There is no passion so contagious as that of fear.

-Michel de Montaigne


Unknown, 737 AD

Clinophobia is the fear of sleeping.

The line between fantasy and reality is taut, yet fragile. Fantasy is merely an image produced by wild imagination, sometimes painting our heart's desire, sometimes a mere daydream, and other times it is an escape. It is, to summarize, a state where one sees what he wants to see and nothing else.

His hands ripped into the girl's torso, tearing through bone and muscle, and emerged out her back. He saw her eyes, full of pain and fear and hate, lock with his as she died. It was gruesome, cruel even, but it didn't matter. Not to him. She was just a toy. Toys were replaceable. Unimportant.

(Frieza had said that he was, too. But he wasn't a toy, he was a person. Father had said so. Where was father?)

He is five, and wonders why he sees dead faces at night.


Capsule Corporation, 737 AD

She wakes up screaming from a dream she can't remember.

Her parents rush in, cocoon her in a hug. It's warm and safe, but it doesn't feel right; there is a keen sense of loss in her being that says they aren't actually there.

(Father had said so. Where was father?)

He's right here, she thinks, her heart beating wildly. Isn't he?

She is four, and her parents wonder why she starts breaking her toys.

(Toys were replaceable. Unimportant.)


Unknown, 739 AD

Acarophobia is the fear of mites, insects, and worms.

Fantasy is, by definition, to see what one wants to see. It is often like a drug, numbing the harsh facts and providing an escape into a world that is our own to control. The notion of a faux reality that is centered on the object of our focus, where we are still free to control everything from pawns of the lowest rank to tyrants of the highest power, holds a nearly irresistible appeal to the dominating and selfish side of human nature.

But sometimes, drugs aren't strong enough, and the wake-up call hurts.

It was dark and small and it rank. If he were to spread his arms, he knew that his palms would press against the rocky surface of the pit. But his fingers didn't so much as twitch; frozen in place by the toxins now running through his veins.

Frieza had been upset. He hadn't followed orders, because he had not listened very well. He did not think he'd be punished. Punishment was for the toys, or the underling slaves. Not the Prince of All Saiyans.

(Father had said so. Father wasn't here, was he?)

He is seven, and the worms continue to eat his flesh.


Earth, 739 AD

She falls into the lake to avoid the worm being dangled in her face.

Her father pulls her out of the water, coughing and spluttering, and scolds her gently for doing something so dangerous. If she was scared of worms, she should have said so before they agreed to go fishing.

She says nothing as memories that aren't hers dance through her mind.

Later, a dragonfly lands on the car window and she buries her face in her mother's skirts.

She is six, and she can't help but think that she was never scared of worms or insects before.

(The worms continue to eat his flesh.)


Unknown, 741 AD

Agraphobia is the fear of sexual abuse.

Karma is a right bitch. She created the universal law of the things one did designed to turn around and bite one in the bum, sometimes variating from one's actual crime, so one is caught unawares.

Most times, enlightenment of this fact happens in the worst possible way.

The bed was soft underneath him and damp with his tears.

His emotions were now a jumble of pain, loss, violation and confusion. He was confused because this didn't hurt as much as the other things Frieza had done, but it felt much worse somehow. It was an awful feeling of being simply violated that shook him to his core and made him beg and scream to stop it- STOP IT PLEASE-!

He remembered seeing this done on his last mission. One of his temporary squad mates had been doing it to a woman, and he had wondered why the woman was so upset. It didn't look like Cui was doing much to to hurt her.

Above him, the tyrant continued his rhythm.

(Father, help. Father would never come.)

He is nine, and for the first time he thinks that perhaps his toys are not like Saibamen after all.


Earth, 741 AD

Many people stare at her, but she thinks that this one is a bit different.

He is an old employee in his forties, and acts oddly when he looks at her; his eyes glaze over and he licks his lips. It is weird, but she doesn't understand it, so she leaves it be.

Now, she thinks she understands.

(Pale skin, red lips, all over me. Stop it stop it STOP IT.)

She shudders, and steers clear of the employee.

She is eight, and her father is worried because she describes the word 'violated' so vividly. The employee is fired the next day.


Unknown, 742 AD

Autophobia is the fear of being alone.

C.S. Lewis once said, 'If you look for truth, you may find comfort in the end; if you look for comfort you will not get either comfort or truth, only soft soap and wishful thinking to begin, and in the end, despair'.

In contrast, Ben Jonson once said, 'Curiosity killed the cat.'

He wondered if his views thus far had been wrong. So when his hand crushed the alien's heart, he reached into its mind and felt it die.

(It's lonely, father. But father was gone)

He is ten, and he realizes that people are not like the little green men he used to kill.


Earth, 742 AD

She is rich and popular and the Queen Bee, but has few real friends.

This is proven when one of her so-called friends lies to the teacher about her cheating. She confronts her friend, who admits to being jealous, and using their friendship because all the boys like her.

In revenge, she has her friend exiled from their group. She is the queen here, she can do anything she wants.

She is nine, and on the top of the world, but it feels lonely ruling alone.


Unknown, 744 AD

Asthenophobia is the fear of weakness.

The law of nature is 'kill or be killed'. It is a jungle out there; only the strong survive, while the weak perish.

Vulnerability is something that very few people want to be associated with. One feels naked and exploitable when he is vulnerable. But every man has a weakness. It's just a matter of who can hide theirs the best.

Like quills upon the fretful porpentine, when the soft underbelly is exposed, you put up your defenses.

He kept killing. He knew that if he didn't, he'd be seen as a weakling and killed himself.

Every time he murdered a worthy opponent, he reached into the opponent's mind as ze died. He was always assaulted with the images of loved ones, old regrets, a desperate last cry to someone they cared for.

Who are you calling to? he wanted to ask. Every one of those people are dead. I killed them. There is no one left. Who are you calling to?

(Father...anyone. Who was he calling for? Everyone was dead here too.)

He is twelve, and something inside is breaking, but no one cares.


Earth, 744 AD

There is a party; and it is populated and lively, but somehow she feels claustrophobic.

Too many people. It is annoying, they should not be here. It feels wrong. There aren't supposed to be this many people.

(Everyone was dead.)

She is eleven, and for the first time ever, she wonders why there is a boy's sad voice in her head.


Unknown, 747 AD

Agatheophobia is the fear of madness.

Madness; the condition of being mad; insanity, lunacy.

Counterphobia: in which the victim seeks out the object he fears most.

He realized that he hated killing for Frieza, so he did so more and more. He engaged in a masochistic game that he always won, but also lost every time. Frieza liked this. Liked him turning into a mirror image of the tyrant.

(But who cared. There was no one left to see, anyway.)

He is fifteen, and thinks he's gone insane.


Earth, 747 AD

For the first time in her life, she doesn't care what she looks like. She stumbles into the Capsule Corporation anniversary in her nightclothes; her hair in disarray and dark bags under her eyes.

People whisper, but she doesn't care. She enters the room and takes a piece of blackforest cake. She glares at the whisperers until they look away.

She hears voices in her head and thinks that there shouldn't be one there at all, when there are, in fact, hundreds of people in the room.

(Who cared. There was no one.)

The next day, she realizes what she did and shrieks in horror.

She is fourteen, and she thinks that she should find a way to meet the boy who owns that voice.


Unknown, 749 AD

Automysophobia is the fear of being dirty.

For the mad, the lines of pleasure and pain are often blurred.

He wore gloves, but it didn't keep the blood from seeping into his skin. He laughed in exhilaration and delirium as he tore through the planet's inhabitants. There was warm, warm blood everywhere. Its coppery scent filled the air and its taste was on his tongue.

(Would father disapprove? He would never know.)

He is seventeen, and the scent of blood sticks to him like a second skin.


Earth,749 AD

She pulls the strawberry out of the box and stares at it.

She is sixteen, and decides she likes the color red.


Unknown, 750 AD

Frigophobia- is the fear of cold or cold things

He was a teenager and rebellious, but he paid the price when the whore ended up pregnant. He would have let her be, if Frieza hadn't found out. He looked her in the eyes as he killed her and the unborn child.

He is eighteen, and the act of murder seems colder than ever.


Earth, 750 AD

She wakes up, curled into a tight ball under the too-thin sheets.

She is seventeen, and thinks that maybe the icy coldness in her heart would go away if she had the perfect boyfriend.


Unknown, 753 AD

The zeal of youth faded. Killing lost its appeal, becoming just another robotic motion to go through. But sometimes, he sees an old ghost in the people he kills. The women with short hair looked like the prostitute who carried his child. The tall men, no matter their other features, were suddenly reminiscent of his father. There were more, though he didn't understand why it was hardest to kill blue-haired women.

He is in his twenties, and he scrubs his skin raw to clean their blood, even as he tries to forget their faces.


Earth, 753 AD

The bandit's arms are around her, and for a moment, she can forget.

But then she sleeps, and wakes up with remnants of a dream of another man's voice.

(Can't forget their faces.)

She is eighteen, nineteen, twenty, and the voice doesn't quieten.


Earth, 761 AD

He looks at the earth's sky while they wait for Kakkarott.

He is twenty nine, and he wonders where he's seen that shade of blue before.


Earth, 761 AD

She is twenty eight, and can't help but feel that the shorter Saiyan seems familiar.


764 AD

The prince's arms are around her, and he is telling her of what he has done, what he has gone through, and she is surprised by how unsurprised she is.

She is thirty two, and the voice in her head finally stops.

He is thirty-three, and faces his fears for the first time in a long time.


Epilogue

With two children and old terrors yet to be conquered, new ones arise and nerves are stretched thin.

But they are man and woman, and united. Together, they have the strength to overcome their fears.