TitleTies That Bind

Author – Jenna

Chapter Two

:

An Old Tale

*****

The hour was late and the sun had already sneaked away; the area was void of bright city lights, which let the stars shine in their radiant multitude. It was dark, though, with a moonless sky. On the Lookout, the closest structure to those shining stars, a small group had gathered. They were each there on the request of the elder Earth guardian Kami, standing at the mouth of the actual building where the light illuminated the ground. Their group was quite a unique sight: Goku and Gohan stood together, waiting for the others; Piccolo was leaned against a pillar, watching and listening; and Vegeta had distanced himself from them and had also taken position against a pillar, his arms folded across his chest. Krillen and Yamucha then arrived together, coming from the Kame house. They waited patiently, or agitatedly in the case of Vegeta, for Tien and Chaotzu, who arrived shortly later.

"So who are they, old man?" Piccolo growled immediately.

"I do not know," Kami shrugged, taking no hindrance to insult, "but I do know what they seek."

He took a long pause, and just as Piccolo was about to tell him to spit it out Kami continued.

"Are any of you familiar with the story of the Blue Diamond?"

"Well sure," said Yamucha, "its some old Indian myth. They believed that their Sky God, Sora Shinmei, had given them some great gift of his. It fell right from the sky, which is why it was blue."

"I thought you used to live in the desert," Krillen accused dryly.

"Well, yeah- as a thief. You got'a know what's worth stealing. That Blue Diamond is worth a good fifty million zeni," Yamucha said loudly, knowingly.

"Yes, the stone is quite valuable," said Kami, "but it is sought after for other reasons. It is true that the stone fell from the sky." The group looked at the elder guardian speculatively. "It was originally created on Namek, as an old Namek-jin tail says, by Akusa Gul. This was before even my time. This was a different planet then the peaceful one you know."

"Get on with it," Vegeta demanded.

Kami glanced at the Saiya-jin prince, not in a friendly manner, but warningly. Then he continued as if their had been no interruption.

"The stone was created by the eternal dragon, as Akusa wished. It has the power to give someone immortality, though why he did not simply wish himself immortal is unknown, as were his intentions for the stone. He was then chased from Namek for summoning the dragon and he left on a space ship much like the one I arrived on Earth in-"

"We don't care about you," Vegeta grumbled. He was a poor listener, especially when it came to stories told by senile, old fogies that paused after every sentence to remember what they were going to say.

"-and somewhere near Earth his ship exploded. The stone came to this planet, seemingly immortal itself."

A faint smirk lifted Vegeta's mouth and his brows were raised in intrigue. So the stone was on Earth, he thought with certain wickedness. He expected his sudden interest to go unnoticed, but he did not see Goku spare a glance at him. From a distance, though, his smirk was hardly perceptible and meant nothing; Goku had never been too perceptive, especially when there was no cause to try to be.

"The stone is disappearing out of knowledge, but it is apparently still sought after. There are two terrible adversaries here; and I'm afraid the stone has been found," Kami said slowly, seeming to grow tired at the end.

"They already found it?" Goku shrieked, wide-eyed and worried.

"No, no," the elder Guardian chuckled, "they are not the ones who found it. It is another pair, but they will not have it much longer if you do not go now. Bring the stone back to me- it must be destroyed," he commanded in a timeworn voice, conveying a sense of forcefulness and desperation.

"Well, what are we waiting for? Dawn?" Vegeta sneered.

Kami, managing not to seem rude, ignored him.

"Head toward the mountain range," he pointed, then returned both hands to his staff to support his weight.

The Z senshi leapt from the Lookout to soar through the chilly night air and through the blackness. Vegeta, surprisingly, was at the front of the unorganized formation. Goku, with the beginnings of a smile on his lips, flew to catch up with him.

"Hey, now that's getting into the spirit," he said cheerily.

"What?" Vegeta asked coarsely, as if somehow offended by any interaction with the other full-blooded Saiya-jin.

"I was just saying it's nice that you're actually acting like a team player," Goku explained brightly.

"Whatever, Kakkarotto," he mumbled, mentally acknowledging that the other man was, indeed, an idiot.

*****

By nature, Satsu was curious; by profession she was trained to investigate, among other things. She righted herself, shook her head, body and tail free of dirt, then headed in the direction of the crash site. Whatever had landed was clearly not two, perfectly round asteroids and she wanted to know exactly what it was. She made to hurry off, but Fife grabbed her by the wrist with a firm grip. Satsu placed a hand on her hip and checked over him with a quick, practiced eye, though she appeared annoyed; he looked to be fine. Slowly her annoyance changed into a blank expression. The kid was utterly terrified.

"Don't leave me," Fife said pleadingly.

"Look kid, I'm just gon'na see what's going on. Come with me if you want," she said and began walking away again.

His hand moved into hers and her first reflex was to jerk away from it, but she felt sorry for him. Just a little bit. So she let the childish gesture slide this time and led Fife only a few feet before he collapsed. It had been a long, exhausting day after all.

Satsu, though she was worn out and her feet were just as sore, felt compelled to find out what was going on. With some half-hearted complaint and begging of her to take them home on Fife's behalf, he was taken back behind the boulder and rested against it, where he was instructed to stay. Then she took off at a light jog, trying to regulate her breathing, which came out heavy despite.

After several, dull minutes of jogging, with only her memory to rely on for aid, she stopped. Hills and tails grasses were ahead of her, which left a great lot of searching for her. There was no smoke or signs of impact straight away. She couldn't even be sure she was in the right area, or if it was much further out in some other direction. Satsu clenched her canine teeth and forced her aching feet to cooperate. In her weary state it was too difficult to actually walk up the hill, so she clawed her way up to the top with her rear in the air. Since it was considerably smaller than most, the view offered did very little to help. She slid down the opposite side and continued on over another hill.

A faint breeze whispered as Satsu trudged on, skimming over untrimmed grass and lifting leaves like it would a kite. Underneath her ninja suit her fur bristled; her sensitive ears picked up the sound of crunching grass, as faint as it was. It spoke to her as plainly as having someone breathing hot air on the back of her neck.

With the flare and finesse of a professionally trained master, she snapped around. She saw the mountain some distance away, but nothing more, which only made her warier. Her eyes narrowed suspiciously and moved from left to right, scanning her surroundings in a well-practiced manner. The wind picked up again and brought with it a scent that only a keen animal nose would catch. It was a stale smell that came from unwashed clothing left in the closet for a good year or two. Satsu scrunched her nose at the unattractive odor and followed the trail it left. All she wanted to do now was collapse and sleep; instead she growled as she sniffed her way along. It was a way that was leading her back to the mountain. She would have headed back soon anyway and given up on the crash- at least until tomorrow.

The smell was quickly lost to her and Satsu plopped down where she was. Her mind was playing inane jokes with her, which put her in a cranky mood. Not to mention that she was getting paranoid. Why had she even gone out there? She could really care less by now, especially with her feet aching for a soaking in a bucket of steaming water.

An arm wrapped around her neck from behind, choking her mercilessly. Instinctively, her sharp nails went up and dug into the tough-muscled skin, which she registered as purple in color. She was plucked from the ground like a flower stem and her feet behind to kick for something solid to stand on. Satsu squeezed her eyes shut, opening her mouth for air but unable to inhale any.

Her surprise, or most of it, passed and she was left desperate and dangling. One hand remained gripped on the arm, trying to lessen any of the pressure, while her other reached back and found a stocky neck. Fire ignited in her palm and scraped over the flesh, scalding it. Satsu knew because of the rancid smell, and also because of the loud howl emitted from her attacker. She was dropped, sputtering and gasping; then she was on her feet. She got a glimpse of… whatever it was. A black-horned beast, bulging with obvious strength and radiating power. It held a strong resemblance to an ox- a very ugly one- in the general face structure and features.

But she was allotted no time to gape in the current situation; she turned and ran. She ran solely on adrenaline, but that wasn't enough. She was grabbed by the scruff of her suit collar and jerked backward, landing on her shoulders. The beast, now appearing even more monstrous in size and looks, grabbed her by the front and yanked her up viciously.

"Let me go, horn-head! I said let me go, you deformed bull!"

Rather than comply, which Satsu knew he wouldn't do, he moved his hand to her neck. She started to scream when a ball of light, painful to the eyes, rushed in and hit the beast. Again she fell to the ground and backed away as more bright spheres pelted and burst against him. Satsu watched, awe-stricken, as living shadows flew overhead. Some of them dropped like missiles to the ground in front of her.

She had sense enough to get back to Fife, but something caught her eye that was worthier or her attention. She saw very well through the night, but she wasn't always prepared for what she would see. A healthy, leaf-colored skin, a bald head with two, obvious antenna and an imposing form; his ears were big and pointed on the side of his face, too big for it. A lot like Fife. Just like Fife, actually. Satsu gave her head a quick shake and cut off that road of thought, mumbling incoherently. She wasn't sure herself as to what was coming out of her mouth, but she had to get back to Fife and darted off to get him. Though, it was too difficult to shake the idea from her mind; the possibility was colossal and continued to nag at her for the entire walk back.

When she arrived at the boulder where she had left Fife, she was impatient. Satsu went behind to get him, but he wasn't there. She growled in frustration.

"Fife!" she called.

No response. That was really not good.

*****

Author's Note – I've got Fife piccies and Satsu piccies for everyone! XD The first two are by WingedSiamese, the ever talented artist, and the third is by me, the aspiring artist. It gives a nice picture of them now, doesn't it?

WingedSiamese's Fife Design - http://www.tailednamek.com/Artpage/art_fife_teen.html

Satsu Design - http://www.tailednamek.com/Artpage/art_satsu_design.html

Fife Realism Headshot - http://www.mediaminer.org/fanart/view.php?id=135666

Update Date – *shrugs* I'm working on other stuff at the moment. Like the final additions to Determination. Then, I've also started Rebellion and have yet to post that. And I may be beginning Far From Home, a fic focused around Chaotzu and Tien (two of the most under-appreciated guys; hmph, their pasts are a mystery that I plan to delve into).