I uploaded this on an old account that I don't use anymore on accident. Reposted so everything is where it should be. Sorry for the mistake.
I have become a test tube baby. Quite an accomplishment for a teenager and all it took was getting my brains splattered on the front bumper of Truck-kun, the isenski protagonist hunter, so I could be transferred into a fictional universe. Not really sure if everyone that was killed in a hit and run got the same treatment, but it was certainly the case for me.
My eyes flickered open, having long since gotten used to the goop that left me suspended in a large tank. A mask covered my face, feeding me oxygen while another mask covered my lower body to serve less pleasant purposes, though it had a hole for my tail to slip through. Neither left me with a lot of room to maneuver, too far one way and the hose that connected both of them to a filtration system would go taut.
A light orange haze filled my vision, but I could still see through the goop. The room around me remained unchanged since the...weeks…months...maybe even years since I found myself here. My tank was on the highest platform of three, with me being the only tank while the second had about twelve and the bottom had fifty.
The goop changed again. It started off as a dark blue, then it went through several shades of green, then yellow and now it was dipping into the oranges. What it meant, I didn't have the faintest — if I had to guess it was some kind of a development cycle.
I hope it means I get out soon. I closed my eyes, having seared every detail of my surroundings into my brain ages ago. There was nothing there that could help me get out and my attempts to escape were all met with failure. I could only wait to be released. So, for what felt like ages, I waited.
A sigh escaped me as I drifted off, finding that sweet spot between consciousness and sleep that helped pass the time. My mind cleared, long since clear of turbulent thoughts about my death and resurrection. That had taken some time, but it was what it was. I couldn't do anything about it anymore, so there wasn't a point of dwelling on it.
Time passed. Minutes, hours, or days - I had no way of knowing. My meditation was only broken up by brief resurgences of conscious thought, each time noting that I was still alone in a tank. Each time, I drifted back into myself, thinking of nothing or latching onto a random thought and thinking it to death.
I'm an alien. I didn't feel like an alien, except for the tail. I looked too human. My body was that of a toddler, somewhere around two years old or so - stubby arms and legs, too small hands and feet attached to them...everything was too small. My hair was weirdly static, but from what I could see of a single long lock that brushed against my forehead, it was a normal black color.
The few people that I saw since finding myself in this new body also looked human except for the tails and gravity-defying hair.
I'm a self-insert. Self-insert stories were always a guilty pleasure of mine simply because, at their core, they were little more than self-indulgent power fantasies. Some of them hid that fact better than others, but it was a fact. After all, what was the point of writing a self-insert in a favored setting only to be a dishwasher?
I never expected to become one though, and now that I was, I couldn't help but wonder just how exactly it worked. I could accept some infinitely powerful being did it for any number of reasons, from boredom to malevolence. That wasn't what I questioned — just how did I find myself into a new body? When it came right down to it a person, who they were and their memories, were little more than jolts of electricity firing off between synapses in the brain.
Did my brain get teleported into this new body? Did it grow into an exact replica? Or were my memories and personality just downloaded into it? Or, maybe, there was another factor to it? My soul, or something, made the trip? Because that raised a lot of questions that religious figures had been debating for thousands of years, most of them much smarter than me, and they still haven't found an answer.
Then there was the whole can of worms of was this me really me. Was I-
My thoughts were interrupted by a harsh rap against the thick glass of my tank. My eyes snapped open, ignoring a pang of irritation in favor of pinning a glare at the source. To my surprise, though I guess it really shouldn't be, it was a little boy pounding at the glass with a scowl so entrenched on his face it was like it was stuck like that.
"I demand that you awake this instant!" The child snapped, pounding on the glass for emphasis. I just stared at him for a moment, struck by how familiar he looked. His hair was spiked upwards in long, thick, locks that tapered off into a point, revealing a deep widow's peak. His almond-shaped eyes were just as black as his hair, so much so that I couldn't tell the difference between his pupil and the iris. Strong jaw leading to a stubborn chin, thin lips pressed into a thin line and a small nose.
Vegeta? He was maybe six or seven, but no older than that. He wore white and gold Frieza-Force armor, a skin-tight blue undersuit, only it had a red symbol on the left pectoral area and a thick red cape draped off the shoulder pads.
"Hmph. Finally," Vegeta muttered, squinting up at me. His gaze was judging and, after a few moments of him staring at me, it was clear that I was found lacking. "I don't know why my father is bothering with you. He already has an heir." He might be young, but he had already mastered sneering. He looked at me like I was something that he scraped off his boot.
Naturally, I flipped him off. I couldn't exactly speak with the mask over my face. Unfortunately, the middle finger didn't seem to mean anything to saiyans because he just sneered so hard I was almost worried he'd pull something.
"You can't even make a fist," Vegeta observed, crossing his arms over his chest and- woah. Young he might be but he was properly swol. Muscle clung to his arms, straining against the undersuit so badly I could see every line. Yeah, he could definitely take me in a fight. In my previous body too. "You're pathetic."
What a jerk. I knew kids were mean, but this was a little much. My eyes narrowed into slits, glaring at the punk, and, oddly enough, that got a crooked smirk from him.
"That angers you, does it? I suppose you may be a saiyan after all," Vegeta said so smugly it was a wonder how he managed to fit is massive ego in the room. And what's with this kid taunting me? He had absolutely no idea that I wasn't just some toddler in a test tube - that meant he thought he was just taunting a baby for...what? What was his goal here?
"If only barely," Vegeta continued as if realizing that his words sounded too much like a compliment. "A power level of 15...what a bad joke. I was 350 at this point."
Ah. The eldest child feeling jealous of the attention the youngest was getting. Which was worrying because I haven't even seen my father or mother as far as I was aware. Apparently, they were taking absentee parenting to a whole new level. No, wait, saiyans didn't do families. Not the same way that humans did.
Parents and siblings were acknowledged to track lineage, not out of familial bonds. Two saiyans banged, if the woman decided that the male was strong enough to produce worthy offspring, then she would take the fertilized egg and dump it into an incubation tank like I was in. More often than not, the male wouldn't even realize that he had a child until they ran into a kid that looked just like them.
Saiyan parents didn't care. They weren't expected to.
Children were carried in an artificial womb, so there was none of that paternal instinct from the mother's side. For humans, a baby literally grew inside them, making all kinds of hormones fire off in their brains to convince them that they loved the baby and it was totally worth all the suffering and pain to bring the baby into the world. Saiyan mothers just didn't have that connection. They just put the kid in a tank before dropping them off for the caretakers to deal with for the next three years.
After those three years were up, provided that the baby wasn't deemed too weak and sent off to a distant planet to wipe all life out, thus proving they were worthy to be called a saiyan...the baby would be given a patron that would put them through brutal training so horrible that Spartans would jump out of their seats in shock until they reached an appropriate power level or they reached the age of ten. Or, you know, they died. Or, of course-
Wait. Wait, wait, wait. How in the hell did I know all of that? Or how did I know his name even though he never gave it? Or why wasn't I surprised that he was my older brother?
"Why are you scrunching your face up like that? Are you going to cry?! Stop this instant! You are a saiyan prince, and princes don't cry!" Vegeta snapped, banging the tank for emphasis as he barked his orders. His face didn't match his words or actions, his eyes were wide and filled with panic. It was like a bomb was going to go off instead of a toddler crying...though, I guess that's not too far off the mark.
I thought about crying just to spite him, only to discard the idea a moment later. I loved drama class in high school, but I knew I was bad at it. My resting-bitch-face syndrome made faking expressions hard, and my deep voice didn't help with conveying emotion. Certainly didn't help that I was a spastic bundle of anxiety and frayed nerves at the time, either. So, faking crying was well beyond my abilities at the best of times.
Pointedly ignoring him, I wondered to myself at the sudden burst of new-found knowledge. I-
"Don't you dare ignore me! I am Vegeta, Prince of all saiyans and I will not be ignored!" Vegeta proclaimed, slamming his fist on the tank again. I swear, the first thing I do when I get out of here was free every fish in every aquarium in the galaxy. And, considering he earned my undivided attention in the form of a glare, he wasn't exactly wrong.
"Vegeta!" A harsh voice barked, making Vegeta go rigid before he snapped to attention. With well-practiced ease, he turned on his heel and bowed so low he practically was bending over. Even his tail went low, a complete submission.
I looked at the new guy as he confidently strode into the room like he owned the place, which, well, he kinda did. He was a dead ringer for Vegeta, only much older with a thick black goatee around his mouth. He stood at five something, the shortest of the three people that followed him, but he was unmistakably their leader. Our leader.
King Vegeta. The king of the saiyans by virtue of being the strongest saiyan alive.
"You missed your training to gawk at your brother." King Vegeta observed, his voice cold enough to refreeze the arctic poles. Vegeta went rigid as if our father wouldn't notice him if he was perfectly still. And he was perfectly still, enough so that I spared a worry that his heart gave out on him out of fright.
"I'm sorry, my king." Vegeta rushed out, not looking up. "I…"
"Speak," King Vegeta ordered, coming to a stop a few feet from the two of us. He crossed his arms over his chest, showing off chiseled muscle. While not as big as the bodybuilder behind him that looked at Vegeta with far too much amusement, he still looked like he could break me over his knee.
"I-I wanted to know why you decided to have another son," Vegeta forced out in a rush, daring to glance up, only for his gaze to return to the floor when he met eyes with our father. I could see a bead of sweat form on the back of his neck. No kid should have to be this nervous just speaking with their father.
"You wanted to know if you were being replaced," King Vegeta corrected. Vegeta's flinch all but confirmed it. The king looked down at him for a long moment, seconds felt like hours before he made a dismissive sound. "You are my heir Vegeta. The only things that can change that are your death or disgracement."
Vegeta looked up sharply, and even though I could only see the back of his head, I didn't need to see his face to know that he wore a shocked expression. That was made clear enough when King Vegeta's narrowed dangerously.
"Control your emotions," he ordered with easy authority. He strode past his elder son, coming to a stop directly in front of me. His gaze roamed me for a moment, silently judging much like Vegeta had. His expression might as well be made of granite for all the emotion it showed, or ice for just how coldly he analyzed me before his gaze snapped to mine. He silently stared a hole through my skull, and silently came to a conclusion. "To answer your question; he is a spare. You're mother thought it prudent given the...favor that Frieza has shown you."
"Should I try to lose it?" Vegeta asked and his father didn't so much as blink.
"No. You are my son, you will never have to swallow your pride in the face of that creature," King Vegeta said, a sneer in his voice even if his face didn't so much as twitch. However, his gaze darted down at his son, who didn't dare to look up at him, and I would swear his frozen expression warmed ever so slightly. "You will be King Vegeta one day, perhaps the greatest of us all. Accept and conquer any challenge Frieza gives you. Let the trash in the Frieza Force know why they should fear you."
Vegeta looked reassured by his words and it was obvious why.
Saiyans didn't have families. Our culture developed in a way that did away with the idea of family bonds with the use of incubation tanks and our warrior ways. But love didn't care about what you should feel. As stunted as it was, that's what passed between Vegeta and his father.
When King Vegeta turned to me, his gaze hardened, making it clear that he hadn't made room in his heart for me yet. "That being said, I believe I may have to impregnate your mother again for a proper spare." If he ever would. "He's strong enough to avoid an infiltration mission, but I will not allow a low-class saiyan of my blood."
My blood ran cold in my veins as I stared into King Vegeta's eyes and it became all too clear what he meant by that.
Murder. If I wasn't up to snuff, he would...well, he'd snuff me out.
All of a sudden, the tank didn't seem so bad.
"Nappa," King Vegeta barked suddenly, making the massive man stand a bit straighter inattention. Now that I wasn't memorized by my father and actually gave him a look. He was built like a bodybuilder, making his already impressive height that much more intimidating. A jaw so squared it could be used to measure perfect angels, a thin mustache, black eyes, and shortish black hair, though the sides of his head were bare.
"Make sure that Vegeta makes up for the time he wasted." King Vegeta ordered, earning shallow bows from both Nappa and his son.
"Of course, my king."
"I'll more than make up for it," Vegeta swore, getting a curt nod of approval. Taking that as a dismissal, both of them turned on a heel before marching away. As they approached the door, waited for Vegeta to look back at me, or something, but the bulkhead door slid behind them with a hiss without so much as a glance in my direction.
"Thyme," King Vegeta spoke again, bringing my attention to the other man that walked in with King Vegeta. An elderly man that wasn't treated kindly by time. His hair was gone at the top, what clung to the sides was a stark gray. Deep wrinkles ran across his forehead, tugging at the corners of his eyes and around his mouth. He might have been tall a long time ago, but now he stood with a slight hunch.
"What can I do for you, my king?" Thyme asked, his voice strong despite his appearance. It belonged to someone decades younger than what he appeared.
"How fares his education?" He asked, and I struggled to keep my expression blank. I didn't manage it, but the mask covering most of it helped a lot.
Education? What education? I just float around in this tank for...I don't even want to know how long.
"Extremely well! He's already gone through the basic lessons, and he's well into the advanced." Again, what lessons was he talking about? I couldn't recall getting a single lesson from anyone since I got here. "His brain his very developed, it just soaks up information like a sponge."
What? What did that mean? A sense of unease filled me, my lips pressing into a thin line. It only took a moment to puzzle out what he meant, once I realized what other options there were. Either he was lying, or they were doing something to my brain. Considering I knew a whole bunch about saiyan culture, the truffle war, and important figures during it, it was clear which one it was.
They were downloading information into my brain.
"Hm. Expand the scope of his education, then. He still has some time before he's done incubating." King Vegeta ordered, getting a shallow bow that he couldn't see before Thyme walked over to a computer and started typing away.
"Any particular field in general?"
"The Reach. Frieza is provoking them into a war," King Vegeta answered, as he just stared at me. I stared right back, afraid to so much as blink.
"If I might ask my king, why are we going to war with the Reach? As far as I knew, things between the Trade Organization and the Reach were great." The old man commented, sounding nonplussed that we were going to war with the closest thing the Trade Organization had to an ally.
The Trade Organization, lead under King Cold and now Frieza, enjoyed a very profitable relationship with the Reach, a large empire that stretched over nearly 5% of the galaxy. Part of that was because of its own expansion methods, but it wouldn't be wrong to say that the main reason was its habit of buying premium planets from the Trade Organization.
It was hard to imagine that either side would want to end the relationship. Especially when it made the Reach extremely powerful and the Trade Organization extremely rich.
"Frieza took over," King Vegeta replied with a scoff. "I can't claim to understand what is going through that little monsters head, but apparently he was offended by something or another and caused a diplomatic incident. Regardless, relations have soured between them and I was...ordered...to prepare for war."
The old man nodded his head, a slight smile of all things playing at his lips. "So it won't be a minor skirmish. Good. I always wanted to fight in an intergalactic war at least once before these old bones give out on me." Thyme noted with some humor. "With any luck, Frieza will lift our population cap for it. It'll be a long war."
"Anticipated wars always are and it's a possibility I've brought up with him. He said he would consider it," King Vegeta agreed easily, a grimace passing over his expression for a split second. "The Reach is a vast empire, and with other meddling flies buzzing around, he will need every soldier he can get. And saiyans are worth at least ten of every other pathetic species in his army."
"Ah. The lanterns, then?" Lanterns…? I didn't remember anything about them either.
"I expect so. They want to check Frieza's power while it's still early in his reign, especially when they made that mistake with King Cold. The Reach's as well, though I suppose it's more likely they'll wait until we tire ourselves out against each other. Cowards." It was amazing how much hate could be put into a single word. He muttered it like a curse.
"True, true. The Thanagarians have been looking to expand, and doubtlessly Darkseid will use the chance to stir up some trouble. And I've heard rumors about a race of warriors in the Vega system that sound like they would be fun to destroy-"
"Hmph. It's unlikely to expand into a galaxy-spanning war, Thyme." King Vegeta shot down, earning a scowl from the older man. As if he sensed it, King Vegeta smiles ever so slightly. Well, sort of. It was more of a smirk that could have grown into a smile if it wasn't prematurely killed by his usual smoldering expression.
"I know, but a man can dream. Annnd, there, his next batch of lessons will be starting shortly." Thyme said with some flourish, getting a grunt from King Vegeta.
"Good. We've wasted enough time here." King Vegeta announced, turning around and walking away without a second look, much like his son did minutes earlier. "The war may be years off, but it's going to be a long one and we must prepare."
"Very well, my king." Thyme agreed, pressing a final button and the filtration systems hummed with life in response. I looked around sharply, trying to figure out what was going on, only for exhaustion to hit me over the head like a brick. Without any warning, my eyelids seemed impossibly heavy, my thoughts becoming fuzzy as if my head was full of cotton.
I struggled against sleep for no real reason other than spite long enough for Thyme to notice as he followed my father out of the room. Out of everyone, he was the only one to glance over his shoulder at me as he exited the room.
A crooked grin found its way onto his face - it would have looked creepy if it weren't for the look in his eyes. Amusement danced in them, like he was looking at a particularly stupid animal that managed to be cute instead of irritating. I glowered back in response, only making his smile grow a fraction.
"He's going to be a warrior, that boy." Thyme observed, falling in step with my father as they exited the room. The heavy bulkhead doors slid up with little sound.
"If he survives," King Vegeta dismissed, stepping through them.
"Ah, well, if you're worried about then-" Whatever Thyme had to say was lost to me when the doors slid shut behind them.
I lost the battle against sleep not long after, knowing deep down in my gut that I wasn't going to like it when I woke up.
This is a light fusion of universes. The only thing taken from the DB universe is the saiyan race and the things that directly influenced them. So, that means Frieza and the Frieza-Force are a thing, but for the most part, things remain unchanged in the DC universe because Frieza isn't peerless when it comes to strength. That's it though. No kamis, kais, Beerus, Zeno, or namekians, thus no dragonballs.
I know that's going to turn some people off of the story, but a full blend of universes always feel like too much to me when I read them, That, and I'm not confident I could make the blend work without stretching peoples SOD to the point of breaking.