A/N: I don't own DBZ or the characters, that honour belongs to Akira Toriyama. I use British English spelling.


Vegeta eyed the three bots circling him, ignoring the trickle of sweat trailing down his forehead and onto his eyelashes. His muscles trembled under the weight of three hundred times Earth's gravity. The pounding in his head wouldn't let up, and even keeping his eyes open was an effort, let alone maintaining his defensive stance.

He had his strategy mapped out in his mind. Take out the one on the left, get in between the other two, force them both to fire at him then duck out of the way as they fired, ultimately destroying themselves. It was the oldest tactic in Vegeta's extensive mental library, but the bots weren't exceptionally sophisticated yet. It should have been easy to pull off.

Vegeta raised a shaking arm and fired a ki blast at the bot to his left. He know immediately that he'd missed by about three degrees. Cursing, he flung himself to the right, hitting the tiles on the GR floor face down as a blast from one of the bots skimmed over his head.

Another blast shot out, and Vegeta attempted to roll out of the way, firing back. The attacking bot fell to the floor in a smoldering heap of metal, but Vegeta clutched his left side, feeling slick, warm blood oozing between his fingers.

"Get up," Vegeta muttered to himself. The Prince of all Saiyans would not fail at the hands of a hunk of metal. Not now, and not in two and a half years when the androids were supposed to arrive.

The remaining two bots circled and powered up to fire, their eerie red eyes brightening as they did so. Vegeta pushed himself up to his hands and knees with a groan, gritting his teeth against the stinging of his side. As the bots' energy blasts beamed towards him, he shoved himself backwards towards the GR's console.

Using it as a launch pad, Vegeta pushed off into the air, aiming for a spot between the two bots. He hovered in the air until the bots' lights brightened.

The blasts were close enough for him to feel their heat, but Vegeta dropped to the ground at the last moment. There was a sizzling sound and the smell of smoke permeated the air. At the sound of two thuds, Vegeta let out a breath of relief. The bots were down.

Vegeta tried to stand up again, but his legs wouldn't work beneath him. With a frustrated growl, he dragged himself back towards the console. With the last of his energy he managed to stretch and slam his hand down on the red emergency stop button.

He collapsed to the floor as normal gravity resumed, letting his jellied limbs go limp and closing his eyes. He could hear the GR powering down and, now out of immediate danger, Vegeta let a numb sleep overtake him for the first time in three days.


A/N: The first few chapters are short, and they get longer as the story progresses. This is my first fanfic, and it took me a while to get the hang of decent chapter lengths!