Kamchatka , Russia. 1986.
Jim Hopper grunted as he was thrown back into his cell. The former Hawkins PD chief of police let out a furious sigh as he sat down on his bed. Roughness like this wasn’t out of the ordinary, quite the opposite. In fact, out of everyone there, he got the least of it.
High-value prisoner. All that meant was he was too valuable to beat to a pulp
The heavy steel cell door clanged shut, and Hopper could barely bring himself to look up as the Russians threw another man in with him.
It never lasted too long. Whoever they dropped in here was almost always dragged back out. This person was different, however.
A muscular man in what looked like a strange, form-fitting yet flexible armor, with very distinctly non-human features.
The man was muttering something in a strange, incomprehensible language, and Hopper frowned curiously, approaching.
“Hey,” Hopper looked him over, “You alright?”
The man’s injuries were widespread, cuts, burns, and breaks all over his body.
“The last…” The man finally muttered in broken English. “I am the last…”
“Hold on,” Hopper told him, “HEY!” He bellowed to the guards. “Get a damn doctor in here! You hear me, you sick fucks!?” He looked back down to the man. “Don’t worry, I’ll get you help.”
“Help…? No… no help…” He mumbled. “Too late…” His eyes creaked open, and he stared at Hopper. “Zone… Fight… Power…” He wheezed, head falling back on the concrete.
“What?” Hopper asked, “Hey, stay with me!” He tried to shake the man back awake, only to receive an enormous electric shock that blasted him back into the wall. “AUGH, GOD!” He cursed, feeling it course through his veins like he was on fire.
“Use… it…” The man breathed, his eyes becoming cloudy. “Wisely…”
Hopper looked on, confused beyond all rational thought, as the man’s eyes closed, and his body evaporated…
“What the hell?”
“So,” Mike idly tossed a coin in the air, catching it over and over, as he lounged out on his couch. Max, Lucas, and Dustin were there too, and at the moment, they were busy trying to figure out where to go to spend their Friday night, “What do you guys want to do?”
Unbeknownst to his friends, Mike had another friend in an enormous, three-headed dragon. Queen Ghidorah (not to be confused with the King Ghidorah that nearly succeeded at killing Godzilla before he could even really start his monster-fighting career). Three distinct versions of El that had been taken and forged into a weapon, and then sent to their world to kill Godzilla.
Upon their arrival, however, Queen Ghidorah swiftly decided that wasn’t what she wanted out of her life, and sought Mike out. Now, she was a part of his life, a hidden protector tucked constantly out of sight, but there in his mind if he just concentrated on feeling her presence.
The others didn’t know about her, however. The original Ghidorah almost killed Godzilla, and killed thousands of people. Forgive him for not wanting to tell them until he was sure they wouldn’t freak out.
“I don’t know…” Max ambivalently sighed. “It’s all the same around here. We could see a movie?”
“We’re broke as shit.” Dustin hung upside-down on the couch.
“Arcade?” Lucas suggested.
“Broke as shit.” Dustin repeated.
Mike frowned in deep thought. There hadn’t been much to do anymore after Starcourt was leveled, although it was for the best, all things considered. “How about we-“
A knocking on the basement door rang throughout the space, all heads snapping to it.
“Not it!” Dustin instantly proclaimed, followed by Max.
Mike turned to Lucas, who shrugged. “Your house.”
Mike sighed, walking over to the door. He pushed the curtains aside, and immediately, his frustrations at being forced to answer it evaporated as he saw who was on the other side, and scrambled to open the door.
“El!” Mike breathed with a smile, seeing her there. If she was here… maybe she’d forgiven him for everything in New York. Maybe she was ready to take him back.
El looked away from the… whatever it was she was looking at and looked to Mike. A small smile crossed her lips, although her eyes didn’t quite light up all the way. “Hey, Mike.” She stood there, wearing the same outfit she had on the day that mess went down at Starcourt, although she did look fine other than that.
“El…” Mike smiled. “You, uh- you came back.”
El nodded, glancing into the basement. “Can I…?”
“Oh, yeah, yeah.” Mike stepped aside, allowing El entry, before shutting the door.
Dustin fell of the couch. “Holy shit, El!” He ran over, enveloping her in an excited hug. El’s eyes bugged out as he spun her around, and she shook her head, chasing away her disorientation. “It’s been for-freaking-ever! How’ve you been?”
El gasped, as her hand went up to his jaw, prying it open.
“Teeth.” El noted, befuddled at the sight of the bones in his mouth.
Dustin pushed her hand down, wrinkling his nose. “Yeah, you know that. What, did you forget I had those or something?”
“…Yeah.” El said, turning around to look at Lucas. She looked him up and down before nodding.
“Hey, El!” Max walked over with a smile. “Why didn’t you say you were coming out here? We could’ve made plans! Away from him.” Max directed to Mike.
El looked Max up and down distastefully, distancing herself from the girl.
Max huffed, rolling her eyes. “If this is about the drama I caused again, I’m telling you, I was right, New York only-“
“Max,” Mike glanced at her, “For once in your life, shut the hell up.”
Max recoiled as though struck. “Oh no… you did not just say that to my face!”
“I did, and I’ll go it again!”
The other two boys groaned. “Guys, please… El’s here for the first time in months, don’t ruin it with another goddamn pissing match!” Dustin screeched.
“Yeah,” Lucas readily agreed, earning him a look of distaste from Max, “What? You can’t be right all the time. I mean-“
“Let’s-“ El stepped in. “All calm down, huh? It’s been a while… why don’t we catch up?” She suggested, smiling.
“Sure,” Mike nodded enthusiastically, “Yeah, that sounds like a great idea.” Especially since he hadn’t talked to her over the radio in quite a while. “What’ve you been up to on that oil rig? How are things going at Monarch?”
“Oh, you know, same old, same old.” El waved the inquiry away. “I was wondering more about you guys.”
“Well,” Dustin flopped down on the couch, “It’s not as busy as all that shit with interdimensional aliens, but we’ve been busy.”
“All right…” El nodded, grinning. “Tell me all about it.”
The group began to do exactly that, all of them listing the events that happened since they last saw her in New York. As they talked, El listened, her dark fiery orange eyes locked on each of them in rapt attention.
Mike blinked, looking at El again.
Weren’t her eyes brown?
In a cave on Monster Island, the King of the Monsters lay flat on his belly, sleeping serenely without a care in the world, the responsibilities he held all far out of mind as he blissfully lost himself in dreamland.
A loud, high-pitched wine suddenly rang throughout his den as the speakers crackled to life, and Godzilla popped his eyes open in response. Piano and trumpets filtered out of the speakers, waking him up fully.
“Hold me close and hold me fast,”
Godzilla got to his feet, rotating his upper body around slightly, cracking some kinks out of his back, as the loudspeakers on the island whined to life, filling his den with the echoing sounds of music. There had once been an actual alarm tone, but after the fifth time the speakers had to be replaced, they wisely decided to have it play music instead.
“This magic spell you cast,”
Godzilla cleared some gunk out of his throat, coughing as quietly as physically possible, as he walked out of his den.
“This is la vie en rose,”
Godzilla stood at the entrance, fists on his hips, as he looked over his domain, the sun coming just over the volcano.
“When you kiss me, Heaven sighs,”
Godzilla began walking calmly, not in a rush as he went about his morning routine. The first stop was the hot spring at the heart of the island.
The King of the Monsters plunged his head into the water, shaking it off like a dog, as he swished the searing water around in his mouth, allowing it to clean off the bacteria and associated nastiness.
Maddie hated his morning breath.
“And though I close my eyes,”
Godzilla spat out the water into a separate stream nearby, letting it drain out into the ocean harmlessly. With that done, he stood back up, turning around to head in a new direction.
“I see la vie en rose,”
Godzilla walked along the natural pathways carved out by his normal movement through the island, on a course to Castle Bravo.
As he approached, he could see two figures standing at the pre-arranged meeting point, and he smiled to himself.
Godzilla finally reached it, bending down to look at the two humans. “Morning Maddie.” He said to his love. He then turned to the girl by her side. “Morning El.” He directed to his sister.
“Hey, big guy.” Maddie replied.
“What are you guys doing?” He asked, looking between the both of them.
“Just talking.” El answered, turning her attention back to Maddie. “So… that was when Hopper came in, and said that Mike’s nana was in trouble.”
“No…” Maddie put her head in her hands. “He didn’t.”
El nodded in long-resigned frustration. “He did. Made a whole mess of Mike and me’s relationship. Then Max got into the picture, and- ugh.” El frustratedly threw her arms up. “I don’t like talking about it. Because of those two, summer was hell.”
“…Well, maybe it was a good idea.” Maddie said. “You calling it quits with Mike. If only two people can throw a wrench into your relationship, then maybe it’s for the best. You’re not the same people you were back in ’83.
“Sorry,” Godzilla looked between the two of them, “What’d I walk into?”
“It’s nothing,” El shook her head.
“…El, don’t make me pill out the ‘sis.’”
El sighed. “Fine… My birthday is coming up, and it got me thinking… about everything. It feels like… years. Everything does.”
Godzilla closed his eyes, slowly nodding. “Yeah… I know what you mean. So, how’d you guys get on the subject of Mike?”
“I was thinking about how I called it quits…” El shifted nervously in her seat. “And… if it was really for the best. He loves me-“
“El,” Godzilla cut her off at the past, “Relationships are two-way streets. Mike wants to be happy, sure, but you can’t stay in something that doesn’t make you happy. That’s not a relationship, it’s imprisonment. Do what’s good for you first.”
“Right…” El nodded slowly. “I guess… I should call him.” She said. “Tell him the truth.”
Maddie looked at her. “The truth?”
“That… I don’t want to get back with him.” El shrugged. “The past year has been… something. The past six months… I’ve been happy here. More than I ever was in Hawkins… More than he ever made me happy.” She looked between her brother and his girlfriend with a happy look. “They were friends, there… but you guys are family.”
“Aww, El…” Maddie grinned, pulling the other girl into a hug. “Same here.”
“Now, enough about relationships. We’d fail the Bechdel Test so fast it’s not funny. You guys see any cool movies recently?” He wondered, looking between them.
“Yeah!” Maddie replied, looking up. “Did you hear they’re making another Star Trek series!?”
“About time,” Godzilla rumbled, “...Though I do wonder how Bill Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, and the rest are going to be able to pull that off.”
“It’s not going to focus on the original cast.”
“Get in my hand, we’re going to blow up Paramount.”