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‘I do not want you here,’ Rodan tells Gojira, wings rising in clear threat. Gojira cannot accept that.


‘You have bowed to me,’ they inform Rodan, who gives an angry cry.


‘For now,’ and they are suddenly surprisingly human, beak twisting into something sinister and gleeful.


‘I came here because I wish to understand,’ Gojira says, towering over them. A reminder that he is dangerous and will always rise to a perceived challenge.


‘Gidorah was not from this world, an intruder, a conqueror – why would you bow?’ Rodan gives another cry, but it sounds almost mournful.


‘Are you so quick to judge me, when you yourself were so quick to defend those crawling humans? We are not all like you.’


‘You have never been weak, either,’ Gojira tells them.


Rodan’s wings beat up a storm, then, and it is a good thing the humans have long since abandoned their island, for it is meant to be deadly. ‘How dare you,’ Rodan hisses. ‘I did not follow out of weakness.’


‘I did not come here to fight you.’ Again, they don’t say. ‘But if you do not cease, I will.’


Rodan’s wings beat the air twice, before they flutter shut. ‘I do not want you here,’ they say to Gojira again. ‘Leave.’


‘Something is coming,’ Gojira tells them the same as they told Mothra who is now sleeping.


‘I am aware,’ Rodan replies. ‘We will be ready.’


‘And where do you stand?’


‘Wherever I need to be.’


The answer is not enough for Gojira. ‘What is it keeping you here?’


‘Leave,’ Rodan says instead. Gojira is intrigued.


‘You are different – there is something for you here.’ Rodan does not reply. ‘Show me.’


Rodan keeps silent for a long while, and Gojira waits. Eventually, their wings rise, before settling again. ‘You are trespassing, but I will allow it,’ Rodan tells them. ‘I will slay you if you overstep,’ they add, and Gojira flicks his tail, in acquiescence, and in restlessness.


Rodan regards them for a moment longer, before their claws dig deep into the crumbling volcano, crushing stone as easily as leaves. Gojira watches as Rodan digs deeper and deeper, close to what must have been their former resting place at the heart of the volcano, before they stop.


‘You may approach,’ Rodan tells Gojira. They do, curiously so, as they feel a small flicker of – something. It is not unwelcome, nor unfamiliar.


‘You bred?’ Gojira asks, looking down at the egglike thing, warm and alive, and Rodan shakes out their wings.


‘No. It has been here long before I settled here. It did call to me, however.’


‘Curious,’ Gojira says, their snout pushing at it.


‘Do not destroy it,’ Rodan warns, eyes glowing, and Gojira moves away, never having wanted to do so.


‘There has not been another one of us since the beginning,’ Gojira tells them. ‘It might be like Gidorah.’


They are not,’ Rodan replies fiercely. ‘I have not guarded a – spawn of Gidorah.’


‘No,’ Gojira agrees. ‘I understand.’ And Gojira does – Rodan’s reasons to follow Gidorah are clear, now, and Gojira cannot fault Rodan for something that they would have done – have done – themselves.


‘Whatever approaches – we will be ready,’ Rodan says, claws pushing the egg down deeper into the volcano’s rich soil, and Gojira understands that, too.


Gojira moves to sink down into the deep waters again, leaving Rodan and the New One to their nest of fire and ash.


It will not be long, now.