Chapter Ten:

Bulma watched with wary eyes as a raging beast of a man struggled on the floor. It was taking six guards to hold him down; one at each leg, arm and his broad shoulders. Glancing at Yemma, she wondered what he was going to do.

When the man (well, if you could call him a man) before her had attempted to leap onto the giant desk, she had shrieked, falling backwards. King Yemma had roared in fury, grabbed the demon-like being and hurtled him back to the ground where the ogre guards had leaped on top of the snarling mass.

She had seen her fair share of evildoers since she had been here. She watched them yell, curse, stomp their feet, and make empty threats with such anger and malice in their voices. She had felt sorry for them. Oh, so very sorry. Maybe she shouldn't have, but she did.

Yemma had told her not to be. They had made their choices in life. They were evil because they chose to be.

Sneering, she had argued with him. Standing, she told him that nobody chose to be evil. Nobody had been born evil. She refused to believe that. Everyone had their share of problems in life, some more than others. Events changed people, sometimes for the better. Sometimes for the worse.

Yemma had paused, stared at her in silence. For several minutes they were locked eye to eye.

He blinked first.

Then said quietly, "He's evil. Face it."

She hadn't spoken to him for the next three days.

Vegeta wasn't evil.

That was at least two weeks ago. Or whatever. She was getting tired of asking herself if it was really two weeks or twenty weeks.

But she hadn't seen someone act so violently as the one she was currently watching.

Spit was flying out of his mouth as he screamed obscenities at the top of his lungs. She watched with fear. Yemma was towering over his desk, his face bloated and purple in his rage. She tuned out what he was shouting at the furious soul. She didn't want to hear anymore; it was just so sad.

Inch by inch he was being dragged towards a dark archway. It was the entrance to Hell, said Yemma. There were no gates blocking it like Heaven had. When she asked why, Yemma had let out a great laugh. "Foolish mortal," he had said, "Why have gates? No one would willingly run into Hell." It was true. She had not seen a single soul breaking into a sprint, eager to arrive in Hell.

Most were dragged such as the man in front of her was. He was fighting with every bit of energy he had left. As they got closer and closer to the ominous entrance the being roared and doubled his efforts, determined not to enter Hell.

More guards came.

And soon he was gone.

Shoved through, just like that.

And the guards stood there, breathing heavily, wiping sweat from their brows.

Bulma looked away.

"He was Kreltin."

She looked at the still fuming Yemma; he was attempting to smooth out his suit and calm himself down. Barking out an order to get back to work, he collapsed back into his massive chair. He was taking a ten-minute break, starting now. "He was Kreltin," he repeated. "From planet Karash. Nasty little buggers, they are."

"Yeah," she replied lamely. "They are."

Yemma continued. "Downright evil, I tell you. Abusive as Hell too…Karash is in the middle of a civil war. Started a few days ago. I suppose we'll be seeing a lot more of them pretty soon." He was oblivious to Bulma's less than enthusiastic mood. "A few passed by already. You were taking one of your beauty naps, or whatever you call them. Yeah, so they passed through a couple of times—mostly women though. Karash is a female dominated Planet. Interesting, eh? Bet you'd like it. Get to boss everyone around as much as ya like…"

"Yeah…uh-huh…" She wasn't listening to a word he said. She didn't really care. Vegeta was down there. It seemed to hit her like a ton of bricks. Before today, she didn't really believe that Vegeta was in Hell. Tears welled up in her eyes. Vegeta is in that dark and horrible place.

Yemma noticed her distraction. "What's wrong with you?"

Wiping her tears away hurriedly, she turned to face him. "Nothing. Nothings wrong."

Giving her a look, Yemma rummaged in his desk for his lunch.

Bulma let out a breath, staring at the gate to Hell.

"Nothings wrong. Everything is fine."

And she made her decision.

---

"Was that really him?"

"I don't know. Looked like it, didn't it?"

"It had to be him. It HAD to be."

"So you think he's dead? Finally?"

"He must be. Why else would he have been here!"

"Hm."

"What's with you? Isn't this exciting?"

"I'd say, no, not really."

"Oh, get over it. Stop being such a pansy."

"Watch it, brat."

"Yeah, yeah, yeah…"

"Why should I be excited? Give me a good reason."

"He's our friend!"

"Speak for yourself."

"Did you know that you can be really stubborn sometimes? Hm? Yeah, well, you are. Just for your information."

"Did you know that you can be really annoying and immature sometimes? Yeah, well, you are."

"…"

"That's what I thought."

"I hate you. A lot."

"Mmhmm."

"No, really. I do—hey! Where are you going!"

"To go inform the King."

"Right. Well, you go do that. I'm going after him."

"Don't go alone."

"Awww, is Nappa worried about me? That's so sweet."

"Radditz…"

"Fine. Then come with me. We can inform the King after we've spoken to him."

Nappa sighed. "Why are you so eager to see him?"

"I just said. He's our friend. At least, he's my friend. We were together for how many years in Frieza's army?" Radditz crossed his arms and stared at the older man.

"Incase you've forgotten, he killed me. And he completely forgot about you. Went off to that damned planet to find those stupid balls, not to wish to you back to life, but for immortality. Can you honestly forgive that so easily?"

Radditz frowned. "Nappa. It's been years. I'm over it. We've talked about this before. Of course I was angry. Angry and pissed off as all Hell when I found out he had betrayed me. But really. It's Vegeta. He was only ever looking out for himself. And you know what? Good on him. If immortality was going to help him keep that promise--"

"That promise was stupid."

"Not to him it wasn't," Radditz said. "It meant everything to him, and you know it. It's the only thing that kept him going all those years, I think."

"It destroyed him," spat Nappa. "He turned into a complete and raving lunatic because he held onto that promise. It ate away at everything he was and left nothing but a dark and evil thing."

Radditz snarled and took a step forward. "You weren't even there, Nappa. You were passed out on the floor, practically dead. You didn't see what I saw. The things that Frieza said—what he did to her—you've no idea. No idea, you fucking idiot. If the promise that he made to her is what kept him living for so long, than that's all right. I'll forgive him for anything he's ever done because he was practically my brother and I love him."

"He hated us, Radditz!" said Nappa furiously. "He treated us like scum in those last years!"

"We were close once, Nappa. And you know it. You remember how it once was. And don't blame it on him. It was Frieza's fault for how our lives turned out. He made us who we were."

Nappa shook his head, glaring. "We made our own choices, brat."

"But we were influenced by others, Nappa. I've forgiven you for past grievances. And you've reconciled with me. I think it's time that you put aside these feelings and forgive him too."

Nappa was silent for a moment. "It will not be so easy for me. I've held onto these hostile feelings for too long. But—I will try. Maybe."

Radditz brightened as his mood changed drastically. "Great! C'mon, let's go catch him and you two can get all cozy and apologize like the great big nellies you are!" He grabbed Nappa's arm before he could protest, and began to drag him through the sand.

"I really hate you," growled Nappa.

"Nah, you love me."

---

King Yemma really hated souls. He wasn't quite sure if that was proper, seeing as how that was his job, but ya know, really, give a man a break. He huffed as he slumped back into his chair. A rather difficult spirit had just passed by and he could feel a migraine approaching.

Yawning, Yemma glanced down at the right corner of his desk. Instead of seeing the customary blue hair of the human girl, he saw emptiness. He gave a sigh of relief. It seemed like she was in one of her moods again. Ever since that Kreltin creature had passed through days ago, she had taken to slipping off at random intervals. At first, Yemma had been suspicious. He wondered if she would have been stupid enough to sneak through the Gate of Hell. But when he sent an ogre to track her down, she was found at her little cottage doing nothing of importance. At that news he had smiled. She must've finally seen the uselessness of her sitting on his desk, day after day.

Much to his grievance, she had reappeared a few hours later, chipper and more annoying than ever. But the disappearances continued. Yemma wasn't complaining. The more she was away, the easier his life was.

He did wonder what she was doing at her cottage. And why she continued to come back. She was a very, very strange mortal, he decided mentally.

As he leaned back into his chair and closed his eyes, he failed to spot a tiny speck of blue darting behind his desk and slipping into the darkness.

---