Eons ago, the gods walked upon this planet. With a rake of their claws, they wiped civilizations out of history. With a flick of their wrists, they reaped harvests that fed thousands. They imposed such a ferocious presence that even the fiercest of monsters knew to fear them by instinct alone. Countless artifacts from cultures all across our world document similar tales of their feats and natures… and yet, none are certain why the gods left us so long ago.
But they left us with their children, whose bloodlines remain with us to this day. The descendants of the gods bear many gifts, but by far their greatest power is to assume forms akin to the gods themselves. By training such gifts even the meekest, smallest man can tear down castle walls like haystacks. Such individuals can bend the earth with their voice, raze fields with their breath, or melt iron with their touch.
The descendants of the gods once used their powers to rule over their mortal brethren as lords, dukes, bishops, and kings. But as history progressed, their blood became diluted. Their power became weaker, yet much more commonplace. The bloodlines of the gods seeped further into civilization as it became an accessible tool for warfare. For academic research. For labor. For the arts. For recreation.
Scientists and philosophers continue to question what the giant, strange beasts our predecessors worshipped actually were, and why they left us with their power. But we have a name for those beasts and their descendants…
-- A History of Kaiju (Documentary, Video), 2325
I've been wanting to do another one of these for a long time. I want to do it right now. Press the down button on your keyboard a bunch to skip past this interlude.
So for those who'd like a bit of context, this is one of a handful of things I've wanted to work on over my sabbatical from writing articles. I've been craving to get back in touch with the creative fiction writer I've always wanted to try to be. And as many of ya'll may or may not be familiar with, I associate myself on the internet with a fictional character named "Cedi" -- a sort of avatar/persona, but I've also long been thinking about giving Cedi a story of his own and building a weird world around him. Yeah, risk of Self Insert Syndrome and all, but I have fun thinking about how to make that kind of challenge work, even if I still have a lot to learn!
I tried doing such a thing a few years ago, but I think I can do much better these days. So consider this the pilot episode of a reboot of Cedi's origins and worldbuilding. I've always enjoyed sharing fiction on the cblogs more than anywhere else, so I wanted to debut it here first. I hope you enjoy this peek into my imagination!
And yes, my friends who are familiar with "Cedi's brand of BS", you can expect this to be packed with "Cedi's brand of BS".
A hazy orange air bled away from the morning sun over New Todeadon City. Phoenixes and thunderbirds played cat and mouse in the skies, pursuing each other in the mazes of glossy skyscraper-offices and smooth-stoned concrete apartments. Faerie drakes eagerly buzzed to and fro across the central park, drinking deeply from its flowers. The drakes hoarded droplets of nectar, marching dutifully through the air towards their hive, disrupted by neither the laughter of the children nor the loud whirring of hover-taxis overhead… though, they were disrupted by the man that jogged right through their path. Oops.
“Sorry, lil’ buddies!”
One of the tiny iridescent lizards clung tightly to the jogger’s silky white fur. Noticing it as he swung his arms, the young man gently plucked the little friend from his lower-left arm with his upper-left hand, placed it on a nearby sunflower, and patted it gently on the forehead before resuming his march. The faerie drake tried to follow again, only this time repelled by the flapping of the large pale wings jutting out the back of his oversized unzipped hoodie. The wind constantly pulled at his baggy sleeves, held back only by the grip of his chitinous light-grey hands at his coat’s wrists.
He slid his way into the heavy crowds of the main streets, weaving and twisting around the masses of students and salarymen. Anti-gravity vehicles whirred loudly over the buildings, but he elected to avoid hailing a taxi in favor of keeping his adrenaline pump. His hands clasped tightly over the pocket holding his wallet as the crowds grew denser around him, but all of his belongings remained intact this time. Except… no, scratch that, his keys were intact too. ‘Twas just his imagination!
Wanting to keep that thought in his imagination, he turned at the nearest corner, tripping a few steps off balance as he darted into the alleyways. Groaning quietly in between sprinting breaths, his palm alighted with a faint golden spark, casting away the shadows of the apartments as he held it aloft in front of him. With such a drab change in scenery, his fuzzy face smiled with ironic comfort. The alleyway gave him no distractions, and he never had to fear getting shanked either.
Well, he never had to fear that. But the poor boar man he saw in the alley across the street sure did, thanks to three lizardfolk muggers. It looked like a cocky monitor lizard was calling the shots, while the lackadaisical iguana woman kept their fidgety chameleon lackey’s impulses in check, barely keeping his verdant blades from the anxious boar’s throat. So he technically had three big distractions, each big enough to be twice his height.
“Really?” The moth sighed deeply. “Okay, let’s take care of this quick…” He stretched his arms, confronting the looming muggers with deliberately slow footsteps as he gradually raised his glowing hand above his head to meet their faces. "Alright, punks, leave the man alone before I make you.”
“Wow. That's an impressively weak threat.” The lizard hissed, motioning his goons to keep their blades on their target as he leered down towards the brash moth. “Listen, kid, I know playing hero is fun, but we’re not playing games here.”
“If I wanted to play games, I’d haul your tails to the stadium.” The moth nonchalantly stretched his wrists, keeping his light shining on the mugger’s matte blade. “They need some new training dummies.”
“I don’t think you know how to take a hint. In case you didn't notice, this here is a scale from the strongest kaiju this side of New Todeadon.” The lizard boasted as the moth rolled up his sleeve, revealing a metallic bracelet with a dim LED light atop his arm. “This baby’s tougher than steel, sharper than glass, and meaner than a cockatrice in mating season. So lemme make myself clear, little-”
“I get it, you make knives from your boss’s scales, that’s cute,” The moth dismissed, his sleeve falling down his arm again. “Look, I know the Gigadons are all talk, so in case the big flashing bracelet didn’t give it away, I’m licensed. This is your last chance to put the stabby moltings away and back off before I am legally allowed to punch you.”
“Hey, sir? Not to say the pipsqueak has a point, but if his LB goes off, the cops are stationed not far off, and I’m starting to think he ain’t bluffing either...”
“Y-Yeah, maybe dis ain’t worth da trouble…”
“Yes, I like that ide-”
“Quiet, pig!” The boss lashed out at the distance in between him and his prey. “You idiots gonna let this small fry act like he’s bigger than kaiju like us!? Get on with it already!”
Letting his survival instincts take over, the fidgety minion brandished his blade at the boar.
The moth snarled.
A searing heat rose in the pavement underneath the goon's feet, his reflexes bouncing him away from his target. His bloodshot eyes traced a ray of golden light from the red-hot pavement to the moth’s glowing hand. Sparks danced in the air around the moth's index finger as small fissures of light formed in the seams of his fur-covered carapace.
He did the moth one better and ran for the hills.
“Damn coward!” The monitor lizard barked at his minion, lunging towards the moth with his blade.
A glowing cloud of dust burst forth from the moth’s skin, obscuring the lizard’s aim in a towering smokescreen of glitter. Plates of white furred chitin clattered onto the floor, then disintigrated into sparkles of light.
A wing wider than the monitor lizard's entire body sprung forth from behind the cloud. Another did. Then two wreath-like gold antennae that crackled with thunderbolts. And the dust finally dispersed in the wake of a massive, blue-furred arm that slugged the mugger across the alley’s width. A stampede of pillar-like legs blitzed towards last standing thief, throwing a fist over her head as she rolled away.
“Run!” A deep, coarse parody of the moth’s voice spoke down towards the boar. The boar really liked that idea. The hulking, golden-plated giant roared fiercely at his staggered foes, filling his wings with a vibrant light as they sprawled out from the hoodie that hung tightly around his upper body. The light coursed from his wings to his fists, smacking the iguana like a hammer of lightning.
Disgruntled roars rumbled against the cramped battlefield. The boss blitzed forward, shaving a tuft of blue fur from the moth’s upper-right arm with his blade. His razor scale clattered against chitinous skin like stone. The lower-right claw stretched and lunged forward, raking the width of the monitor lizard’s body and tossing him into the corner of the alleyway.
The iguana hissed, stamping the ground. Bag-sized chunks of rubble leaped into the air in the shockwave, hurled forth with another shout. The giant’s body staggered as the rubble broke against his back, and he collapsed on his knee as his leg was struck by a hollow clang. His eyes turned towards the monitor lizard who held a dented trash can in his hands. They traded a malicious grin for a disgruntled scowl as the former drove his knife forward.
A blue-furred elbow swatted back, staggering the monitor lizard. The moth raised his foot and planted his feet into the concrete. His cobalt fists punched, and punched again, and again, and again, over and over. Gales of force buffeted stray leaves and flyers as blow after blow slugged that cocky grin upside down. His wings glowed intensely as his adrenaline accelerated, striking faster and heavier with every blow -- and he felt the metaphorical emergency brakes jostle him forward in the form of a high-heeled axe kick to his posterior abdomen. The iguana roared, conjuring a concrete shoe around his right foot. His left foot evaded the other rocky prison as it swung behind him, tripping her as the first trap quickly dissipated.
The leader hissed out of his swollen cheeks, his tongue dripping a vile purple as he lashed it out at the moth. The moth lunged in turn, wrapping a muscular claw around the lizard’s squishy arm. Damp toxins lathered the moth’s shoulder as he hoisted the lizard up over his head, catching another grin from his flying foe’s face a second before it tasted stale pavement, shutting down that grin in an instant.
His shoulder felt numb. The world slowed. It blurred. It faded a little. The thief’s toxins were rapidly numbing his senses. Go figure. Sharpness touched his torso. He turned his head towards the sharpness. He saw nothing. More sharpness on his back. He turned again. She wasn’t there either. Sharpness danced around him. The world started to look straight again, but the sharpness remained. It was feeling sharper. He didn’t want that. He REALLY didn’t like being stabbed this much.
Distant wyrmlings fled in the wake of the kaiju’s roar. Civilians seeked it out, huddling around the edges of the alleyway.
A crackle of energy stirred from the moth’s wings. Storms of light converged around him. The storms consumed the iguana in scalding radiance. Concussive force hoisted off of her feet and shoved her across the alley. Gravity only reclaimed control over her body as her back-spines pierced the lid of a garbage bin. Gravity also shut the lid over her.
A smoky wind whistled through the giant's antennae. He remained still, shifting his face only to look for more aggressors. The bystanders resumed their daily lives once they noticed the spectacle was over.
He gradually steadied his lungs as he placed his hand around his poison-licked patch of fur. The monitor lizard’s kaiju toxins had dissipated already. For such a potent neurotoxin, the gangster must have not trained its durability so much. Made sense, when he thought about it. Most gangsters didn’t like evidence linking their crimes to their mutations.
“He was right… that tough guy act wasn’t convincing at all. I can’t bring that to the audience today…” he grunted in mild pain, placing another claw over a stab wound. “Well, getting one out of three to leave isn’t so bad…” He removed his hand from his wound and rubbed his fingertips together. His adrenaline rush left him, and the pain started to ease as his body’s warmth cuddled his wounds.
He opened the dumpster again. She was unconscious. The smell almost made him unconscious too.
“I can still feel your aura over there. You alright?” The big guy called out towards the boar hiding behind the corner. Reading his fearful expression, the moth shed his form in another cloud of dusty light, his hoodie loosening around his impish white form once again. “I thought you were heading to safety. Did they already take something from you?” He pulled out his phone from his pockets and began texting.
“N-No, I just…” the boar stammered, lowering his head towards the tiny creature that loomed over him seconds ago. “I’ve never seen a kaiju fight in person. It was… reassuring, in a strange way? I just, wanted to thank you.”
“Kyeheh! That’s the most interesting compliment I’ve gotten in my career!” The short fry puffed out his chest, tapping his screen’s keyboard without a glance. “You’re a fan, then?”
“Oh, I don’t, watch sports,” the boar shook his head anxiously as the moth fixed a paragraph of blind autocorrect errors. “But my… I have a friend who loves the Wrecking Crew. I’m sorry I didn’t recognize you…”
“H-hey, don’t worry about it!” The moth frantically tried to calm the boar’s nerves, raising his voice over the police sirens fading into earshot. “Besides, I’m still a minor leaguer in the Crew. Name’s Cedi! Cedi Fonei.”
“I-I see… thank you, sir. Cedi.”
The police cautiously yet calmly excited their cars.
“Okay, cool! I got my match postponed for later today.” Cedi tucked his phone away as he raised his arm, showing the bracelet to the wolf officer that approached him.
“This your work, Mr. Fonei?” The officer pointed his baton at the circular burn marks in the center of the alleyway. Mr. Fonei nodded with a not-so-subtle grimace. “Getting a bit fiery again?”
“S-sorry about that…” Cedi anxiously rubbed the back of his head. “The leader was a Chimia Type who used his poison to blind me, and his lackey was stabbing me a bunch, and… guh, I’m just making excuses,” he shook his head. “I’ll be more careful next time. Promise, officer.”
“Relax, Fonei, we appreciate your assistance as always. You know the drill. Stick around, witness, we need your testimony too!”
“LB2-NTC-2023205, Cedi Fonei, born 07/20/33, pro fighter for the New Todeadon Wrecking Crew.” Cedi recited as he let the officer examine his bracelet. “Three Gigadons tried to mug this guy, I took down two of them, I ran the third one off in that direction…”
His mind trailed off towards the fast food joint around the corner as he testified. His healing was making him especially hungry. Aiding the arrest of a couple of armed small-time gangsters was probably worth about a hundred gryphon nuggies… not counting the laser-induced damages. Ninety nuggies.