Authors: Jeremy Robinson
Tags: #Mystery; Thriller & Suspense, #Thrillers & Suspense, #Historical, #Military, #Supernatural, #Science Fiction & Fantasy, #Genetic Engineering, #Thrillers, #Science Fiction
By Jeremy Robinson
THE SIGNAL WAS RECEIVED
Jon Hudson has become more than just the director of the Department of Homeland Security’s Fusion Center–Paranormal. He is now a husband and a father, surrounded by a team who have become a family. So when a series of strange new threats rise from the depths and fall from the sky, the stakes are higher than ever.
THE HARBINGERS ARRIVE
While Maigo, the young woman who was once a part of the kaiju known as Nemesis, goddess of vengeance, and Lilly, a chimera cat-woman, sneak off to investigate Big Diomede, an island with an ancient secret inside Russian territory, two monsters fall from the sky. One heads for Tokyo, the other for the already battered Boston. Tsunamis rise from the depths, leveling cities. The two new kaiju—Giger and Lovecraft—follow close behind, bringing death and destruction with them. And Hudson realizes the horrible truth: the Aeros, an alien race plotting mankind’s destruction, have sent these kaiju in advance.
THE WAR BEGINS
Drawn by the chaos, and by her connection to people she and her new ‘voice,’ Katsu Endo, are fond of, Nemesis rises to the defense of humanity. But the Queen of the Monsters is not alone. Maigo and Lilly unleash an ancient protector known as Hyperion, and the first battle for the fate of the human race, in all dimensions, begins.
With the first three Nemesis novels, Jeremy Robinson created a new literary subgenre known as the ‘Kaiju Thriller,’ a term now being adopted by other authors. And like all good Kaiju, Nemesis is growing to epic proportions, spawning a video game,
The Fall of Nemesis - Colossal Kaiju Combat
, and a comic book series titled
, with art by Matt Frank, and published by American Gothic Press, a new imprint of
Famous Monsters of Filmland
, Robinson introduces two new kaiju and his first giant robot. You’ll witness the demise of Nemesis Prime, and the kick off of events that will lead to the fifth Nemesis novel.
To the fine people at
Famous Monsters of Filmland
American Gothic Press
, for taking Nemesis to new heights.
Hopeless, they ran. Each had been a brave man once. Fearless and savage. Willing and capable of great feats or stunning violence. The latter paid better. Their path had been laid with glittering red—precious rubies, and blood. Drink flowed. Women were bought and sold. Children, too. They had started out stalwart, young and hopeful. Now, as they clawed up the pebble-crusted hillside, each saw inside themselves the men they had become.
And they wept.
Their voices filled the air like a pitiful crescendo, drowned out by the occasional quake, rattling the hillside. Rocks shook free and tumbled downward, not concerned with the judgment that pursued them.
“Forgive me!” Akakios screamed. He raised his hands to the heavens, beseeching the gods. “Delay your judgment!”
But Akakios’s voice could not be heard, by the gods or by the four men alongside him. The only god—a
if the stories were true—paying them any heed, was the one closing in behind them.
The great Nemesis. Winged tilter of scales and lives. The immortal judge. Vengeful righter of wrongs. She was upon them.
As soon as she had risen from the ocean, just minutes ago, he knew why she was there. His life had soured. He’d reveled in debauchery. Nemesis came for the worst of men, exposing their true nature, and then destroying them—and anything in her way. She had stepped on the beachside camp where chained slaves had cheered, and then had screamed, briefly.
Akakios grasped at the hillside, looking for hand holds, but the loose and shaking rocks lifted away. So he pushed with his legs, each step sliding down almost as much as propelling him upward.
He glanced back.
His judge’s head was above him now, ocean water still draining from the crags between her massive armor plates. Tattered, red sails bearing a symbol he didn’t recognize, hung impaled on the towering spikes rising from the creature’s hunched back. He stood at chest level with the behemoth, awash in the fiery glow of its glistening pectorals.
His fellow slave traders scurried past, not one of them asking why he had stopped. Not one of them called for him to carry on. They were all going to die. Each of them knew it. All they could do was live a few moments longer, perhaps long enough to receive grace. Not from Nemesis, but from those who would greet them in the next life.
Swirling orange liquid, like luminous oil inside an array of clear-skinned chambers running up the beast’s torso, held him transfixed for a moment. From a distance, this creature instilled men with untold horror. She exposed them for who they were and then took their lives. But up close, it was strangely beautiful.
The creature took a step, the single movement lifting its body half way up the rise. Another step and it would be upon them.
Freed from his panic for that brief instant, Akakios saw that the goddess’s course was set. Running directly away was no use. But to the side...
His legs shook as he struck out again, moving out of the creature’s path. The rough surface of the hill slipped and shook, but his speed doubled.
Long, thick claws swept past overhead as the creature’s arm swung forward. Its many fingers were tipped with claws the size of large ships. The swinging limb slapped a breeze against his back, shoving him down. His legs drove into the loose rocks. He felt his kneecap shift. A scream rose, but he squelched it. Nemesis’s massive head, framed by glowing orange ovals, had yet to turn its gaze in his direction. He didn’t want to give it a reason to.
He saw the leg rising beside him, the sun framing the armored limb in shadow. He wouldn’t be out of its path in time. His death was imminent. Exhausted and defeated, Akakios fell to his knees, wheezing and coughing out prayers to any god that might look upon him with favor.
The air around him shifted, compressing him. His ears ached. He couldn’t hear himself screaming, but he could feel his voice, tearing the flesh of his throat. Would he feel it? Would he experience the rupturing of his body? His insides smeared beneath the mighty foot, like an insect? Or would it pass quickly? Would it...
Akakios opened his eyes, staring down at loose stones, lit by the sun. The pressure lifted away. And then the hill shook from an impact. He turned his head up and saw the colossal foot pound into the slope, compressing it and his former compatriots, and then gripping with its massive claws as it rose higher still, to the crest.
Three appendages, whipping like cats’ tails, trailed the monster, each one layered in armor. Akakios flattened himself down as the last of them passed by and slammed into the earth, carving a gully.
And then it was beyond him.
He had been spared!
The goddess did not spare anyone. He knew this as surely as he did his own guilt.
he thought, but he remained still.
Nemesis crested the hill, spread her spike laden arms and bellowed. With his hands over his ears and his eyes clenched shut, Akakios could still hear the emotion in that wail. Nemesis was angry. Spiteful. Enraged.
“My god,” he said, standing up on shaky legs. “She was never here for us.”
He and his friends, like their campsite full of slaves, had simply been in her way.
As the monster descended the far side of the hill, moving faster now, Akakios scurried toward the top. He paused once, when his hand slipped on something wet, but he hurried past when he realized the viscous stain had been one of his friends.
He reached the top, breathing heavily, but feeling energized at being alive, and at the prospect of bearing witness to Nemesis’s judgment of others.
The monster careened down the far side of the hill, which dropped into a seaside valley.
An empty valley.
What is she after? Could she really be here for one person, hiding in the valley? Someone worse than me?
He realized that when her true target was dead, she might very well turn her vengeful eyes back toward him, but he stayed rooted. Fleeing would do him no good. The monster could not be outrun.
And then, Nemesis was gone. The monster slipped from view like someone stepping into a waterfall, enveloped by the air itself.
Had he hallucinated it?
Akakios spun around. The hillside behind him was decimated, the path of destruction leading back toward the ocean.
A roar turned him back toward the valley. Nemesis was still present...but unseen! A rumble rolled up the valley, the force of it striking Akakios hard, knocking the air from his lungs. But then, he could see again. An invisible veil lifted, revealing Nemesis once more, a billowing flame rising up around her.
And ahead of her...a city of ringed walls, expanding out into the ocean.
A city that hadn’t been there just moments ago.
A city he had never seen, but had heard stories about. Stories he had never believed in, like Nemesis herself.
The vast distance of space can be conquered, as can every small speck floating in its emptiness. The Aeros hadn’t always known this. Their evolution into conquerors had taken millions of years. Hundreds of millions. And as they spread and evolved, their species branched.
Sometimes the genetic change was subtle: an adaptation to local conditions on a colony, planet or vessel. These changes led to a vast array of specializations, but always leaving the species identifiable as Aeros.
But once, just once, the genetic fracture was drastic, and the divide between species grew wider over the eons. One race—pure Aeros—became masters. The smaller, but craftier race—the Ferox—became slaves until the great rebellion set them free. The Ferox were scattered across the cosmos, pursued by their former masters, and in search of fellow lesser species they could mold and, eventually, recruit.
Across the universe, in multiple dimensions of reality, both conquered and free, the war between Aeros and Ferox continued, spanning untold years and crossing unimaginable distances. Ceaseless strategic maneuvering on both sides used species, planets and solar systems like pawns. But at the crux of the Ferox guerrilla campaign, were planets like the one most recently flagged.
The native species was small and fragile, but they had flexible, adaptive minds. They could comprehend and adopt new technologies at a rate rivaling the Aeros themselves. But what made them dangerous was that they were a warring species with a penchant for rebellion. After being under the Ferox influence for thousands of years, humanity was primed to sympathize with the former slaves.
This could not be allowed to happen. Roughly four billion of them could fight, and scans showed that their bloodline had been fortified with Atlantide genetics. This planet and its fragile inhabitants had been discovered long ago. The small blue sphere at the fringe of a galaxy had been added to a long list of worlds to plunder. But sensors left behind remained silent for thousands of years, until the arrival of the Atlantide. The brutish race, allied with the Ferox and similar to humanity in many ways, had established colonies on hundreds of worlds throughout the unconquered universe. And each colony had been dealt with in a similar fashion: Gestorumque. The creatures, massive even by Aeros scale, cleansed the Atlantide wherever they were detected.
But on Earth, the species managed to escape eradication, despite the continued existence of the Gerstorumque they had deemed ‘Nemesis.’ The monster could sense Atlantide DNA, including the trace amount present in the human race, tracking down those with the highest levels of genetic similarity, which presented as a proclivity for violence, crime and foulness. These traits were desirable to the Ferox—what the humans called ‘evil.’ It was an interesting concept, propagated by the Ferox, but one by which the Aeros did not abide. Lesser species could not pass judgment, nor discern morality. How could a people with a perspective relative to an insect colony understand the complexities of infinite space?
They could not.
Nor could they be allowed the chance to try.
After the disappearance of the Gerstorumque, and the apparent vanquishing of the Atlantide, the squabbled-over planet received a guardian: Artuke, son of the high council. Details of his emergence and...demise...were vague at best, but he had sent a signal.