Aspara Plateau, Planet Vegeta
A large pod with a red-tinted window slowly rose up from the ground up into the sky, ready to leave for its intended destination. Inside the pod was an infant Saiyan boy by the name of Kakarrot, donned in a standard combat jacket. Before the boy could start crying, the pod's stasis protocols activated once it was out of sight, putting Kakarrot into a deep slumber.
On the ground were two other Saiyans watching the pod depart their world. One was a man, who looked strikingly similar to the boy, barring his harsher expression and a sealed scar on his left cheek. This man was Bardock, the father of Kakarrot. The smaller Saiyan next to him was a woman of much gentler nature, with long shaggy hair reaching behind her shoulders and eyes of innocence. This was Kakarrot's mother, Gine, and she was crying into Bardock's combat jacket.
"I can't believe it…" Gine croaked between sobs, finally pushing herself away from her mate's embrace. "I hope you're wrong, Bardock."
"There's no turning back now," Bardock consoled, his stern demeanor relaxing for the sake of his mate. His mind was firing on all cylinders working to formulate a plan, and he settled on one. "But, we might be able to do more."
"What do you mean?" Gine asked, brushing the tears from her eyes. "Kakarrot's been sent off-world, and Raditz is with the Prince's squad. What more can we do?"
"Now, we confront the king," Bardock answered bluntly, causing Gine to recoil in shock.
"Y-You can't be serious!" Gine stammered in disbelief. "There's no way he'll grant either of us an audience!"
"Who said we were gonna ask?" Bardock retorted with a smirk. He put on his scouter and turned the small dial on it, adjusting its frequency. "Tōma, this is Bardock. Assemble the crew to meet outside King Vegeta's palace. I'll fill you guys in there"
"Fearless Leader's got a crazy plan I bet," Tōma chuckled over the scouter frequency. "Alright. We'll be there within half an hour at most."
"Be there," Bardock finished before taking off his scouter and crushing it in his hand with ease, before he turned to Gine, gesturing to her scouter as well. "We can't risk any evesdroppers for what we're planning. Crush your scouter and follow me. I'll explain on the way there."
"O-Okay," Gine hesitantly complied, taking her scouter off her face and crushing it with both her hands. "So, the King's palace?"
"Precisely," Bardock nodded. He then let his aura burst outward as he launched himself into the air and into the direction of the palace of King Vegeta. Gine was quick to follow suit, but not at the same speed as Bardock.
"So, why are we grouping up outside the palace?" Gine questioned, wondering what plan her mate was planning. "I don't see how it's relevant to what Freeza is planning to do."
"It's very relevant, Gine," Bardock said with his typical gruff demeanor. "He needs to know about this if he isn't aware already."
Gine pondered this for a few seconds, until the realization hit her. "You want to take action!" She shouted with shock. "But there's no way we could do so with such little time!"
"Believe me when I say that's the option I want," Bardock retorted, wincing at what he was going to say next. "But I know that's suicide. Even if we go out with a bang, we'd still be going out at the hands of that monster, our legacy erased forever. And I'll be damned if I just sit on my hands waiting for Oblivion's embrace. That leaves one option…"
"Flee…" Gine muttered, absolutely dumbfounded at Bardock's decision. Her mate had always been one to throw caution to the wind, taking the dangerous missions no one else would and always emerged stronger because of it, but to see him consider fleeing Planet Vegeta in the wake of Freeza's plan to destroy their home? It was so unlike bardock it was almost nauseating.
Thinking it over however, Bardock was still one to pick and choose his battles whenever he could. Whenever he was presented with a dossier on a world for conquest or resale, he calculated whether or not he should go alone or bring someone from his squadron. His last mission he only brought along Leek, half because he knew the planet was little trouble, and half because Leek needed the battle experience. This new threat, while Bardock was powerful for a low-class Saiyan, his combat score now standing at an impressive 10,000, he was still an ant to the monstrous 530,000 dinosaur orbiting the planet from his flagship.
Gine was torn from her musings when she saw King Vegeta's Palace come into plain view, and Bardock's squadron gathered at the front gate. Several faces she was quick to recognize, having been a part of this squadron before ultimately retiring early due to her weakness. Tōma, Bardock's second-in-command, had already arrived on the scene, along with Leek, Selypa, and Toteppo. Panbūkin had yet to arrive, though she surmised it was because the Saiyan was still eating his fill at the mess hall. What she had failed to notice was how battered everyone had appeared, causing her to recoil with a gasp.
"The hell happened to you guys?" Bardock questioned, seeing the superficial damage to his colleagues, also taking note of how all of them lacked their scouters.
"Would you believe that once Leek recalled us, we were jumped by Dodoria himself?" Tōma groaned. "Fortunately that bastard was dumb enough to think us all dead and spilt the beans on Freeza's plans."
"So that confirms it," Bardock said with a frown followed by a smirk. "Good. Saves me the trouble of explaining. Where's Panbūkin?"
"Mess hall," Toteppo answered with simplicity, earning a shake of disdain from Bardock's head. "He should be here soon."
"Assuming he hasn't found another meat locker to pilfer," Selypa jeered, her foot tapping with impatience.
"Will you guys shut up?!" A voice called from the sky, belonging none other to the man of the hour, Toteppo. "Why's Gine here?"
"Yeah, didn't you retire a few years back?" Selypa questioned.
"We'll save questions for later, damnit!" Bardock shouted, his impatience with his crew mounting. "We need to get an audience with King Vegeta about this whole matter. I need you guys to help us get in there. Selypa and Leek, you two will covertly disable any and all scouters as you see fit. Toteppo and Panbūkin, you guys will divert the guard's attention while blasting their scouters. Tōma, you're with me and Gine."
"Diversion work. I love it!" Panbūkin agreed with glee, while Toteppo simply grunted in acknowledgement.
"Covert ops, Got it," Leek nodded, while Selypa simply folded her arms.
"Lead the way Fearless Leader," Tōma nodded with a grin. "Just don't expect me to come saving your mate if she gets in trouble for the umpteenth time."
That last quip earned a resigned look from Gine, only to be brought back to reality when Bardock planted his hand on her shoulder. "Relax. I need a voice of reason for not just me and Tōma, but to the numbskulls inside."
Gine was still visibly worried, but smiled at this reassurance and nodded.
"There should be an access tunnel underneath the cliffside," Tōma suggested, only for Bardock to shake his head.
"Waste of time," Bardock retorted. We just need the bulk of the guard away from King Vegeta. We're going in through his windows."
"Sure, that'll earn the king's ear," Tōma sarcastically commented. "After what dead man Paragus did a few years back?"
"Got any better ideas?"
"At least we'd get his attention regardless, right?" Gine elaborated, trying to be helpful.
"She's right," Bardock agreed. "We want his attention on us."
"I'd say you're crazy, but you've been like this forever," Tōma jeered with a grin. "Alright. Smashing expensive stain-glass windows it is."
Bardock and Tōma's respective auras flared out and they took off towards the windows of King Vegeta's throne room, Gine lagging behind. From the distance, they could make out distinct commotion from their colleagues, small explosions and windows shattering. Bardock charged in first with Tōma following close behind, and charged through the centermost window, shattering it with ease and emerging unscathed. They landed on the long rug from the doors of the throne room that led to the throne itself.
Sat on the throne was the King of all Saiyans himself and is the planet's namesake, King Vegeta the third. As a man of his position, he was by no stretch of the imagination weak and posessed an imposing stature. His hair shot up like a black flame, cresting over his forehead in a razor-sharp widow's peak. Facial hair was groomed into a finely trimmed goatee to emphasize the ever-present scowl in his eyes, which was harshened by the sudden intrusion and assault on his palace. To his left was a Saiyan female of similar visual status, but posessed no Widow's peak. Her hair shot up like fire all the same however, with some bangs hanging over her face to frame the look, and a similar scowl accented her otherwise beautiful face. This was the king's mate, Queen Romei. Lining the carpet were several Saiyans of varying stature, build, and scarring to make up their respective appearances, and took aggressive stances to defend the King.
"Bardock!" One of the councilmen shouted. "What is the meaning of this you maverick?! Your squad's going-"
The guard did not finish as Tōma fired several beams of ki at the scouters adorned on the faces of the elite court. King Vegeta and Romei had no such devices, thus were exempt from this.
"You bastard!" The councilman shouted once more, now livid at what was done. "I will tear your limbs apart and-"
"Silence!" The king shouted from his throne, causing the man to recoil and back down. "This low-class clearly wants my attention to assault his king's palace and barge into the throne room so callously."
Bardock took a knee and offered a simple bow, with Tōma and Gine following suit. This whole time, Bardock couldn't help but smirk at the situation. "If the situation was different, I would've waited like anyone else for an audience," Bardock spoke up, his smile now morphing into a frown. "But since we have a genocidal tyrant in orbit right now, I knew time was of the essence. It's also why I've opted to destroy every scouter I see, so that he isn't listening."
King Vegeta simply raised an eyebrow, now giving Bardock his attention.
"Freeza intends to destroy Planet Vegeta, with all of us on it," Bardock announced, earning a mixture of reactions from the guards. Fear, surprise, and anger were the most prevalent.
"And what proof do you have to suggest this?" The king retorted, his trademark scowl returning. "You're suggesting he would dispose of his most powerful asset, and for what?"
"Don't you see the pieces of the puzzle right before you, sire?" Bardock spoke up again, his tone harsher than before. "A complete recall of all Saiyans back home for no discernable reason? More importantly, why is Freeza overseeing this recall in the first place?!"
"The monster likely found a valuable and fortified planet that requires our full might," Another councilman suggested.
"I would've thought that too if it wasn't for one thing," Bardock responded, not diverting his attention. "Freeza's men have been asking about the Super Saiyan legend."
"Preposterous!" The king shouted, standing up from his throne. "Why would his minions be asking about dead legends?"
"It may have something to do with his notorious pension to crush opposition before it starts," Bardock answered, his tone firm. "He hears of a potential threat to his rule, and he will snuff it out before it could ever retaliate."
"If his minions were asking about dead legends to sate his paranoia, why have I not heard of this?"
"He speaks the truth," Romei finally spoke up, her expression unwavering. "A few days ago this feeble yellow creature approached me inquiring about the legendary Super Saiyan, as well as the Super Saiyan God. At first I thought someone hired the wretch for an archivist's run, but The Low-class's story hold's weight to this."
"That isn't all, your majesties," Tōma finally spoke up. "Me and my crew were besieging Planet Meat when we got the order for recall. Lo and behold, Dodoria himself jumped us and left us for dead. Fortunately for us the bastard wasn't bright enough to finish the job or to not spill the beans on Freeza's plan. I heard everything he said. How the recall was to gather the entire Saiyan race in one spot for swift extermination."
The royal court, the king and queen included, were left stunned at this information. They did not want to believe it, but It all made sense. Tōma's story confirms this. It wasn't long before Bardock's patience began to wear thin. "Your majesties," He spoke. "The way I see it, we have three options."
"I'm listening," The king growled, thinking he had gone insane, hearing out this low-class fool.
"We could gather what troops we could and assault Freeza head-on," Bardock laid out Option number 1.
"That's suicide," Romei retorted. "Even if we created an artificial moon or two to turn some of us into Oozaru, that's only a handful who are capable of retaining control at best. The rest would become nothing more than animals and do more harm than good. Even if our combined might could stop Freeza on his own, we'd still have to contend with a decent fraction of his armada."
"We'd go out fighting, but you're right," Bardock agreed. "Option 2 is to simply wait and see what happens, and I don't need to explain how that's a terrible idea."
"What's option 3 then?" Vegeta III inquired, arching an eyebrow.
"We escape before it's too late."
"Unacceptable! I will not abandon my home like a coward!"
"I don't like the idea any more than you do, sire, but we have to face facts! Consider it living to fight another day. What good is our pride when our entire legacy is erased in one fell swoop?!"
That last sentence struck a chord with King Vegeta. He was often viewed as a ruthless powerful being in his own right, but was a man of pride as well as honor. The latter could be debated, but it isn't far from the truth. Bardock was correct. To go out fighting would cement their place as warriors, but at what cost? Freeza would erase any mention of the Saiyan race from the history of the universe, and he has the means to do so.
"There's still a problem with that plan, Low-class," The queen interrupted, leaving the king to his thoughts. "Freeza's minions would easily notice us escaping and kill us there and then."
"I figured," Bardock nodded with a smirk. "Not unless there was a diversion."
"Bardock!" Gine finally spoke up, realizing what her mate was planning. "You can't go up there!"
"Who is this low-class harlot to speak out of-" One of the councilmen started to shout before Bardock's fist was immediately in his abdomen, causing him to lurch over with pain.
"Don't you dare speak of Gine like that," Bardock growled, staring daggers at the downed councilman.
"I will not allow a low-class warrior to go on a suicide mission to fight Freeza while the rest of us flee!" King Vegeta shouted, not pleased with Bardock's offer.
"Sire, Bardock's combat score is 10,000," Tōma began to speak up. "He will certainly give those bastards up their a run for-"
"Silence!" The king shouted, inadvertently launching a kiai at Tōma, knocking him over. "You misunderstand my meaning. Bardock will not be allowed to go, because I will."
Romei's demeanor shifted from blank to shock as she turned to the king. "Vegeta, you cannot be serious!" She shouted. "What possessed you to make such a foolish decision?!"
Vegeta III only smirked. "I still have that appointment with Freeza regarding diplomatic relations, do I not?" This earned a smirk from Bardock as well. "This Low-class, *ahem*, Bardock, was correct to bring this to my attention. All the pride in the universe will be worth nothing if our legacy is extinguished. That said, even my own pride would not let me flee my throne instead of defend it to the death. Besides..." The king turned his attention to Bardock once more, his grin ever present. "My combat score is 13,500, last I checked."
Romei's expression changed from shock to forlorn. Her husband was going to throw himself into the lion's den just to defend his throne. No, he's not just defending his throne. He's giving the Saiyan race a chance to survive. This puzzled her as to put himself in harm's way for the sake of others was very unlike him, or the Saiyan race as a whole.
"I still don't understand," Romei muttered. "But I hope you give him Hell."
King Vegeta nodded and tore off the crimson cloak bolted to his combat jacket, haphazardly rolled it up and tossed it over to Bardock.
"Queen Romei will be taking over my duties henceforth," the Saiyan monarch announced. "My last order is for the general evacuation of all Saiyans from Planet Vegeta. Those who wish to stay are to join me in my final stand."
Before going, the king approached Bardock and looked him dead in the eyes. "See to it that my son is liberated from that bastard."
"I'll liberate both of them if I can," Bardock responded, earning one last smirk from the king.
With this, King Vegeta the third flared his aura and leapt out the window that Bardock had smashed through, his course aimed directly at Freeza's flagship. Bardock was quick to snap himself out of the stupor and saw everyone else still dumbstruck.
"You heard him!" Bardock shouted, snapping everyone out of their reverie. "Spread the word for evacuation at once! Have scouters destroyed on-sight and have all departing coordinates set for Star #173 as a staging ground! Let's move!"
"Do as he says!" Queen Romei reiterated. This spurred the royal court into action as they scrambled to spread the word. She then turned to Bardock. "Gather your squad and follow me. My husband's ship isn't too far."
"Understood," Bardock nodded. "Gine, you go with Queen Romei while I gather the others."
"What about you?" Gine retorted, visibly worried.
"Gathering lost idiots is what I do when a mission turns sour," Bardock answered with a smirk. "Now go!"
"How're we gonna signal everyone without our scouters?!" Tōma asked.
"Pulsar code!" Bardock immediately answered. "We've all learned it!"
Bardock then channeled ki into his hand and launched the sphere straight up through the roof and above the palace. There it hovered and began to expand and contract, releasing deep soundwaves in a rhythmic pattern. Pulsar code was a tactical encrypted message system used by very few Saiyans, but Bardock found its uses during particularly difficult missions where his entire team was needed and so taught his squadron how to interpret it. The message read "Tell everyone to evacuate. Gather at the king's ship."
"That should do it," Bardock sighed. "Let's get moving!"
Bardock and Tōma sprinted for King Vegeta's personal ship, making it to the landing platform in no time. Several Saiyans were scrambling for lesser ships and attack pods. Before Bardock could board the vessel, he noticed several clouds in the sky part, particularly where Freeza's flagship was orbiting.
The diversion had begun.
Bardock scanned the platform to see if the rest of his crew were coming. Sure enough, four auras streaked towards him and landed on the ship's loading ramp, quickly getting aboard. Before he closed the hatch, he saw a pod had jammed up in its launch platform. Inside was... crying?
'I am absolutely losing it,' Bardock thought. With a resigned sigh, he jumped from the ship and raced over to inspect the pod.
"Bardock!" Gine called from the ship's ramp. "What are you doing?!"
The Saiyan veteran paid no heed to Gine's cries and inspected the malfunctioning pod. Inside was a Saiyan girl, just the age expected from one destined to be an infiltrator. Her hair was spiky and flared out, with two bangs framing her face. The pod she was in was cracked at the hinges, preventing it from taking off. Bardock pried the hatch off and took the crying infant to a different pod, one that was in far better condition. He tossed the girl into the pod and hastily set coordinates which he considered to be 'anywhere but here.' The pod hummed to life and the child inside was rendered unconscious by its built-in stasis protocols, and it flew into the sky.
Bardock smiled at what he had done, but was snapped out of his reverie when he saw a bright orange sphere suddenly develop in the sky, its mass gaining rapidly. This sent a chill down the Saiyan's pine while a cold sweat rolled down his face.
This world's doom had come.
BARDOCK!" Tōma shouted. "GET YOUR TAIL OUT OF YOUR ASS AND GET ON THE SHIP!"
Bardock heard that call and didn't need telling twice. He flared his aura and went flying full speed towards the king's ship, landing neatly on the ramp, but stumbling as the sphere's swelling caused a disruption in the gravity present. Before he could fall, a small arm had grabbed his. Gine pulled the veteran in and the hatch sealed, all while the ship was gaining speed, breaking escape velocity. Before either Saiyan could speak, Romei walked up to the two. "You need to see this," The Saiyan queen beckoned, her tone grim.
Gesturing to a nearby window, Romei pointed at the sphere, which was receding from view at an exponential rate. The faintest glimmer of a purple beam could be seen hitting the sphere. It seemed to stem the sphere's advance, but it was for not, and the beam of purple had vanished, as the sphere crashed directly into the surface of Planet Vegeta.
The effects were immediate and clear, despite their now fleeting distance. The sphere exploded with a fury dwarfing the more powerful weapons of less technologically adept civilizations, and the planet's surface began to crack, causing fresh magma to boil to the surface, turning into lava. Fissures continued to crack into the planet as several volcanoes prematurely exploded, lakes evaporated into nothing, and all the forested regions of the planet were instantly set ablaze by the welling inferno. By the time the surface was nothing more than a brimstone husk, the fissures expanded once again, and in a brilliant explosion shy of a supernova, Planet Vegeta was no more, reduced to nothing but an unceremonious asteroid field.
By this time, the former homeworld of the Saiyans was long out of view, and Romei stood staring out the window. Tears were welling from the Saiyan queen's eyes as she stared into the cold void of space. Gine decided to offer comfort, but Bardock stopped her and shook his head silently. Romei needed time and space to herself. Bardock motioned for Tōma to leave the room to which he nodded and complied. Gine followed the two Saiyan men to leave Romei to herself.
The three continued their walk to the bridge until Gine decided to speak up. "Bardock?" she asked. Her mate simply grunted, giving her the floor to speak. "Why did you save that infant?"
"To be honest, I don't know," Bardock sighed, slumping his shoulders. "Maybe your attitude is rubbing off on me more than I thought."
"I think you did the right thing," Gine consoled with a smile. Her smile faded when she realized something "Where did you send the pod to?"
Bardock took a moment to pause, but then began to chuckle, which evolved into a hearty laugh.
"What's so funny?" Tōma asked, suddenly seeing his commander almost double over with laughter.
"I uh, may have sent that girl to the planet Kakarrot was off to," Bardock sighed, wiping a laugh-induced tear from his eye. "At least he won't be all alone, right?"
"A girl?" Gine repeated, surprised at this revelation. She then simply smiled. "I never figured you for a matchmaker, Bardock."
"Shut up," Bardock retorted, smiling in spite of himself. "Who knows what'll happen? Either one of them might end up with a native for all we know."
"I'd hate to interrupt this mushy crap," Tōma spoke up. "But I suggest you get to the bridge. Until her highness comes back to reality, you're kind of in charge."
"Right," Bardock resumed his usual stern demeanor and walked towards the bridge. Gine decided to take a look around the vessel, as it is likely she will be stuck there for a while.
Bardock entered the bridge of the ship, several consoles operated by various Saiyans of differing caste. A silent mutual agreement came to be where the caste system was put aside so that everyone pulled their weight to survive. A notion Bardock appreciated. A holomap of the galaxy was brought up on the central console, showing where they were in relation to Star #173 and the remains of Planet Vegeta. The journey to those staging grounds would take 5 days at most for all the ships to arrive in orbit. The occupants of the attack pods were in stasis, so larger vessels would have to coordinate from there. Bardock magnified the image of their haphazard convoy, showing a total of 48 attack pods, 5 small transport craft, 2 large transports, and a support barge - a welcome sight given that they would not be fed by the resourceful teats of Freeza's empire.
A sudden crunching of metal snapped Bardock from his reverie with the holomap as he swiftly turned around to find the source of the noise. A Saiyan engineer was tearing an unknown component from the wall of the ship. The man was scrawny, befitting any Saiyan from the same caste. When he noticed Bardock's harsh gaze, he immediately flinched.
"I-uh, sorry sir," The engineer stammered. "I was just uh, tearing out the transponder from the ship, so that we don't end up tracked and-"
"What's your name?" Bardock interrupted, his tone firm.
"I-M-Mung," The engineer answered.
"Mung," Bardock repeated quietly. "Once you're done there, get me a manifest of the ship's inventory."
"Y-Yes sir!" Mung saluted.
"And cut it out with the 'sir' crap!"
Mung proceeded to dismantle the tracking component from the ship while Tōma stared at the holomap. "So, any ideas on where we could settle?"
Bardock tapped an icon on the console causing the holomap to display habitable star systems, and another to display Freeza's grid of influence. Naturally anything within that grid was out of the question, so the Saiyan shifted the view to areas nearby that are outside the grid. There was a decent cluster of worlds huddled around a dilute nebula. Two of them were civilized, but that mattered little. The Saiyan ran a deeper biosphere scan which showed that while most of them were habitable, they were not ideal, leaving fewer worlds left to pick at. Adding yet another filter, Bardock considered the gravity, as gravity weaker than the tenfold metric Planet Vegeta had offered them was less than ideal, but beggars can't be choosers.
"There," Bardock said as he pointed to the only solar system left. The biosphere on that planet was diverse, varying climates, and the indigenous life had been reported as acceptable. This world was written off due to the lack of ideal resources, so was little more than a garden in the outskirts. The gravity was unfortunately not up to spec, half that of Planet Vegeta, but it was still stronger than most worlds.
"I'll bookmark it for the council's review," Tōma said as he highlighted the star system and put it into one of the console's folder icons. Right as Tōma stored the relevant data, Queen Romei stepped onto the bridge, prompting several Saiyans to stand and salute.
"As you were," Romei dismissed, her tone sullen. Her eyes were red from all the tears spent. "Status report."
"Here's a manifest of what ships escaped," Bardock said as he shifted the holomap to display the confirmed spacecraft. "Our staging grounds will be in orbit of Star #173, and the whole convoy should be present within 5 days. Naturally we'll need a place to settle, and I found a decent candidate."
Tōma prompty pulled out the bookmark he had saved earlier while Bardock gestured to the map. "Biosphere is diverse, so food shouldn't be a problem. No civilization, well out of Freeza's reach, Gravity's only half that of Planet Vegeta, but it's still strong."
"I suppose it'll have to do," Romei nodded. "How far is it from your little staging ground?"
"2 weeks at most," Bardock answered, pulling up a flight path for the convoy to take from Star #173.
"Good," the queen agreed. "I hate long flights."
3 hours later
Bardock had found a decent bunk room for him and his squad, as well as Gine. Despite no longer fighting, she was still considered part of the squad. Leek was fast asleep while the other 4 fighters were absent, opting to recover their injuries sustained by Dodoria's surprise attack on Planet Meat. Bardock and Gine lay in their cots unable to sleep. Bardock's mind was weighed by what decisions had to be made for the sake of the Saiyan race. He also thought back to when Gine caught him, saving him from falling off the ship. He smiled at the irony.
Gine's mind however was more grim. The thought of her firstborn son still under the thrall of the monster who had destroyed her home, and the uncertainty of her second born, who had been sent away with time to spare before their homeworld's destruction. Her thoughts trailed back to herself. How she was powerless to do more than let Bardock save her in times of distress, how despite her best efforts, she ultimately decided to retire from combat and operate as a butcher, and how everything she was familiar with - her home, her friends at the mess hall - were all gone.
"Gine," Bardock whispered, hoping not to wake Leek. "You're crying again."
"S-Sorry," Gine whispered back with a sniffle. "A lot's weighing on my mind."
"I can't blame you," Bardock consoled. "We barely escaped oblivion. I still wanted to stay and fight, but I knew what was needed."
Minutes of silence passed before Gine spoke once again. "Train me."
"What?!" Bardock stumbled, almost bumping his head against the ceiling of his cot.
"Once we land on this planet you found, I want you to train me," Gine reiterated, an odd determination in her voice.
"This isn't like you, Gine," Bardock retorted, a hint of worry in his voice. "You've never been the fighting sort. Not even a kill to your name. Why do you suddenly want training?"
"All my life I've been powerless," Gine said, a slight croak in her voice. "You've always been there to save me when I couldn't save myself. There were times where I tried to save others, but was too weak or scared to do anything. And now our two sons are off to gods-know-where fending for themselves and I don't know what fate has in store for them. I want to be ready for everything that I can. Combat score of 500 be damned."
Bardock couldn't help but smile at Gine's words. "Alright," he said. "I'll train you, but don't expect it to be an easy regimen."
"Thank you," Gine nodded from her cot.
"And if it's worth anything, you paid back one of those rescues earlier today."
"When I slipped on that ramp, you caught my arm. There's some irony in there, don't you think?"
"Heh, I suppose you're right."
"Alright, let's get some rest."
Gine's mind was more at ease, and today's fatigue soon rendered her asleep, Bardock shortly following after. The Saiyan race survives. For now.
Kakarrot - Kakarot
Freeza - Frieza
Tōma - Tora
Selypa - Fasha
Toteppo - Borgos
Shugesh - Panbūkin
A/N: Hooo boy! Another fic! This one I have big plans for, but I will not update it as frequently, and for good reason. Diligent readers may notice why that is the case, especially those who have been reading Carrots and Cauliflowers. And before anyone asks "I thought King Vegeta was visiting Freeza only to get a spin-kick to his upper vertebrae." "Why is there a Saiyan queen?!" And my answer will stand firm: Chaos theory and Fuck you, that's why. Speaking of the Saiyan Queen, her name Romei is a pun on Romaine lettuce. I just have it spelled as such lest someone pronounce it Roem-eye, instead of Roem-ay. Hope this was a decent read. :)