Fumetsu no Senshi Tachi Z
An Alternate Mirai Dragon Ball Z Fan Fiction by Aoikami Sarah
Written January 30th – February 23rd 2000 - Revised February 2008
Part One - Chapter One
Dozens of tired humans sat close together in the back of a truck. It bounced along at high speeds on a dirt road in the late afternoon. It wasn't safe to be out in broad daylight, but it wasn't safe anywhere. Some said that the murderers could feel your presence no matter where you were.
B.B. thought this was an exaggeration. Although the murderers were legendary, she doubted that they were supernatural. The few eye-witnesses claimed to have seen them fly, but that could be explained by technology. Although she had never seen them herself she had been quite close to them many times and always managed to come away unscathed. For this reason, those who traveled with her thought her to be a lucky charm.
She was a tough yet sweet, charismatic young girl and people tended to gravitate towards her, perhaps especially because she was strong enough that she could defend against gangs of marauding bandits looking for food or capsules or defenseless women. Although her frame didn't appear to be any stronger than the average teenage girl, B.B. could deck a full grown man in the face and send him crying for his mama.
Today, she was relatively alone. The people who were with her now had only been traveling with her for a few months. That was the way it usually went. B.B. would just get to know a group of people then they would get attacked. One or two of them would survive and she would start all over again with a new group. This cycle had gone on for as long as she could remember.
B.B.'s long, lavender hair fell into her face as he head nodded down. She was finally drifting off to sleep when the transport lurched to a sudden halt. Before the explosion got everyone else up she was on her feet and saw a fireball arch in front of the truck and knew instantly what it meant. They were here.
The truck her own transport had been following had exploded. People shrieked and began to panic. B.B. tore the truck's back gate open and helped everyone out. She barked orders to those whose fear overrode their common sense. With horror, she began to realize that they were in the middle of nowhere. There was nowhere to run. She leapt out of the truck bed and made sure that everyone was together and running away. B.B. collided with a man who was just staring back at the truck, paralyzed by fear and unable to move.
"Come on! Run!" she screamed and pushed him. He snapped out of it and charged after the others. B.B. knew that looking back was a stupid idea, but there wasn't even so much as a tree to hide behind out here on the plains. She spun and caught her first glimpse of the monsters people simply called 'the murderers'.
They lighted a few yards away and began walking leisurely towards her. One was a young man with shoulder length black hair wearing an orange neckerchief. The other was a young woman with blond hair. B.B. balled her fists and clenched her teeth. She couldn't believe they looked so normal. The idea that she might be wrong about them disappeared as they raised their hands and began firing energy blasts from their palms at the fleeing humans. B.B. stood her ground. As they approached the man sneered at her and ceased fire. He came to a stop only a few feet from her and stared.
"What?" he asked in a very nonchalant tone.
"Stop this," she managed to say without stuttering.
"Because it's wrong."
He laughed at this. "You hear that Juuhachigou?"
"Mm?" She ceased her fire and walked over to him. She scrunched up her nose as she noticed B.B. "What are you doing?"
"I suppose I'm having a conversation," he replied snidely. "This human wants us to know that what we're doing is wrong."
B.B. hoped in vain that they'd see the light - that all they needed was to be told this and they would stop.
"Well, I'm sorry to inform you, little human, but we don't care." The man raised his hand to finish her.
"Juunanagou, Wait!" Juuhachigou grabbed his arm and smiled. "Don't kill it yet, please?"
"Why? You want to torture it? I don't think that would be much fun. It's not afraid of us."
"Well, not necessarily. I want to keep it."
"What?" Juunanagou's eyes bulged. "You can't be serious."
The blond shrugged. "I always wanted a pet."
B.B. had them fooled for now; she was terrified. They weren't going to kill her, at least not yet. She was ready to die but she always wished that her death would be quick. She'd seen too many wounded people die slow deaths in her short lifetime. If they were going to play around with her, it might take a while and she didn't think she could handle that and still keep her cool. Hey mind reeled as she tried to think of what to do or say next.
"That's ridiculous! I'm going to kill her." Juunanagou raised his hand again. B.B. panicked. The others were still running away, but if she could delay the murderers a little longer, she thought, maybe more people would survive. She growled and charged the man called Number Seventeen. He blocked her punches easily, but she didn't quit. Her energy level rose as she fought. Juunanagou yawned as he batted her away. She landed in a pile a few hundred feet from him. He laughed to his blond companion and got ready to fire off the killing blow. B.B. got to her feet and staggered towards him. Both murderers looked surprised that she was able to do this. Juunanagou made a face and charged up. B.B. did the same.
"Juunanagou, don't! Can't you feel that?" The blond jumped in front of him. "I haven't felt a human ki like that in a long time. She's got potential."
"What do you mean, potential?"
"Think about it. If she gets strong enough, she may be a fun match for us!"
The word 'fun' sparked Juunanagou's interest. "What are you suggesting, my Sister? That we keep her and train her ourselves?"
B.B. was surprised to hear him call her by a gender pronoun. She stood and furrowed her brows at them. Juuhachigou approached her.
"Would you like that? To become strong enough to fight us, hm?" She looked the girl up and down. "Would you like to live?"
B.B. didn't answer her. Juuhachigou smiled and nodded. "I'll take that as a 'yes'." She stepped forward, grasped the girl around the waist and flew off. Her brother wasn't happy. He sneered, darted after the few remaining humans, mowed them down and took off after Juuhachigou.
The murderers took B.B. to a mansion they had taken as their own. Juunanagou watched B.B. as Juuhachigou fashioned a cage from steel I-beams. She bent the last one into place and pushed the girl into the enclosure.
"We're going out to have some fun. We'll be back later, ok?" she talked to her as one would talk to a puppy. "Bye-bye!" She turned to leave. B.B. stood stubbornly in the middle of the enclosure. "Oh! I almost forgot! I have to name you!"
She blinked at the woman and growled. "I have a name."
"Oh?" She seemed disappointed. "What is it?"
Juuhachigou rolled her eyes. She spied a bracelet gleaming on the girl's wrist. "Initials, huh?" The letters B.B. flashed in the light. "That's awful. I'll have to rename you."
"Well, least I'm not a number."
"Defiance. Different." She scowled at her pet briefly before smiling. "I like it. Take care, my pet. Oh, and by the way, if you try to leave us, my brother will kill you."
Juunanagou sneered and flicked his index finger off the tip of his nose at her. The siblings left her alone in the dusk.
B.B. woke in the corner of the cage. Two days had gone by and still they hadn't returned. Her stomach growled and she shook with hunger. Even a rat she could catch and eat would do, but there were surprisingly no vermin in the room that she could see. She had to get out. After pacing the walls and poking and prodding she discovered that the weakest part was a beam which Juuhachigou had bent twice before deciding on its shape. B.B. had once been able to lift a car off an injured child, so she prayed that her hunger would give her the psychotic strength she had mustered on that day.
Her hunger was unusual. She frightened people with the amounts of food she could put away. Having gone without for forty-eight hours, B.B. was practically foaming at the mouth. She squared her stance, spit in her hands and gripped the I-beam.
"Come on, you!!" she cried as she pulled at it as hard as she could. Her stomach urged her on. Soon, the beam began to slowly bend. B.B. laughed maniacally as she saw her progress and screamed out as she gave it her all. At last, the bar gaped sufficiently and she fell as her strength gave out. B.B. laughed crazily, stood and rubbed her rear. "Now for some food!" She danced out of the cage and took off in search of something to eat.
"Here Koneko, Koneko! I brought you some toys!" Juuhachigou called sweetly as she entered the house. She had a bag over her shoulder.
"Honestly, Juuhachi, this is just weird."
Juunanagou snorted then burst out laughing at the look on his sister's face as she took in the empty cage. She dropped the bag and gaped at the bent bars. Boxing gloves, weights, clothes and the like spilled from the bag. She fumed.
"I'll go get her." Juunanagou offered then affected mock-pity. "I guess we'll have to put her down."
"No! I'll find her."
The new look on her face was enough to convince Juunanagou to lay off, for now.
B.B. ran towards to mansion with a pack on her back. She leapt over buildings which her captors had laid in ruin many years ago. A debate raged in her head. She wanted to turn and run in the opposite direction as fast as she could, but her feet took her back to the murderers. She was the only human who was privy to their lives. Perhaps being so close to them, she could find a way to defeat them. This hope alone drove her back to them when every other sense told her to flee.
Suddenly Juuhachigou landed in front of her. B.B. jumped back and put her fists up.
"So, my little Koneko flew the coup. Impressive work, by the way. You should have told me the steel wouldn't hold you."
"I didn't think I could do it," B.B. admitted flatly.
"No matter. You escaped. My brother wants to kill you and you've just given him a blank check. You must really want to die."
"I was starving, you idiot! You left me without food or water for two days!"
Juuhachigou looked shocked. "Oh, I guess I forgot about that." She pouted and stepped forward. B.B. blinked at her and realized she meant to pick her up again. She jumped back another five feet and glared at the killer.
"I can walk."
"Oh, suit yourself," she sighed and followed her back to the house.
A small child smiled as he was handed capsules full of food. He thanked the woman who gave them to him and ran back to his friends. The woman smiled back and straightened stiffly. She gripped her cane, said good-bye to the head of the shelter and got back in her air-car.
The landscape blurred under her. Towns and villages; shells of human habitats loomed and disappeared as she passed them by. The car slowed as it reached the outskirts of the Western Capital. It veered south and came to rest on the grass in the countryside. The woman emerged slowly, lifting her lame leg out first. She leaned on the cane and limped up a small hill. Several, flat stones were laid out in a line at the top of the hill. The cherry trees behind them were heavy with blooms. Soft, pink petals drifted down onto the short grass. She took a small bouquet of wild roses out from the folds of her jacket and placed one, red flower on each grave.
"Hey, guys. What's up?" Bulma asked. She gingerly seated herself between the two leftmost plots and picked at the grass. Her eyes glistened. She laid down and put her hands behind her head. The sky was almost completely blue. She watched the few small, puffy clouds drift by. "Today was ok," she sighed. "Could have been better. There's a lot fewer people in P-Town that the last time I checked, and they're all hungry and scared." Her lip quivered. "I'm doing the best I can without you, but..." Tears rolled out of the corners of her eyes. "I hate it. I can't stand the suffering! It never stops, no matter how much I do they come along and undo it!" Bulma pounded her fists against the ground, as if to beat against their chests. "I don't want to fight anymore. Why couldn't they have finished the job all those years ago? Why did I live?! Why did you leave me?! I want to be with you!" she sobbed heavily and curled up on her side. The tears coursed down the furrow of a deep, old scar on her cheek. She faced the last gravestone and wiped her face. "Why am I still here, Vegeta?"
"Because you're strong."
She stopped crying and blinked at the stone. Bulma shook her head and made a face. Then she pursed her lips and leaned in towards her former lover's final resting place. "Vegeta?" she asked in a whisper.
"Yes?" The voice echoed in her head with a slight laugh.
Bulma scrambled away from the grave with a yelp and the voice laughed heartily - a laugh she hadn't heard in fifteen years. "What the hell?!"
"Hell? Unfortunately, no."
"It- it's really you! Oh, it's you, Vegeta! And you're in heaven?!"
"Don't rub it in, Woman."
She looked to the stone and began babbling through her tears.
"If I told you I'm in heaven, why are you looking down?!"
"Sorry! Oh, Vegeta, I want to be with you guys so badly!"
"Don't be stupid. You're alive for a reason."
"And what is that?!" she barked at him as if no time had gone by at all. "I have nothing! All my friends are dead." She began to cry again. "Oh, Vegeta, I'm sorry. I lost her."
"Our daughter! Bra is dead."
"No she's not. She lives."
Bulma stopped her bawling and stared at the sky. "What?!"
"The girl is alive, are you dense?" He growled, irritated. "Look, I don't have much time..."
Bulma gasped. "Vegeta, where is she?!"
"I can't tell you."
"Why not?!" she demanded.
"Because she's unreachable. If she succeeds in her endeavor, I'll try to contact you again and tell you where to find her."
Bulma pouted at the sky. "What do you mean, her endeavor? What is she doing?"
"Same thing you're doing - trying to save the world. You can't help her. It's too dangerous. Just wait."
Bulma slumped to the ground and began to sob again.
"Bulma…" She looked up, surprised to hear him call her by her name. "I have to go." She tried to protest. "It's not my choice... Alright, alright! Get away from me!"
"Ugh. Kakarotto and his friends say hello. There, satisfied? Good. Now back off!"
Bulma realized he was talking to the other Z Warriors and looked to the other graves with a smile. "Hi guys!"
She fought the desire to beg him to keep talking to her. "Good-bye, Vegeta. I..."
"Woman," he cut her off. "Take your time getting here."
Bulma smiled at the sky. She still knew how to translate Vegeta-ese. "Ok." A light breeze blew strands of her aqua hair and cherry petals around her head. They brushed by her cheek. Bulma stood and stared at the blue. "Vegeta...?"
She smiled wider and waved at the clouds. "Bye!" she cried again, half in sadness, half in joy. Her daughter was alive and was fighting the Jinzouningen in her own way... out there somewhere.
Juunanagou threw punch after punch at the girl they called Koneko which she blocked with some difficulty. He got progressively faster. Soon, she couldn't keep up and took a hit to the midsection. She got the wind knocked out of her and landed squarely on her back.
"Oi," she moaned as her wind came back. The killer whistled his boredom for effect as she dragged herself to her feet. "Ok. Let's go."
Juuhachigou watched and made sure her brother didn't go too hard on her soft, squishable pet. After a few hours and a few near K.O.s she declared this round over. Koneko crawled up the front stairs back to her room. Her right eye was swollen shut and some of her ribs were heavily bruised. The bed her captors had given her felt heavenly as she flopped down on it. Juuhachigou had even included a down comforter and lots of pillows. She sighed and looked up at the ceiling.
"Good job, today, Koneko." Juuhachigou stood in the doorway with her arms folded.
"Goodnight, rest well. We'll most likely kill you in the morning."
She had said that every night for last three weeks. Koneko closed her eyes and rolled over painfully. She saw their forms fly by outside her window. It was late, but Koneko had been paying attention to the monsters and realized that they not only didn't eat; they didn't sleep. It was getting harder for her to disregard the idea that they were somehow magical. There had to be an explanation.
Koneko grew bored waiting for them to return one day and wandered the house. They had told her that if she set foot outside the grounds without their permission they would know and she would die. She knew already that they could find her wherever she was. That legend was true. Now she was looking to prove another legend false.
The house was full of all kinds of electronic devices and generators. She noticed that many of them were hacked together from bits of other things. The wiring was often exposed, but well done. Many of the pieces were unfamiliar, but she recognized a few diagnostic tools. Picking a voltage meter wand up, an idea formed. Koneko wasn't just strong, she was smart, too. If she could take the things they had made apart, she could get an idea of how they thought and just how smart they were. She investigated an audio video unit and smiled. The killers knew their stuff. Disregarding the fact that her 'hosts' would most probably not be happy with her messing with their stuff, she began to take the unit apart.
In a few hours, Koneko began to put the set-up back together. She followed their design and put every circuit back exactly where they had placed it. She plugged the DC adapter back into the power source as Juunanagou entered the room.
"And just what do you think you're doing?"
"Staving off boredom," she said plainly and turned the monitor on. The test pattern displayed as if no one had ever touched it.
He approached and examined the unit with a displeased look on his usually stoic face. "You took it apart?"
"Mmhm, and put it back together. This is pretty good work." She waved a multi-purpose tool at him. Her pale, purple hair was up in a pony tail, but some of it had fallen out while she worked. She blew the stray strands away from her face and waited for his reaction.
"Hm. Are you ready for your daily beating?"
Koneko was disappointed that he avoided giving her any inside information. "Sure." She put the tool down and followed him out to the front lawn.
Koneko smashed through a marble statuary in the garden. She growled and leapt at Juunanagou. She was cut off by Juuhachigou and took up her fight with her instead. After some time had gone by, Juunanagou jumped back in. The siblings were vying for a chance to fight the teen. Koneko saw this and smiled as she took a kick to the lower back. She hit the ground hard, but arched her back and flipped out of the crater she had created.
"We're going to have to find a new sparring ground," Juunanagou declared. "This one's more hole than ground."
His sister nodded. They both looked to each other. Koneko waited for their next move.
"The ground is overrated." Juuhachigou pouted.
"Mm. I wish it could fly."
"Well, how do you fly?" Koneko asked. They ignored her.
"Maybe there's a way we can get her to propel herself with her ki energy. It is fairly high and she does already use it to burst forward," Juuhachigou looked at the girl and wondered.
"I have an idea." Juunanagou stepped forward and smiled evilly. He grabbed Koneko and threw her several hundred feet into the air. She screamed and Juuhachigou smacked the side her brother's head.
"You idiot, you're going to break her!" She walked around looking up, trying to position herself under the girl. She folded her arms and waited. The scream approached again as Koneko plummeted from the sky, head first. Before Juuhachigou could open her arms to catch her, she curved and buzzed them.
"Woo hoo!!!" she cried as she controlled her ki and swooped over the killers. Juunanagou laughed as he always did at the startled look on his sister's face and followed Koneko.
Life with the pair homicidal maniacs was turning out to be a lot cushier than Koneko could have ever imagined. She hadn't seen anyone die for a month now. They treated her well, when they were around. Even her training was never overly rough. Juuhachigou was always there to prevent Juunanagou from going too far.
Koneko heard the microwave beep and went into the kitchen to get her cup-o-noodles. She had fixed all the appliances in the house that they hadn't made operational due to lack of interest and hooked them up to generators. Even the garbage disposal worked (although, at first, the teen who had lived hand-to-mouth her whole life had no idea what the device was for). She plopped down on a dusty couch and decided to try to find a video signal.
With the touch of a button the receiver zipped through the available frequencies. Station after station the channel displayed snow static. Finally, it stopped on channel 54. The picture was fuzzy but the audio was good. The anchor was telling the public where to find water and food. He seemed to be talking in code. Koneko watched closely, glad to see another human's face. She wished the picture was better.
"We have word that P-Town has been hit again. This seems to be the monsters' favorite location recently. We at channel 54 would warn those who live there to flee, but…" The small box above the anchor's shoulder zoomed in, showing explosions in a city. A bridge with a huge, tattered flag and cars on it crumbled and fell into a river. "Reports are saying that this is a cleansing sweep. There will most likely be no one left."
Koneko leaned closer and made out Juuhachigou's shape dart from building to building. She landed very close to the camera. The anchor gasped. The screen went blank as an energy beam shot out of Juuhachigou's hand. "I'm sorry," Koneko whispered.
"About what?" Juunanagou asked from behind her.
Koneko cried out, jumped up and turned off the set. "Why the hell can't I feel you guys coming?" she shouted. "And why aren't you out there wasting people?"
"Eh, I got bored." He ignored the personal question as usual, came up behind her, extended his index finger and stroked the back of her neck.
She tensed and gasped lightly. Her eyes stared straight ahead, unblinking. She had wondered when it would come to this.
"I thought I could have way more fun back here." The monster pressed up against her back and brought his hands up over her breasts.
Koneko growled and grabbed his hands. "No."
Juunanagou laughed lightly, erasing all hope that he would obey her wishes. If he could take her out on the battle field, he could easily force her into this. "You afraid?"
"Then why are you shaking?" He smiled sickly.
Koneko growled again. This time she tried hard to worm her way out of his grip. He spun her around to face him and laughed again. It was as if she hadn't done anything to struggle at all and she had given it all she had. She brought up her knee to meet his groin, but he caught it easily and held her still with the other hand. Juunanagou grabbed the back of her head and kissed her. She hissed and tried to fight him. "Cut it out," he said dryly and threw her to the floor. Koneko scrambled on all fours to get away, but he grabbed her hips and ripped her pants off of her with one pull.
"No!!" she cried out as defiantly as she could muster.
"Shut up! You scream again and you die." The killer sneered as he took himself out of his pants.
The heavens darkened and thunder boomed over the house as Juunanagou forced himself on the fifteen year-old.
When Juuhachigou returned she wondered why her pet wasn't ready to spar like she usually was. She found her brother sitting on a large window sill smoking a cigarette. She raised a suspicious eyebrow at this.
"You took off early today."
"Yeah, I had something I needed to take care of."
She squinted at her brother and walked fairly briskly to Koneko's room. "If he's killed her, I'm not going to be a happy camper." The lights were off and the curtains were drawn.
"Koneko?" she asked, knowing full well that she was under the covers. There was no response. "What did Juunanagou do to you?" She sounded annoyed.
"What does a cold-blooded killer like you care?" she muttered from under the comforter.
"You are mine. I want to know if he's damaged you in any way."
A short laugh. "You could say that."
"Are you hurt?" she asked.
"It's not like that..." she trailed off. The tears were coming again.
Juuhachigou had heard crying many times. She knew the different types of human sadness through the sound of the crying. Men's, women's, pleas for mercy, shock, horror - these were all familiar. This kind she had only heard from women around her brother when he couldn't help himself. Juuhachigou boiled over and stomped out of the room. Koneko burst into tears finally and sobbed loudly.
"Juunanagou? You had sex with my Koneko?!" she yelled at him.
"Oh yeah. I'll tell you, she does it just like she fights." He noticed his sister was unhappy. "Should I have asked your permission first?"
"I wouldn't have granted it. You know that. Besides, she's only a girl."
Juunanagou jumped down off the sill and crushed the cigarette out with his sneaker. "Juuhachi, are you getting all soft on me? That sounds like something a human would say."
"No. She belongs to me and I don't approve of you doing that to something I own."
He could tell that she was really cross and decided make amends. "If it makes you feel better," he emphasized the word to rub it in, "I won't do it again." Juunanagou gave her a smarmy smile and walked out the front door.
"The damage is done, Juunanagou. She's under her covers shaking like a rabbit! How do you expect her to be a decent fighter if she's psychologically scarred?"
"You're the one who wants a fighter," he whined. Juuhachigou pouted. He had her there. "Oh! Speaking of scarred, I think I've learned something interesting about your animal that may explain her, shall we say, unique strength."
Juuhachigou continued to pout, but listened.
"She has a strange scar at the base of her spine as if something were removed there." He waited to see if she could guess where he was going.
"As if what was removed, Juunanagou? Don't play that game, just tell me."
He snorted and folded his arms. "I think she used to have a tail."
"That's ridiculous. Humans don't have tails."
"No. Humans don't." He waited again. His sister could be so dense.
"But, the only species with tails I can think of are…" She stared at her brother. The smile on his lips told her she was on the right track. "Nah..." She shook her head. "We got rid of them years ago!"
"How many years ago, Juuhachigou?"
"Well, the younger one recently. About half a year ago? And the older one..."
He got impatient and finished her thought. "About fifteen years ago."
"You don't mean...?"
"Oh." She raised her brows slightly. "Well, that is interesting. Thank you Juunanagou."
"Does that mean I can keep..."
Juuhachigou stood by the bed and looked down at the form under the covers. She folded her arms and waited. The shape sobbed twice and slowly emerged. Koneko sat up and looked at the floor.
"For what it's worth..." the killer said to her in a flat tone. "I'm sorry."
Koneko looked up, very surprised at her. She shrugged a little and hugged herself.
"He won't do it again." Juuhachigou turned and left as she began to feel awkward.
To be continued…