
He and Grenchiko waited alone within the control room of their time-traveling craft. Alone, unless one counted the numerous M-10 androids that operated the various higher functions of the ship. Their other crewmates – Emmy and another android, an M-11 model – had left some time ago. They were currently completing the mission they had come to this primitive age to oversee. The mission they prepared so long for. A mission that, if the ship’s computer was to be believed, had just succeeded.
Wilson’s eyes were glued to a nearby screen. Or, more accurately, they were glued to what was on the screen.
Shortly after Emmy and her crew of 20th Century Japanese witnesses had left on their mission to the 1940’s, Wilson and Grenchiko had used their craft’s advanced computer to zero in on a small, otherwise-innocuous spot on the map. A spot where, they hoped, they’d find the fruit of their labors had bloomed.
And it had bloomed. Bloomed beyond their wildest expectations.
In the now-barren place where Lagos Island once rested, Wilson saw huge, shimmering wings extending into the air, soaking up precious energies from the sun to power its massive form. He saw scales of gold and powerful clawed feet. He saw two unfurling tails and long, snake-like necks extending into the Pacific skies. At the end of each neck, a dragon’s head. On each head, a crown of horns.
Again, Wilson smiled.
This was his monster.
And creating it had been only too simple.
The people of 1992 Japan had been so easy to fool, so desperate for any way to rid themselves of an avenging giant. They had believed their lies from beginning to end. The rise of Godzilla, his destruction of Japan, the country’s nonexistence in the 23rd Century, nonsensical “rules” on the limitations of time travel and temporal displacement… it had all been lies. And they had fallen for it.
Soon, they would pay the price.
Their country would fall. The balance of power – future power – would be restored. When Wilson, Grenchiko, and Emmy returned to their own time, there would be no Japan. No Godzilla. No corruption.
And the three-headed beast that writhed and spread its golden wings before Wilson’s eyes would be the instrument of that victory.
“We’ve done it,” he said, speaking to no one in particular. “We’ve created the ultimate weapon! We’ve created…”
Wilson paused. A feeling of confusion suddenly overtook him. This was a big moment. This was his big moment. Everything he’d worked for had led up to this one, glorious moment.
And yet, it felt like something was… missing.
“We’ve created… what?” Grenchiko had spoken, and Wilson turned to find a face as obviously confused as his was.
“Well…” Wilson blinked a few times, regaining his composure. “A… a monster! Our monster! We finally have our monster!” He began gesturing toward the image on the screen, as if Grenchiko was unaware of what monster he was referring to.
Grenchiko sat in befuddled silence for a few seconds.
“Yes, I can see that,” he finally said. “It seems the computer calculations were correct. The radioactivity of the hydrogen bomb tests of the 1950’s really did turn our Dorats into…” It was his turn to find himself at a loss for words. “… a monster.”
The silence that followed Grenchiko’s statement was almost deafening. For what felt like an eternity, the only sounds that could be heard were the clicking of the M-10s’ fingers at their respective keyboards, and the occasional beeps of various machines spread across the control room.
At long last, Grenchiko spoke up. “We don’t… actually have a name for this monster, do we…”
It had been less of a question and more of a deflated statement. And it was the truth.
Wilson suddenly felt very cold. So much planning, so much preparation… and yet, somehow, they had missed one of the most crucial elements of actually making a monster: giving it a memorable, imposing name that would strike terror into the Japanese government and military.
In other words, one hell of an oversight.
“Well…” Wilson began, “I suppose… should we give it one?”
“Should we give it one?” Grenchiko’s tone was mocking as he hurled Wilson’s question back at him. “We can’t very well call the thing “Giant Dorat”, now can we? For God’s sake, Chuck, the K.I.D.S. mission will be back any minute! We can’t reveal the damned monster to the world if we haven’t named it!”
Wilson gulped. He was right. This was urgent. The creature needed a name, and it needed one fast.
“Alright,” Wilson intoned. “Let’s get to it.”
“Okay, let’s start with the basics.”
Wilson stood in front of a large computer screen, its image blank and ready to be scrawled on like a 23rd Century chalkboard. He stood to the left of the screen, a long stylus clutched in a slightly-shaking hand. Emmy’s mission was due to arrive any time, and not having a name for the monster when she returned was not an option. It was now a race against both time and time travel.
His hand still trembling, Wilson lifted the stylus to the screen and wrote a single word:
Wilson paused for a moment, and then added another word:
He turned to Grenchiko “Are you sure this isn’t good enough?”
Grenchiko leaned forward in his chair, which was positioned directly in front of the screen about four meters away.
‘”Giant Dorat”? Do you honestly think that’s even close to good enough?”
Wilson’s head darted back and forth between the screen and Grenchiko several times. “Fine,” he snapped, turning back toward his comrade. “What do you propose I do to make it better?”
Grenchiko leaned back, relaxing in his chair. “Well, the name should definitely be one word. Two words looks clunky. Try combining the words into one.”
Wilson thought for a moment, and then erased the two words from the screen. A moment later, a new word had replace them:
Wilson turned back to Grenchiko. “How’s that?”
“Loose the dash. Make it one word.”
Wilson did as he was told, and created a new word:
He scowled at Grenchiko. “Wonderful… and how are we supposed to pronounce this? Gy-dorat? Jee-dorat?”
“Neither,” Grenchiko replied. “How about a hard “G”. Gee-dorat. Or Gih-dorat. Sounds stronger that way.”
Wilson’s head was spinning. Here they were, on the cusp of literally changing history, and they were arguing over how to pronounce a made-up word for a monster they’d somehow failed to name. It was beyond ridiculous. And yet, it was happening.
At least it was almost over.
“Alright,” he sighed. ‘”Gidorat” it is. Are we done?”
“No,” Grenchiko said bluntly.
Wilson’s head was really spinning now.
“What more needs to be done? It sounds fine the way it is.”
Grenchiko shook his head. “Try erasing the T.”
“The T, at the end of the name,” Grenchiko said, leaning forward again. “Erase it. Makes it sound like we’re calling it a rat.”
Wilson paused for a moment. “It wasn’t a problem for the damned Dorats, why is it a problem here?”
“Because the Dorats were small!” Grenchiko had practically jumped out of his seat, his voiced raised and harsh. It was obvious that the entire ordeal was getting the better of him. “It’s okay to make people think of rats when the monster is small and cuddly. We’re talking about a 140-meter-tall dragon with three damn heads, Chuck! Three damn heads! It’s the farthest thing from cute and cuddly on the planet. Erase the damn T!”
Wilson erased the T.
The new word on the screen was:
Grenchiko leaned back in his chair. “There,” he said through a smug smile. “That wasn’t so hard. Looks much better now, doesn’t it?
Wilson had to admit, it did look much better. And it sounded better, too. “Gidora,” he said out loud.
It was Wilson’s turn to smile. It didn’t just sound better, it sounded perfect.
“If only it looked perfect.”
He hadn’t realized he’d spoken the words until he heard Grenchiko lean forward in his chair again.
Wilson took a step back, his eyes locked onto the word on the screen.
“It sounds perfect, but it doesn’t look… right.” He walked forward again, lifting his hands to the screen and waving them in front of the text. “See? It looks unbalanced somehow. Like it’s too short or not-“
“Chuck…” Wilson turned to find Grenchiko bent over in his chair, his face in his hands. “Chuck… this isn’t a sculpture. It doesn’t have to look as good as it sounds.” He lifted his face just enough to allow one of his hands to gesture at the screen. “This is fine. It works, it sounds great. Can we please move-“
“Just… give me a second…”
Before Grenchiko could protest, Wilson swept between him and the screen, stylus in hand. When he moved away a few seconds later, the word had been changed ever so slightly:
Wilson moved to the right of the screen, smiling.
“How about that? Now its easier to see how its pronounced! The extra H helps the-“
The sudden sound of Grenchiko rising from his chair and rushing to the screen cut Wilson off from his explanation. Within seconds, Grenchiko had swiped the stylus from his hand and had descended upon the screen like a determined predator swooping in on its prey. “The extra H unbalances it, Chuck. Here…”
He stood back, a bead of sweat dripping down his exasperated forehead. Wilson was at a loss for words.
“I thought you said it didn’t have to look as good as-“
“Shut up, Chuck,” Grenchiko snapped. “I think we’re finally done.”
Before them was a word that, even through their obvious stress, seemed to enact a strange power over them. It was an oddly perfect word; perhaps it had sounded perfect before, but now its look reflected that perfection, as well. A perfect balance of both worlds. A powerful balance. A powerful word.
No, Wilson thought. A powerful name.
Both men smiled. They’d done it.
“Well,” Wilson said, “I don’t know we did it, but we did it.” He turned to shake Grenchiko’s hand. Both men smiled as the screen switched back to a live image of the monster. Their monster.
“Ghidorah,” Wilson intoned. “The new King of the Monsters.”
“Yes,” Grenchiko added. After a brief pause, a smile crept over his face.
Wilson felt a sudden shiver go down his spine. It was a wholly unexpected sensation, and one that caught him off guard. He turned his gaze toward his grinning friend, smiling himself.
“What happened to two words being clunky?”
“Shut up, Chuck.”
Wilson’s head turned back to the screen. Their great beast had lifted off from the ruins of its island lair. On wings that blocked out the sun, it flew into the skies and toward its destiny. The computer had already selected the monster’s first target: Kyushu. It would only be a matter of time before vengeance was finally theirs.
As the creature faded into the distance on the screen, the sound of the M.O.T.H.E.R. ship’s docking alarm snapped both men back to reality.
“Sir, K.I.D.S. has just reappeared in our time. They’re preparing to dock.”
Wilson did not respond to the M-10’s announcement. His mind was still in the South Pacific, watching his monster take flight. It was still hard to believe that his plan was working so perfectly.
Godzilla was no more.
The nation of Japan was soon to be reduced to rubble, its people to obsequious weaklings.
And standing above it all, his new monster. A monster of death and destruction. A monster with scales of gold and powers untold.
And best of all, a monster with a damn good name.
Once again, Wilson smiled.
What could possibly go wrong?
HAPPY APRIL FOOL’S DAY 2020!