The news blared in the background with the anchor lady going on and on about the newest earthquake. A series of quakes plagued the area recently, causing mass destruction and the evacuation of the main part of the city.
As angry as people were to be uprooted from their lives, their minds quickly changed as the record breaking quakes began to break down buildings. Even buildings that had been considered the sturdiest, ready to stand against even the drop of a bomb, crumbled into a heap of concrete.
But there were forces in the world that no human could truly prepare for. Abe wasn’t even sure that his soldiers were prepared for what they were going to do. It wasn’t every day that they were tasked with demolishing parts of the city that they would have normally protected.
“We need to get another box of dynamite to the east side.” Abe watched in fascination as people ran every which way to follow the orders. Orders issued by a man with power that Abe had never even knew existed before these quakes started happening.
Thomas Piketon was an impressive figure. He’d managed to get the city evacuated and then set up a base of operations smack in the middle of the danger zone. The people who followed Thomas were just as impressive. Even his children had the look of seasoned warriors that rivaled any of his own. Only the eldest, Michael, got to stay and help with the operations though. The girls were sent off to deal with any of the other missions that were coming in.
If it weren’t for the Griffin that the girls mounted and flew away on or the women, witches, that had stabilized their building for the time being, he would have assumed that they were regular soldiers. But they weren’t and according to his orders, their society had been established sometime in the dark ages to take care of issues that were beyond the understanding of the populace.
Like the true reason for the earthquakes. Some slumbering creature of myth was beginning to awaken. They had built Morgantown right on top of a Behemoth. Apparently, a Behemoth of a similar size had formed the basin in which Salt Lake City now resided in the last time one awoke before it settled back into slumber as part of the Rockies.
“Pangea seems like a load of bull now,” he muttered under his breath. Having a hole carved out of West Virginia in that magnitude was going to cause some serious issues. As would such a massive creature of the earth wandering around the East coast while it tried to find a better place to nap.
What if that place was right on top of the capital?
“Is turning the city into a wasteland really going to work?” Cletus, one his younger officers piped up as more and more dynamite was divided up and sent out to different parts of the city. Thomas looked up from his management position and nodded once, all the answer that the men ever thought to give, but his son was more forthcoming.
“While massive and capable of mass destruction, Behemoth are usually peaceful creatures.” Michael spoke as if it was their fault for building their city on the back of one of these creatures. If his lack of knowledge on the subject wasn’t so apparent, Abe might have attempted to knock the boy down a couple of pegs. “We cannot kill them but we can trick them into thinking that the above world is too dangerous to wander in. To do that, we have to set off dynamite in the places where the head could be.”
“The head?” This time, Abe didn’t wait for Cletus to be the one to ask. He wanted to get to the bottom of this. For a week, the Piketon family had been extremely tight lipped about most information. If he couldn’t figure out just how powerful their group was within the government, he’d at least know the details of the plans to demolish parts of his hometown.
“The head is the weakest point of the Behemoth. Layers upon layers of rock and earth protect the body but the head has far fewer layers and is where we have to strike in order to trick it back into sleep.” Michael motioned down to the map and Abe leaned over for a better look while the young man continued. “Because this particular Behemoth hasn’t had any activity in such a long time, many of our records on the positioning are gone. We do know that since Behemoth stay alive by drawing energy from the Earth while they slumber, their heads will be nowhere near the water.”
That explained why there was no dynamite going out towards the river. But the rest of the city was just a playground for them. “And you know the size for sure?”
“Yes,” the map of city was pulled away to reveal another, much older map of Morgantown. Only this time, there was a rough sketch of the size of creature that slept beneath their feet. “A normal geologist would never find differences in the rocks in this area that were out of the ordinary. It takes special tools to find a Behemoth and to know where the beast stops and true ground begins.”
Nodding along, Abe found all the information to be more overwhelming than that of witches. Magic made sense to a point, but great creatures who single handedly carved out mountain ranges because they decided that their bed wasn’t comfy anymore was hard to swallow. Special tools that only these people had access to in order to find these creatures was beginning to push it. There had to be another way. At the very least, they could’ve warned people not to build their cities where giants sleep.
Since that apparently wasn’t in their job description, they now had to blow up parts of a crumbling city to avoid destruction on a scale never really seen before. Nuclear bombs were bad but how many would die before the Behemoth decided it was time to nap again? Abe had a feeling the toll would be in the millions.
“How long will the thing sleep if this works?”
“At least another hundred years, usually much longer.” This time, it was Thomas who answered the question. When Abe looked up to meet the man’s gaze, he couldn’t help but wonder what other things this man had seen in a world that so many thought they knew. “Are you done now? I need you and your men to help with preparations if we want to get this done in time.”
Gritting his teeth, Abe forced down the snappy remark that built its way up his throat. This wasn’t the time and his orders had been clear; do as Thomas Piketon needed and ensure that the city would be inhabitable again. He couldn’t afford to be the reason that everything went wrong.
One more to go guys!
Next Creature: Sea Serpent