Welcome to the sequel to Going Native! It's been a long time coming, and after about 500k words, we have finally reached earth. That being said, I did want to mention something for the new readers.
I know it's unreasonable to ask that you read 500k words before your read Gone Native, which covers Tarble's adventures on Earth. For that reason, reading Going Native is not strictly needed. I wanted to make Gone Native a jumping-in point, so I made the Prologue as new reader-friendly as possible. It covers pretty the things you need to know about for context with Tarble as he heads to Earth.
That being said, it's extremely spoiler-heavy for Going Native. So, this is your heads up.
"My name is King Tarble of the Saiyan race. Many of you know me in one form or another. To some, I was your ally and leader. To most, I was your most hated enemy, the one that brought death and destruction to your homes and families. Perhaps I still am those things, but times can change. They have changed." I spoke, my words simple and clear. A single projector recorded the live broadcast that would reach every corner of the galaxy.
"Lord Frieza, CEO of the Trade Organization, is dead. Slain by my hands," I continued, staring ahead. My appearance was unkempt. I was still covered in dried blood even if my wounds had closed. My attire of a black, skintight undersuit was ripped and torn until it was little more than a pair of shorts, my modesty only being kept by a red folded cloth around my waist. "But, I am not here to tell you that I am taking his position as CEO."
I took in a deep breath and continued. "Sixteen years ago, when I was three months old, I took part in the mission that began the Reach-Trade Organization War. For sixteen long years, I have fought that war to the best of my ability. At first, I was a soldier. Then I became a leader. The number of soldiers under my command grew in size until I became the Supreme Commander for all of the Trade Organization Armed Forces. Trillions upon trillions of soldiers called me their leader. They entrusted me with their lives and to understand the values they had, not just as soldiers in my armies, but as living, breathing, sentient people."
"I did my best to do so," I told the galaxy, no shame in my voice. "I threw away my ideals. My conscience and beliefs. I became ruthless. I slaughtered all those that would call my soldiers their enemy without remorse. I fought the war with everything that I had - all of my strength, all of my might, and all of my ability." I lived for the war. I fought my entire life to end the war I had helped start, even as it all spiraled out of control and the entire galaxy called us their enemy.
"Which is why I can no longer be a part of the Trade Organization," I continued. "This war that has taken trillions of lives was started for the sole purpose of selling Trade Organization brand merchandise to the galaxy. It was for this reason and many others that Frieza and I came to blows, which lead to his death along with the destruction of Planet Vegeta… and the death of my eldest Brother Vegeta, my Father King Vegeta, and my team; Bardock, Tora, Fasha, Shugesh, and Borgos."
"Effective immediately, my empire and that of my brother are severing all ties to the Trade Organization. All those that wish to remain loyal to the Trade Organization are free to keep their loyalty outside of our borders. All those that wish to remain are now my citizens and are declared free of the bonds of slavery that the Trade Organization inflicted upon us. Suitable planets will be given for races that wish to gather if your home planet is unavailable." I had no clue how many would stay or how many would leave.
It didn't matter.
"Additionally, all hostilities with the Federation, the Reach, and the Trade Organization will cease immediately. You are no longer my enemy unless you foolishly choose to be so. All military actions are to be suspended. A grace period of one week will be granted for extraction. Any found within our borders after that period will be considered to have made a declaration of war, which I will answer accordingly with excessive and unreasonable force."
I let out a breath and stared at the camera, "For my entire life, I have fought for the idea of peace. Now that I have it, I will fight to keep this peace."
"That is all," I finished, and ended the broadcast. The red light went off, telling me that the camera had stopped rolling, leaving me free to drag a hand down my face. It continued down until it reached the Nth metal necklace around my neck. On it was a power ring of every color, except for Hope. A green ring from Kaylark, the first green lantern I had ever seen. Yellow from Sinestro. Red from a magic-user named Wrath, whose race had been exterminated by Vegeta after failing to exterminate the Saiyan race. Purple from Indigo, whose tribe attempted to brainwash me. The orange was taken from Larfleeze, and the pink was a gift from the pink lanterns after they healed me during the battle of the Vega system.
There was also a small knucklebone that was fed through the green ring at the center of my necklace. The knucklebone of the previous Super Saiyan that had destroyed Sadala, and a gift from the Saiyan God Yamoshi.
I pinched it between my fingers, recalling the words that the god had imparted on me before he vanished - to find a reason to make a fist.
I found my reason. Consequences or not, I was seeing it through until the bitter end.
Blowing out a sigh, I let go of the necklace as I strode forward towards the command center in the ship I had commandeered from the Guardians of the Galaxy. Though, I suppose it had been in Saiyan hands far longer than theirs. It was the ship they had used to monitor our race after they tampered with our genetics. It had been used by the Saiyans to escape Sadala when the previous Super Saiyan blew it up, then used by me when I blew Planet Vegeta up. The screens displayed the estimated aftermath.
A supermassive black hole enveloped the entirety of the system. Planet Vegeta was gone. As were the rest of the planets in the system, on top of the sun. All absorbed by the black hole caused by using the Warworld's self-destruct sequence to kill Frieza.
Even as Super Saiyans, he had been too strong for me and Bardock. A firm reminder that I was not the most powerful person in existence just because I was a Super Saiyan. For all the power I now had, there were some that I would be considered weak when compared to.
Bringing up another screen, I brought up the estimated position of a previously Federation fleet. Feeding the coordinates into the ship, it began preparations before it launched itself through the vacuum of space at speeds I could barely comprehend. Various methods of teleportation became the go to means for interstellar travel - slipspace mainly, but there were others - but the ship was simply so fast that it had comparable speeds.
It would also give the ships that would surge to my location for the treason that I had just committed a false lead. My entire life, I had been a slave to Frieza. A favored one for the most part, which allowed me the privilege to take ownership of the planets that I or my forces took, which was only suspended when I became Supreme Commander. I had carved out an empire of my own out of the Reach and Thanagarian Empires, as had my brother.
I didn't even know how many systems I owned anymore, much less how many planets. Vegeta had conquered even more than I had. What I did know was that our empires combined made us comparable in size to what was left of the Reach Empire. The Federation dwarfed us both put together, but the Federation was still very new. It had been formed in response to me, after all. It was still divided internally and would likely remain so if it didn't fall apart.
The Trade Organization, however, just lost about a fifth of its overall territory with my departure.
It would take time to see what consequences that would have for the Trade Organization, much less for the galaxy as a whole. The ink on the peace treaty that I had spilled oceans of blood for hadn't dried before I killed Frieza or announced my leaving the Trade Organization. It was entirely possible for the Federation and the TO to resume the war. The Reach might as well. The various lantern corps would likely intervene too.
I've spent my entire life at war and I was sick of it. They could fight amongst themselves until the entire universe was devoid of life for all I cared, I had had enough. So long as they didn't take it anywhere near my borders, they could do whatever they wanted.
Thanks to the speed of the ship, I didn't have much time to dwell on the aftermath of my decision. It was no Warworld, but it had its own charm to it. Before long, I arrived at the estimated location of the fleet to find it drifting through space. It looked like some of the ships had seen some level of combat, but according to memory, none had been destroyed.
They were Federation ships stolen to prevent my race from dying on planet Vegeta. I'm not sure if the diplomats got out, but I mostly didn't care. At least not in comparison to my other worries. The ship I was on flew through space, greeting the fleet with a hail, as I stretched out my ki sensing ability to its absolute limit in search of what was left of my family.
There were millions of power levels to sort through. As much of a relief as it was that my gambit had worked, I could only focus on the fact that I couldn't find-
"There you are," I breathed, a coil of tension releasing from my chest. I ordered the ship to approach the flagship, finding what was left of my family there. Mom and Elery, my little sister. The ship accepted my hail and allowed me to dock.
Mom proved that she cared little about the integrity of the ship by just flying straight down to me, tearing through floors and walls like they were wet tissue paper. The action caught the attention of others as word rapidly spread. In a moment, she had torn through the hull, laying her eyes on me. Elery wasn't far behind - looking at them both, while Vegeta and I favored our father, Elery looked exactly like Mom.
A mane of black hair with a single bang drifting towards their eyes, strong jawlines that met with a pointed chin. They even shared a savage smile. They still wore Frieza-Force armor tank tops and undersuits. That was going to have to change.
"Tarble? Where's Vegeta?" Mom questioned, her eyes narrowing into slits as she glanced at the ship behind me. Expecting Vegeta to walk down the ramp.
My lips thinned while I adverted my gaze, only to land on the next to worst person that I could have picked. Kakarot stood behind Elery, Gine, and Raditz behind him. Kakarot looked exactly like his father, just minus the x shaped scar on his cheek. That made it worse. So much worse.
Time hadn't sorted my feeling at all for Bardock. He had been my mentor. He had been a father to me.
Yet, he betrayed me. He betrayed me in the worst way possible and I didn't know if I had it in me to forgive him.
"Tarble… where is Vegeta?" Mom questioned again, an edge in her voice. Gine looked hopeful as well.
I took in a deep breath, looking at her and finding a stream of Saiyans pouring through the hole she made to listen in. I managed to meet her eyes and for all of my willpower, I nearly looked away again. This talk was so much more difficult when it was someone you know. Someone you cared about.
"Vegeta…" Vegeta was murdered. Assassinated. "Vegeta is dead. He was killed by…" Fasha. Snipped with a Nth metal slug from a railgun. On the orders of Bardock. "Frieza."
Mom closed her eyes for a moment and nodded, giving no sign of how the loss was affecting her. Elery looked devastated. I hadn't thought she liked Vegeta much. It seemed that I was wrong once again. Mom opened her eyes, her gaze steely. "Tell me what happened to your brother."
I couldn't tell her the truth. Vegeta… when our father tried to make me heir, he tried to murder me. Then and there. He had planned for it for some time, he rejected any compromise I tried to make so we didn't have to kill one another. All because of his damn pride. Only for it all to go so terribly wrong.
I didn't want that to be how he was remembered. The brother that tried to kill me only to be assassinated. The heir that was second best.
"Frieza ordered King Vegeta to make me the heir because he knew Vegeta wouldn't accept it. When King Vegeta tried to tell us, he was killed by Frieza. That… made Vegeta become a Super Saiyan," the two words reverberated through the filling room. The two words that were a myth and a legend to our people. A state of existence that was covered by every Saiyan.
Mom rocked back a step while Elery gaped, some of the other Saiyan children practically vibrating where they stood at the idea that there had been a Super Saiyan.
My gaze slid to Gine, Kakarot, and Raditz. I had no clue what they knew about the plot. There was a savage and angry part of me that wanted to kill them, just because they might have known or helped in some way. The other part of me ached, mourning the loss of my team. My friends. My family.
The love didn't go away because I hated them, and that made it so much worse.
"Frieza feared the Super Saiyan legends, and when Vegeta became the Legendary Super Saiyan, he tried to kill Vegeta. They fought- we fought against him. That's when I called for the evacuation," I told Mom, and everyone listening, an abridged version of the truth. The truth that Vegeta would be remembered by.
He was the first Super Saiyan in a thousand years. That he died fighting against Frieza, the tyrant that had kept his foot on our race's neck since he took over the Trade Organization. That's how he should have died. Not by an assassin's bullet. I couldn't undo the past, but I could change the story so that lie would become the truth.
"Bardock, Tora, Fasha, Shugesh, and Borgos joined in on the fight," I lied. That… I hated them for what they did. They betrayed me in the worst way I could imagine. I watched my brother die before my eyes. I had been soaked in his blood. "But Frieza was too strong. He killed Fasha, Tora, Shugesh, and Borgos." Another lie.
I killed them. I hadn't been in my right mind… but I would still kill them even now.
But I couldn't say that without revealing the truth about Vegeta. If he was to be remembered as a legend, then their deeds had to be covered up.
Gine recoiled, a hand going to her mouth in shock. Raditz adopted a proud look, knowing where this was going. Kakarot just looked down at the floor, his expression hidden from me. Elery seemed to realize how he was feeling but didn't know how to comfort him. Or if she should try at all.
"Bardock became a Super Saiyan," I told the crowd, much to their elation. That was true. I was just lying about why he became a Super Saiyan and leaving out our initial fight before setting our differences aside to unite against Frieza. "The three of us fought against Frieza, but even with the three of us, Frieza was a powerful opponent. Far beyond anything we could have imagined. He ripped the Warworld from the sky and crashed it into Planet Vegeta… more than that, he was strong."
"Vegeta was killed. So was Bardock. Both of them died setting up a trap - The Warworld self-destructed, creating the black hole that enveloped the system. I was the only one that survived the fight," I finished.
The sound of cheering masked the sound of Gine crying into her hands. Kakarot looked up at me with a distant expression, like he could see right through me. As if he could see every lie that I just said.
Mom let out a breath and walked forward, reaching out with a fist and lightly jabbing me in the shoulder. She offered me a wan smile, a sad look in her eye. "Your brother finally outdid you, huh?"
I offered a meek smile in return, not trusting myself to say anything in response to that. For most of our lives, Vegeta had found himself in my shadow. I hadn't believed it or thought he was… but he clearly had. So, this would be how he was remembered. As a Super Saiyan and the heir to our race. He lost nothing to me.
Instead, I looked out to the crowd and took a step forward. "The fight isn't over yet," I told them, making them quiet down. "The Saiyan race is free. My empire and Vegeta's are leaving the trade organization. I doubt the Cold Family will be willing to let us just leave."
That got a round of bloodthirsty smiles from the Saiyans. At one point in time, it would have shocked me to see them on what amounted to children. Most of the Saiyan race was still in their second growth spurt and a few years away from appearing like an adult.
However, one stepped forward with a frown on his face. I recognized him. A scar on his cheek that reached the side of his nose. I didn't know his name, but Elery was fond of calling him Scar-Face.
"Why should you take control over Prince Vegeta's empire?" He questioned, crossing his arms over his chest. There was a challenge in his voice. I dwarfed him in strength, and he knew that. He spoke up only out of loyalty to my brother. I could never blame him for that. Vegeta had a very different relationship with his soldiers than I did, but his respected him every bit as mine respected me.
I took a step forward, squaring my shoulders and looking out at the crowd of Saiyans. Then I pulled at that feeling in my gut.
The Super Saiyan transformation was a violent and terrible thing. The catalyst was a moment of pure mental devastation. A moment where you snapped. When something deep down inside of you broke in a way that could never fully be restored.
For Vegeta, it had been the loss of our father. For Bardock, it was the loss of the team that died at my hands.
For me, it was… betrayal. My brother betrayed me by planning to kill me. Frieza betrayed me by that farce of a peace treaty. Bardock and the team betrayed me by plotting to overthrow my family and by murdering my brother. I betrayed everything I stood for by trying to compromise with the people I loved. The sense of betrayal I felt when I realized that everything was for nothing. Nothing at all.
The Super Saiyan transformation dredged all of that up. The wounds were already raw since it hadn't even been a full day since it happened, but as the power surged in my body, an aura of gold shimmering around me as my black hair flashed gold and my eyes blue… it felt like I was there again. The wounds were just as fresh as the first time I experienced them. That anguish felt like it was going to destroy me.
Instead, it made me stronger.
I found a reason and made a fist, completing the Super Saiyan transformation.
I said nothing. There was nothing to say. We were a species of action, after all. That much was proven when one by one, the Saiyans dropped to a knee as they looked at me with eyes filled with awe and the desire to overcome me. Every single one of them decided that they would reach this level of strength. No matter what it took.
Looking back, I saw Mom and Elery were just as shocked. Unlike the others, they understood the specifics of unlocking this transformation. Elery looked awed while Mom looked oddly sad. Looking away, I sucked in a slow breath as I felt a responsibility settle on my shoulders. One that was familiar, yet different than the one I was used to.
For the past few years, I had been the Supreme Commander.
Now, I was King. A king at peace.
Two challenges I've never experienced before.
"Now is not the time to be kneeling," I told my people as I strode through the crowd that parted for me. "There's much to do and all of you are a vital part in what comes next for our race… but first things are first," I said, reaching a holographic display. Typing up a few strokes, the hologram displayed a planet for me.
A planet that was in the boonies as far as the galaxy was concerned. Most of its surface was covered with water with several contents worth of landmass. Oxygen-based air with exactly the galactic standards for gravity. The threat level was low with primitive species populating the planet. The only noticeable thing about it was that it was located on a magical leyline in the galaxy.
It was the first planet that I had ever owned. A gift from Frieza as a reward for coming back alive from the suicide mission that instigated the war. I picked it from a catalog. It had been one of the cheapest there were, not even enough to be worth sending a team to eradicate the native population. Yet, I had picked it all the same. Because, back then, when I saw it…
I thought the word home.
"This is planet Earth," I told the Saiyans, the millions that populated the fleet.
"This will be our new home planet… and the capital of my empire."
The next chapter is currently available on my Pat re on and Subscribe Star, so if you want to read it a week early, all it takes is a single dollar in the tip jar. Or, for five dollars, you can read the chapter after that two weeks before its public release! I hope you enjoyed!