Got another Terribleminds challenge story for you. The idea was to mix two randomly selected subgenres. I got kaiju and shapeshifter.
The Kaiju Curse
Finn tugged the ill-fitting edges of his borrowed hazmat suit. He yawned, fogging up the face shield. Why was a biologist, a herpetologist no less, getting pulled in at the last minute at this disaster site in the middle of the night, anyway?
A woman strode up to him carrying a yellow box.
“Ah good. You’ve arrived. Join the others down in the crater.”
She gestured with the box toward a blackened ditch. Now that he was looking, it looked like this woman was holding a Geiger counter. But that made even less sense than his being summoned. He wanted to ask her why for both of those things, but the woman rushed off to bark orders at a pair who were digging in the ashy debris.
Finn yawned again as he wandered toward the crater. Little trails of steam rose up from the ground. There were a few others in hazmat suits in the crater. One of them pointed to a metal ramp that had been set up. Finn gave a thumbs-up and descended into the charred bowl of earth.
It was warm in the crater, and there wasn’t any debris here. The news said that several blocks had been set for demolition, but everything about this little adventure had screamed cover story – from the soldiers and their tanks guarding the area, all the way down to this crater. He hoped one of the scientists in the group ahead could answer some of his questions.
That was when he realized the crater was not devoid of debris. His fellow scientists were gathered around a large cluster of oval shapes. The ovals looked a bit like pale watermelons. A few were cracked open. Finn heard a faint shrieking somewhere beyond the group.
He stumbled over nothing as he gazed at the shapes.
“They… Are those… eggs?”
Someone turned toward him.
Finn blinked. He knew that voice. It belonged to his paleontologist friend.
“Suresh? What are you doing here? What’s going on?”
“Your guess is as good as mine. Nobody will talk to us beyond ‘go study that and tell us how bad it is.’ But yes, they are eggs. Not prehistoric either. Perhaps you should take a look.”
Finn was led to an examining table. A woman was struggling to hold down a shrieking, wriggling creature. It was the size of a pitbull, but scaly, and sported a long, thick tail. His first thought was an obese monitor lizard, but that wasn’t quite right. This thing had spikes, and its head was bulbous. It was bleeding, too, and where it did, glowing green oozed out – the same color as its four eyes.
The woman wrestling with the beast stuck it with a long needle. After a few seconds, it started to relax. Finn approached the table eagerly. He didn’t feel any of the tiredness from a minute ago. This animal was amazing! He had to know more about it. The radiation made some sense; was it the result of nuclear waste in the nesting site? Or perhaps the crater was the clue; it could be alien in origin.
A loud roaring cry interrupted his thoughts. A jet of green flame lit up the sky, then the ground shook. The fire illuminated a massive, reptilian-like form stomping between the buildings just a few blocks away. Finn’s eyes grew wide. He wasn’t standing in a real crater at all. It was a nest, built by a very angry mother. There were gunshots and another roar, obviously in pain this time. Then, a few seconds later, a crash like an earthquake. Finn wondered how the news was going to explain the sudden presence of a corpse the size of a skyscraper.
He went back to studying the baby. The idea that it would grow so much fascinated him. But, with the damage the adult caused, he knew none of these creatures would survive longer than needed to understand where they came from and how to kill them. It was sad, really.
Finn lifted the head in his hands. He pulled back a lip so he could inspect the teeth and jawbone. More of that green goo trickled down the longest fangs. A venom, perhaps?
Suddenly the creature opened its eyes and began thrashing again. Finn tried to hold it down. The effort pushed the sleeves of his suit up past the gloves. The creature whipped his head around and bit down hard on the exposed skin. Finn screamed.
The woman on the other side of the table desperately stabbed at the creature with a scalpel until it fell limp. Finn pried the jaws open. His arm throbbed horribly. Green ooze filled the bite holes. When he looked up, the horrified and concerned faces of the other scientists, along with everything else in his vision, were tinged an emerald green.
“Why are you staring at me like that? Get a medic or something!”
The other backed away from him. Slowly at first, then breaking into a run. Finn’s whole body racked with pain. His lungs were on fire. Why weren’t they helping? They looked so scared… and small. He doubled over. He wanted to cry out in pain, but all that came out of his throat was a growl. Everything hurt. The fire filled him up. It made him hate everything, made him want to…
Finn opened his eyes. The crater looked so small now. The people were tiny, insignificant. He could eat them. Burn them for not helping him. He felt a different pain on his back. A half-burnt building collapsed as he whipped around, but he paid it no mind. The soldiers. The soldiers were shooting at him. He felt the fire bubble up in his throat, and let out a blast of green flame.