Note:  I intended for this to be the second to last chapter of the story.  I can't believe it is almost finished!  However, I once again underestimated the amount of writing it would take to portray the next few events.  The events in this chapter are crucial to the set-up of the conclusion so I needed to spend enough time to portray them properly.  For this reason there will be two more chapters as well.  The next chapter will conclude the events up to the destruction of Vegetasei.

Next, I'll be working on the next chapter of Machine Planet and then will bring you Death Knell For Vegetasei Part 3 followed by the conclusion soon.

I have also decided to work on Machine Planet and Vegeta Trilogy: Part 2- The Angel of Death concurrently because Angel's events have a lot of bearing on what happens in Machine Planet.  It will make the events in Machine Planet make more sense if the back-story can be read as well.  What this means is that I will be continuing to write 2 stories at once alternating chapters until both of these are finished.  After that we will see how I manage my stories.

Chapter 12: Death Knell for Vegetasei- Part 2

2 Weeks Before the Destruction of Vegetasei:

Ice leaned on the bar lazily sipping her drink.  She was beginning to feel warm and she couldn't afford to be impaired by liquor, her senses had to remain sharp.  Of course it wasn't her fault that her quarry hadn't shown up yet making it necessary for her to order more to drink as cover, she had to avoid suspicion.  However, she did appreciate how it took the edge of her nerves, no matter how many times she had done it she always felt a little anxious when she was about to move on her target or targets.

Nonchalantly she swiveled in her seat so she could observe her mark.  The daidaiirojin man was looking at the door again no doubt in anxious expectation of the man she awaited as well despite his calm demeanor.  He had to be the commander's contact.  He was a man of average height and medium build with refined but masculine features.  He had a dignified air about him as he sat quietly perusing his surroundings.  Letting her eyes linger on his face for a moment she was once again struck with the feeling that she had seen him somewhere before but for some reason, maybe because of the alcohol or due to the obscurity of the meeting, she couldn't remember him. 

Ice carefully avoided his piercing black eyes and turned back around as the man swept his gaze across the room.  She smiled briefly as she stared into the amber liquid, Lady Endou was certainly shrewd to choose to hide amongst a group of refugee daidaiirojin.  No one would ever think that the species most recently decimated by the saiyajin would be harboring a group of defectors.

An almost unnoticeable squeak and the rush of cold air alerted her to a new arrival.  Glancing up she saw him.  A cloak fell about his massive shoulders and he sneered as he took in his surroundings.  Apparently even he found the run-down dive a little beneath his taste.  He was searching for his contact and the disguised tsirijin wondered what the man would think when he realized his contact was not saiyajin.

Carefully, the daidaiirojin man set his glass at the table edge and bumped it off.  Glass shattered into tiny shards with a ring catching the ears of many.  Next, jumping up with a curse the man shouted to the barmaid across the way.  "Clean up this mess and bring me another drink at once" he demanded angrily.

Nappa eyed the man derisively.  That little show apparently had been the prearranged signal for he walked purposely to the table despite his apparent discomfort with the other man's race.

"You must be who I'm supposed to see," he growled lowly in suspicion.

"If you sit down perhaps I'll answer" the daidaiirojin man answered deadpan.

Huffing the saiyajin complied.  "Tell me where Lady Endou is worm" Nappa threatened with a sneer "and why isn't she here?"

A brief flicker of anger danced across the man's tangerine features before he once again rearranged his visage neutrally.  "Its best we say as little as possible now" the man chastised standing up leaving a gapping Nappa at the table.  "Meet me in front of the tavern in 10 minutes."

The barmaid, with his replacement drink in hand, stared quizzically at the man while he brushed past her.

"Give it to this gentleman" he told her with a smile as he exited.

This was Ice's signal to leave as well so she carefully laid an extra unit of currency in the tip jar and rose to her feet.  Pulling the hood up about her face she carefully avoided looking in the commander's direction.  Her disguise was that of an easily nondescript kagamijin girl, just like one of the many thousands who worked hard in the nearby factories and frequented places like this run down dive with men after hours.  She couldn't let Nappa see her eyes or he would know what she truly was.  Anonymity had been the Shadow Sisterhood's ally through out history.  No one knowing the female tsirijin's gift of shape shifting was essential for the success of their endeavors, serving whomever their master might be.  Although most do not overly question why someone from a species that was not known to possess violet eyes would have this odd eye color a few had caught on.  All of them had to be eliminated, except for those they worked with.  Seeing her training with the prince Nappa was now privy to this secret and could be alerted if she was not careful.  Thankfully he never looked-up as Ice walked past him, she would have hated to end his life prematurely even if she would have to kill him later anyway.  Slipping unnoticed out the front door she was assaulted by the biting air awaking her slightly from the dulling effects of the alcohol.  It felt good, like home, and she inhaled the frigid air appreciatively.  Looking up she scanned the area for a place of concealment and saw a building across the way noting the vapor curl her exhalation left in the air.  Making her way across the road she slid into the shadow of a structure and halted.  Surveying her surroundings once more she tore off the cloak and faded into the night.  Now all she had to do was wait.

***

Raditz shuttered awake violently as he was slammed against the wall of his pod.  His head spun furiously as he braced himself against the seat trying to keep from being thrown again as the ship bucked and rocked.  It suddenly abated leaving him breathless, staring wide-eyed at the multitude of flashing indicator lights.  Taking a deep breath he tried to slow his heart rate and his sleep-gas induced grogginess began to clear.  For several more moments he still felt like he was part of a surreal dream bathed in intermittent crimson flashes of light.  Unmoving he sat until a crackling and buzzing at his ear drew his attention.

"…ditz are…alright?" he heard his squad captain's voice say.

The longhaired saiyajin swore under his breath realizing that whatever had just happened had seriously damaged his communications.  "Commander, I can barely hear you.  I'm alright" Raditz began before he was muted by the loud groan traveling down the length of the capsule "But I don't think my pod is" he added hastily.

The earpiece crackled once more: "Raditz…hear…struck by…not in charts."

The saiyajin looked back over his shoulder and pressed his face into the porthole.  He could see a vaporous cloud of white trailing in his wake and his stomach dropped to his knees as he noted the hunks of metal, and rock flying off into the starry abyss of space.

"If you just said I was struck by an uncharted asteroid I'd say you are right" he confirmed lowly.

Another tremor assaulted the craft and he closed his eyes willing himself to be calm.

"Only…away from planet…according to Z…Can you make it?" the Commander asked.

"Maybe" he gulped over a dry throat "but whether I'll make it through planet fall is another question."

 "Stay with…after landing" the static reply began "We'll locate you…completed….do you copy?"

"Sure" Raditz growled sullenly.  "The mission comes first, I understand.  I'll see you after I land, if I survive, that is.  Good Luck."

His only answer was an unintelligible burst of static followed by a dull buzzing sound leaving the oldest son of Bardock alone with unsettling thoughts of his own mortality to contemplate.

***

Vegeta growled as he lazily drifted down the moving sidewalk leaving the training rooms behind him.   There was not a word that could accurately explain his state of mind.  On one hand he was extremely bored, with both Nappa and Ice gone all he had to fight were the pitiful saibamen.   He was frustrated that Freeza still hadn't given him the assignment that was promised him but still there was the tantalizing prospect of being left to one's own devices.  Since the moment he had come to stay on the tsirijin's ship he had not once been left alone so it was liberating not to have someone looking over his shoulder for a change.

"Well, well" an annoying voice teased "if it isn't Freeza's little pet monkey.  I think he's lost."

"Who let you out of your cage frog face?" the little prince bit back sneering over his shoulder.  He glared peevishly at the smallest member of Freeza's elite team.  The little alien really annoyed him.

"Why you little pest you can't talk to me like that" Gurdo huffed blowing his cheeks up in frustration.  "I am a member of the elite Ginyu Force."

"The weakest member of the Ginyu Force," Vegeta challenged impishly.  "You are even weaker than Dodoria Four-eyes and, in case you've forgotten, I've beaten him in battle."

"I could destroy you anytime I want kid" Gurdo snapped his face turning a bizarre-shade of purple.

"Is that a challenge?" the boy egged.  He saw with satisfaction that the short alien had evidently taken his bait, maybe he would get a decent battle this week after all.

"You may regret asking me that without your little nanny here to rescue you this time" the alien said effectively hitting his mark.

"I'm not under anyone's supervision accept for Freeza's" the boy snarled.

"Oh really monkey-boy, that's not what I heard" Gurdo continued.  "I heard that Freeza had you under the charge of a suitable wet-nurse the moment you stepped onto the ship."

Finally, the boy's bad mood reached the breaking point and his Ki erupted in a brilliant show of blue flame.  His loss of composure was accompanied by a loss of care about honorable warfare and duels and replaced by a mad desire to pound the little green alien to a pulp.  Before the hapless Gurdo knew what had struck him he was flying through the air, the doors to the mess hall and squarely into the middle of a table occupied by dining troops. 

Their hoarse gasps of outrage and surprise vanished as the saiyajin child landed on the table's edge and sent it, along with their already ruined meals and the stunned Gurdo, to the ceiling.  The dining table immediately plummeted landing squarely on a group of 20 soldiers at another dinning station with a tremendous crash.  The entire room was silent except for several of the company that began furiously heaving the table off of their compatriots that were hammered into the ground by the enormous projectile.

"Hey twerp!" a large horned soldier barked from his right. "That was our dinner you ruined."

The saiyajin, who was about to address the angry man over his shoulder, was distracted by the cries of anguish shouts of those across the room where the table had landed.

"He's dead" one man cried angrily.  He rose to his full height and gestured spasmodically in his direction.  "He killed him, that little bastard killed him."  The man threateningly approached the small boy towering over him.  "Who the hell do you think you are?"

"I am Vegeta Saiyajin no Ouji and I could careless about you or your pathetic excuse for a squad mate" the boy said crossing his arms over his chest. "I answer to no one but Freeza."

"I'll be sure that Lord Freeza hears about this!" the man bellowed at the small boy.

Still feeling the symptoms of antagonistic irritability the boy merely shot out a leg slamming the man onto the floor.  As the man writhed on the floor the outraged shouts of his companions met Vegeta's ears like a sweet song.  A quick smirk lit his face as he gave way to the savage natural bloodlust of his people.  He laughed triumphantly as he was lunged at from every side and evaded their every move felling them without so much as a flick of his wrist or a light tap of his gold-tipped boots.  He most definitely wasn't bored anymore.

***

Ice silently ghosted the two men as they walked through the darkened streets.  Not one of the native populace was out at this time of night, they were all snuggly ensconced in their modest dwellings and their indoor lights spilled unobtrusively out from their high roof windows appearing to give each house its own holy corona. 

Nappa clumsily and suspiciously followed the daidaiirojin man frequently glancing over his shoulder.  Perhaps the big saiyajin sensed her presence somehow or, more than likely, the nervous fear he had of failing was making him jumpy.  It was plain to see he was not used to undercover and covert missions.  The daidaiirojin, however was a perfect study in calm unobtrusive travel.  His eyes probed the darkness ahead and his feet never faltered as he moved quickly and silently forward.  He was obviously accustomed to life on the run but he lacked the hard edge of a soldier, he was not comfortable in the role although he played it well.  This further ignited her curiosity as to his identity.

Abruptly the man in the lead turned into a small walled and gated house.  Quickly Ice levitated over the obstacle and stopped hovering slightly above the ground next to the door.  The contact man frowned as his platinum hair stirred in the slight breeze from her quick movement.  Carefully she quieted her breathing as she hung precariously close to her target.

"What are you waiting for?" Nappa growled impatiently at the man.

Without a word to the saiyajin he raised his arm and gently tapped at the doors in a brisk manner.  Ice could see what Nappa couldn't and it was apparent this man found the saiyajin more than a little grating, not that she could blame him.

A young daidaiirojin woman tentatively opened the door a crack and peeked outside.  Her face lit up with relieved recognition and she stood aside quickly opening the door for the guests.  Ice darted in the door and backed up against the wall next to the jam and watched as the two men entered through the threshold.

Once they had closed the door she looked about the room.  It was neatly furnished with deep forest green carpeting and large overstuffed chairs and couches.  The walls held holoplates with many scenes of a vaguely familiar lush green place as well as many daidaiirojin men and women leading her to believe the house probably belonged to the man who had led Nappa there.  Ice stopped herself short and shook her head in disbelief.  She had no idea why she was finding herself trying to get a sense of the life of a person she had been sent to kill.  She had always been able to distance herself when she was about to make a kill but lately she just couldn't seem to be cold and distant.  She turned toward the murmuring sound and her stomach dropped.  There were more people here clustered at the far end of the room around a large table than she had thought would be here.  There were far more people than she had come to kill.

Ice immediately recognized the saiyajin assembled, the former Royal Advisor Nonniku, the former representatives Hakusai and Tororo, the former minister of science Gaarikhu with his mate Negi and of course Lady Endou the former minister of trade, but they were flanked by two rough looking daidaiirojin men on either side, as well as a small knot of daidaiirojin standing directly behind Lady Endou's seat that she had never see before.  Among the group was an older daidaiirojin woman holding a small black-haired child, two roughly middle-aged men and the younger woman who had opened the door and admitted them. 

Ice immediately noticed child's orangeish skin tone, wild black hair and brownish prehensile tail and from the commander's sneering face she knew that he had noticed as well.  She looked to Ice as if she couldn't have been more than two standard years old which put her conception close to the time the small group of saiyajin had defected…the same age her Lealia would have been had she not been killed by Freeza.

"I had no idea you miserable traitors had sunk low enough to spawn half-breed whelps" Nappa growled dangerously.

Ice couldn't help but flinch at the sting in his words.  The saiyajin were as bad about interspecies breeding as the tsirijin.  A member of her own race could have just as easily directed those words at her.  Why Freeza had simply stopped with the murder of her child and not killed her as well as the law dictated she didn't know.  She could only surmise he had something else in store for her in the future. 

"Daddy" the small girl squealed impatiently squirming in the arms of the elderly daidaiirojin female her cherubic face alight with delight. 

"Mother could you please take her from the room," the daidaiirojin man requested sternly "she should not be here."  His jaw was set in anger and fearful tension and the tsirijin couldn't help but notice the momentary glare he exchanged with Lady Endou.

Ice looked at the stern faced woman who set her steely ebony gaze upon the commander.  "I have nothing to hide or be ashamed of" she said evenly.   She was indomitable and unafraid.  In the cabinet meetings she had always been unreserved in her interjections of opinion, never apologizing if they flew in the face of saiyajin tradition or the position of the King.   It was good to see that she had not changed despite the horrible dishonor of being disowned by her own race and the throne she had steadfastly had served.

"You have to wait until later sweet one" the older woman whispered softly to the girl and was rewarded with a torrent of tears gushing from the child's eyes.  "Anyone having nothing to do with this meeting come with me," she said with authority turning to exit.  The others fell in with parting glances some laced with curiosity, suspicion, or fear at the tall saiyajin as they left.

"Disgusting" Nappa spat as they filed out of the room.  "If King Vegeta hadn't specifically told me to deliver a message to you I'd leave."

Ice felt the slight fire of anger ignite within her breast with his words and she tried to shake the feeling.  This had nothing to do with her or her situation.  It was a job and nothing more.  Just another assassination among the many she had performed over the years.  She couldn't let her emotions get drawn into the picture.  She tried to will herself to move but it was impossible as she watched the daidaiirojin man stiffly walked to the table and sat down noisy pulling his chair up to the table.

"What are these three orange faces still doing here?" Nappa demanded stalking to the table and slamming his hands, palm down, in front of Lady Endou.  Trust Nappa to be more concerned with the obsessive protection of saiyajin purity than an important meeting.

"I am here because this is my house and those two men are in my employ," the daidaiirojin man snapped "you are in no position to be making demands or questioning anyone here under my protection."

"I don't plan on staying here any longer than I have to" Nappa snarled turning his attention to the man "I can't stand the smell of your animal filth for much longer."

"Get the Hell out of my house" he ordered dangerously "I don't care if you do have a message from the Saiyajin King himself."

"Commander Nappa! Ambassador Melon!" Lady Endou interjected abruptly rising to her feet.  "Are we here to argue like weakling children or to conduct a meeting?" 

After hearing his name she at last knew who this mysterious benefactor of the saiyajin deserters was.  Ambassador Melon was the liaison the daidaiirojin queen had sent to Vegetasei and he had stayed there for a good few months working on a trade agreement.  Obviously that is where she had seen him before.

"You don't mean to listen to him Endou" Melon berated her "he is just the sort of miscreant you left Vegetasei to avoid."

Nappa curled his lip in disgust.  It was obvious from the look on his face he had no idea what the daidaiirojin called him but he knew it wasn't good.

"I will hear him" Endou insisted "I have not signed off on my entire race." Endou deliberately turned from Melon with a haughty toss of her ebony mane and dignifiedly descended into her chair again bestowing her full attention on the giant saiyajin.  "Now, I am very interested to discover what King Vegeta could possibly want from a group of defectors who you so utterly despise."

Ice felt very moved by this woman who kept her quiet dignity about her.  She was beautiful, intelligent and insightful yet the King had rejected her and disowned her.  Her own people had turned their backs on her and yet she wouldn't turn her back on them.  How could she kill this woman that she couldn't help feel somehow akin to?  This woman who had a half-breed child and spoke with courage to a man who spoke against it?

In answer the large saiyajin wordlessly drew the flat disk from his uniform and tossed it to the saiyajin woman.  Endou delicately held it between her thumb and her index finger raising her eyebrows at the insignia on its face.  "A top secret communication" she observed.

"Bring a portable screen for her" Melon ordered one of the burley guards.

The former government official took the disc and placed it in the player handed to her.  Ice watched the pained expression that came over the woman's face as the Monarch's image appeared on the screen.  It grew more troubled as he explained his daring plan and she and the others fell into stunned silence when it was through. 

"Commander" she at last said "I accept this honor.  I don't want our Prince in that bloodthirsty barbarian's hands."

Ice couldn't miss the look of horror that crossed former ambassador's tangerine features as the words fell from her lips.

"I concur" the old advisor intoned soberly.

"It is our duty" Tororo added "and responsibility."

"The bloodline of the legendary must live on" Hakusai stated "so that the Prince can achieve his birthright and destroy the Cold Empire."

"We will do our part" the science minister spoke for he and his mate "to ensure his future."

In the silence that encased the room Ice tried to stem the tide of tears that threatened to well up in her eyes.  None of them would abandon Vegeta.  They wanted to help rescue him and she had been ordered to stop it by killing them all when she truly wanted the same thing.

"Is it possible to sneak someone off of Freeza's personal flag ship?" Melon asked in disbelief.  "Your King is sending you on a suicide mission!"

Ice looked at the former ambassador and pitied the anguish he saw etching his features.  He was afraid for their lives, for Endou's life, and his eyes locked with hers for a moment.  She could see the silent plea he sent as clearly as she could see the disquiet reflected in Endou's face.  Then suddenly that moment was shattered.

"You will not speak that way of the King!" Nappa shouted charging a ki ball in his hand and beginning to hurl it at the daidaiirojin.

***

Freeza smiled wistfully as he drew the wine to the roof of his mouth and inhaled the exquisite bouquet.  He was quite pleased with himself.  His current schemes and machinations were working out perfectly.  His most powerful minions were currently taking out the best and the brightest of the saiyajin leaving only the King and his royal guard to contend with.  They would be walking right into their own demise, however.  As for the rest of his monkey problem, well he had two options.  One, to pull out all of his men before the full moon and lead the troops back afterwards to announce the King's death and to cement his control of the planet.  Second, blow up the planet.  The saiyajin were such a stubborn lot, so even with the strongest and smartest culled from their population they were liable to resist.  This made option two the most plausible.

The tyrant smirked.  He always had liked destroying worlds, however it was not very profitable to blow up planets with resources.  Vegetsei's only real commodity however was mercenary work, which had ceased to be more useful and become more troublesome.  Added to the serious peace of mind the planet's obliteration would give him was the reaction by the rest of the universe.  Knowing that an entire world of powerful warriors had died at his hands would strike fear in the hearts of everyone.

"But wait" Freeza thought suddenly "I doubt Vegeta would embrace the news well."

The boy was the only one of the whole lot of apes worth keeping but his rebellious nature would undoubtedly be sparked by the knowledge that his hated enemy had destroyed his world.  Something had to be done to ensure that he didn't find out, which in turn meant he had to lie and fool the whole universe.  Deceptions only worked if as few people shared the truth as necessary. 

Freeza sighed.  Sometimes scheming could be so complicated.

His attention was ripped away from his quiet contemplations by the unmistakable sound of raised voices and scuffling outside of his door.  Turning his hover chair around to face the doors he was in time to see a man fall through the doors of his chamber and his guilty faced guards stumbling in after him.

"Lord Freeza!" the reptilian alien screeched.

"Stand aside" he barked at the guards setting his wine glass down on the arm of his throne.  They immediately drew back with nervous expressions leaving the creature on the floor.  "What do you mean by bursting in here?" Freeza asked the intruder not trying to hide his displeasure at the interruption.

"P-pardon me Freeza-sama but we don't know what else to do" he whined ringing his hands "no one else can stop him!"

"What are you blathering about?" the changeling snapped.

"It's Vegeta" the alien squeaked.

"What about him?" Freeza questioned sharply.

"He's destroying the cafeteria and beating anyone who comes near him senseless." The orange-skinned creature babbled.  "He even killed someone.  You have to do something to stop him!" 

Freeza rose from his seat without a word leveling an icy glare at the man groveling before him.  "No one presumes to tell the Lord of the Universe what to do," he hissed.  He watched with delight as the soldier began to look panicked realizing the gravity of his error.

"Please Master, I'm sorry" he whined.  "Coming to you was the only thing I could think of.  You are the only one who can control him."

"And that is the most infuriating thing of all" Freeza spat furiously shoving his booted foot into the man's neck and pinning him choking to the ground.  Of course it wasn't this creature's fault that all of his most powerful servant's were away on missions leaving him the only one on his ship more powerful than the saiyajin child, however he couldn't take his frustrations out on himself.  "I never deal with any one personally" Freeza spat "it is beneath me to do so!"  Thus saying he stomped on the creature's head feeling it crunch, grinding it into the ground until blood and reddish fluid began to pool out over the immaculate tiles of his chamber.

Freeza looked up glancing at his now quivering guards he stepped off of the body and slowly walked from the spot toward the doors leaving a trail of red footprints as he went.  Stopping just in front of the group he lowered chin, closed his eyes and said, "I want this mess gone when I return."

Opening and training his eyes on them again for a moment he exited his chamber.

***

Raditz gritted his teeth as the planet drew closer in his portal.  In a matter of seconds he would hit the atmosphere just as the pods of his squad mate's had moments before.  He could still see them now, glowing white-hot, streaking toward the ground like a shower of falling stars.  These images could be the last thing he saw before he died.  For a brief moment he wondered if he would be deemed worthy to join the other great ancestral warriors hunting and fighting in bliss or, if the rest of the universe was right in its opinion that his entire race was doomed to fire.

A resonating boom announced his entry in the atmosphere.  The pod groaned and began to rattle.  The tall saiyajin grabbed his knees, pulled them to his chest and rested his chin on them as he had been instructed since childhood.  A buzzing spark flashed throwing the pod into darkness except for the eerie white glow seeping in the portal.  He tried to ignore the shrill protests of the craft.  Closing his eyes the saiyajin resolved not to watch out the window as he plunged in the dead pod to the earth.

Suddenly the small craft lurched forward sending him flying into the door and into blackness.  He wasn't awake when the craft struck the ground burrowing into rock and dirt with the explosive force of a bomb.

***

"Melon!" Endou screamed in horror starting towards her mate's assailant only to slam into the ground as she felt her feet yanked out from under her.  The former Minister of Trade looked up from under her mass of disheveled ebony hair to see the most amazing sight she had ever been privileged to see.  A strange bluish creature had brought the Commander to his knees by gripping his tail and hitting him from behind.

"Commander you will not harm these people" Ice said firmly.

"You little bitch the large saiyajin huffed.  "Freeza sent you didn't he?  He wants us dead."

"Freeza wants you dead but I don't Commander" she said softly smiling.

"Who are you?" Endou said rising her eyes wide.

"My name is Ice" she answered turning her luminous violet eyes to the woman "and I can help you."

"Don't listen to her" Nappa snarled rising shakily to his feet "she is Freeza's pet assassin."

"I am in Freeza's employ but I wish to leave it" she said resolutely.  "Believe me when I tell you that all of you would already be dead now if I had intended to follow through on my orders and kill you.  I can ensure that Prince Vegeta is delivered safely from Freeza and that you could never be discovered once you've fled."

"Why would you want to do this?" the old saiyajin advisor rasped.

"I've been Freeza's pawn for too long.  He has taken much away from me and I will not let him do it to another" Ice said earnestly.  "I love the Prince as if he were my own child and I want to safe him from the horrors I've been forced to live.  I lost one child I loved to Freeza's hands already and I will not loose another."

Endou searched her face for a moment and saw no deception in her limpid violet eyes.  "I too agree with that" she replied warmly "no child should be left in the hands of a monster.  If you can help us save the Prince I will gladly listen to you."

"We need no help from you lizard" Nappa growled wrenching himself from the grasp of his captors.

"Nappa you must listen to me, Freeza already knows of your plan!" the young tsirijin woman shouted.  "He will come after you again and make sure you fail if you keep going as you have!  I don't want to see either you or Vegeta hurt."

"Stand down commander" Endou entreated calmly "please calm down."

"Alright I'll listen" Nappa reluctantly grumbled.

"Good" Ice said exhaling deeply. "I know it may seem nearly impossible to escape from Freeza but it can be done.  I'll need the help of each and every one of you to do it, but I know we can succeed."

***

Zarbon perused his bloodstained gauntlets with dissatisfaction.  He hated ruining a perfectly good pair of gauntlets in battle.  He squinted as the dazzling light of a Ki blast suddenly assaulted his senses.  The dust and wind kicked up ruffling his hair and cape as he shielded his eyes.  Looking up he saw the smoking remains of the saiyajin party blackened and marred.  Snorting the smell of burning flesh from his nostrils he smoothed a bit of green hair behind his ear untangling it from his earring.

"Commander, that takes care of the last of the monkeys," the purple and green soldier announced with a salute and chuckle.

"Not all of them" Zarbon corrected tapping his scouter "there was that one that crashed in the malfunctioning pod."

Taking the cue the soldier activated his sensors as well.  "I pick up nothing on this planet but low-level life forms, animals probably.  I doubt he survived."

"Still, I'd like you to take a team to the area and see if you can find the wreckage" Zarbon stated.  "Freeza wouldn't like us leaving any loose ends."

"Yes sir!" the soldier replied snapping to attention.

As the eager underling rushed to carry out his orders Zarbon's mind tackled the plethora of thoughts racing through his head.  Freeza had suddenly ordered three assassinations of crack saiyajin purging teams and dignitaries and he somehow felt this was just the beginning.  Whether it was due to his paranoia over the saiyajin sooth-sayers prophecy as he pretended or something more sinister he wasn't sure.  When the Saiyajin King's plot of revolt and rescue had reached Freeza he almost seemed delighted for it.  Somehow he had the suspicion it had something to do with his plans for Ice.

Ice…

Zarbon shook his head sadly.  He was sorry he had ever placed any designs on her.  The consequences had seriously complicated his life.  Now he was at Freeza's mercy and he hated that Freeza had anything he could use against him.  The saddest part was he still held a soft spot for Ice.  At least, he could make up for it with the girl.  She was safe in the care of his mother.   Zenac would be sure they were well hidden.  He would be sure that Freeza had no reason to try to find her.  He would do his duty and continue serving the Tsirjin Lord and not attempt to contact her.

***

Vegeta squinted as blood spattered up into his face.  Licking a trickle as is ran down his lip he head-butted another challenger into submission adding to the ever-growing pile of dead and incapacitated bodies at his feet.

Disdainfully he eyed the now petrified group of soldiers and guards hanging back visibly quaking with sweat forming on their brows.  It appeared they had finally called off the assault realizing how far he out-matched them.

"So that's it, is it?" he crowed crossing his bloodstained arms a smirk forming on his lips.  "The rest of you are too cowardly to challenge a little boy?"  he continued to taunt.  "And I thought you were going to teach me a lesson.  It looks like you are the one's who've learned a lesson in humility.  Never defy Vegeta, Saiyajin no Ouji."

"Bravo" a lone voice said dryly, "a most clever speech."

A hushed murmur of nervous voices rippled through the crowd as they parted revealing a politely applauding Freeza.

"Unfortunately I have to put a stop to this," the tsirijin lord continued abruptly stopping his ovation.  "I can't have you destroying my ship or killing off my army.  It's so hard to find good help."

Vegeta was shocked.  He had never expected Freeza himself to show up.

Freeza paused briefly to access the child in front of his.  He appeared unmarred, stained with blood not his own, and stood proudly amidst the chaos he had created.  A curious mixture of pride and displeasure was aroused in the changeling at the sight.  He had known this day would come sooner or later, the day when he would have to take the boy personally in hand, but he was seriously displeased that he had not been the one to choose it.  It was clear that Vegeta had increased in strength and deadly accuracy and by the looks on the crowd's faces they were nearly as afraid of the boy as he.  He knew he had been right about the little saiyajin, he would make the perfect little pet, his perfect little killing machine.

"I will have to punish you for this you do understand?" Freeza  asked sweetly.  "I can't let you getting inflated ideas about your position here on this ship.  Killing a soldier under your command once-in-a-while is not unacceptable but wanton destruction of my property and mass executions are."

The tyrant was pleased to see Vegeta's obvious consternation.  Freeza grinned eyeing the guards out of the corner of his eyes. 

"Let this serve as a warning to all of you" he addressed the crowd "Vegeta is now my lowest ranking officer in my personal guard and has my permission to maintain respect from all of you under penalty of death."  Turning his gaze once again back to Vegeta, whose confused expression was delightful to behold, he continued.  "He does not deserve any respect for being a defunct royal of a flea-bitten race, only as a soldier under my command."

Vegeta's tail bristled.  He had never heard such a speech, heaping insult on top of praise, and he struggled to know how to react.  What was the lizard doing?

"And now Vegeta you will learn proper respect for me as your Lord and Master," Freeza said adding a hard note to his tone.  Turning to the closest knot of guards he issued the order he knew would be the icing on the cake.  "Take the monkey to the brig."

"Brig!" Vegeta hissed loosing his composure.  "I refuse to be locked up in the jail like some common soldier!  You are not my Lord and Master!  I'm through with pretending to listen to you and bow and scrape to you!  I am prince of a noble race and I will never bow to anyone, least of all you!"

"I see I've been far too indulgent with your attitude so far" Freeza answered in a pitying tone shaking his head.  Freeza raised his eyes and looked directly into the boy's allowing an imperious smile to begin tugging at his lips.  "You will go to the brig and stay there until I see fit.  You will go there under your own power or I will make you go by force."

"Never Freeza!" Vegeta shouted vehemently his tail lashing behind him.

At once the slight spark of mirth vanished from the tsirijin's eyes and the smile left his lips. "You have forced my hand Vegeta" Freeza said in a steely voice "and so now your true education shall begin."

Before the words left the lips of the Cold Lord Vegeta found himself hurtling into the far wall at breakneck speed.  He slammed into the cold steel with a thud and hit the floor gasping for breath.  The little Prince looked up into the leering face of the tsirijin, his head reeling and ears ringing.  The fiery pain that shot through Vegeta's jaw as he tried to snarl told him he was injured but it couldn't compare to the hatred he felt burning in his heart.

"Now be a good little monkey" Freeza began in a sugarcoated voice "get up, bow to me and say 'I'm sorry Lord Freeza, forgive me Master'.  Then go to the brig as I have ordered."

"Never!" the boy shouted leaping at the changeling.  He sailed cleanly through Freeza's after image his fist connecting with nothing but air.

Freeza's vicious hammer into the small of Vegeta's back smashed him into the hard steel floor face first.  "You won't be needing this any longer" the changeling said ripping the child's cape from his shoulders with such force the motion flung him across the floor, "from this day forward you are nothing but a common soldier.  A soldier with an empty title."

Vegeta pushed himself to his knees and glared in breathless loathing at the creature before him.  His heart pounding in his ears, his face bathed in blood, his own blood that poured from a gash in his forehead, and an odd thing happened.  A calm realization struck him as he gazed into his tormentor's red eyes.  This is what Freeza had intended all along, his seeming respect for his rank and title, and all the luxuries he had gained because of them, had just been for show to make his coming humiliation all the more telling.  His initiating a bargain with his father to hand him over had all been to reach this very moment when he would be stripped of everything and be completely at the tyrant's mercy.  This realization tempered the rage that he had harbored in his soul since coming to Freeza from one at the whole universe in general, and his father and home world specifically, into one with one individual at its core, Freeza.  "I'm not a common soldier," Vegeta growled with a new resolve.

"You are what I say you are" Freeza taunted noting with curiosity the sudden change in the boy.  With a smirk he narrowed his eyes and shot a burst of their crimson lasers into the spot in his armor above his heart with just enough power to knock him over.  "I strip you of your royal birthright, as is my jurisdiction as over ruler of your planet," he continued disdainfully, "and make you my own personal puppet to command."

Vegeta's eyes fell down to his smoking chest plate and he was struck at once with shock and dismay upon discovering that the spot where his royal insignia had resided, over his heart, was replaced by a gaping hole.  The changeling's words echoed hollowly in his ears, and as they did anger slowly replaced all other emotions swimming through his soul.  He would defend his name and title as was his duty. "No," he said quietly but resolutely raising his head "I am the Saiyajin no Ouji, Vegeta and I am no one's puppet."

To Freeza's surprise, Vegeta sprang to his feet ignoring the stabs of pain he felt rip through his body.  Musing at the sight before him he was doubly surprised as a bolt of blue energy came flying at his head.  Dodging quickly to the right he avoided the attack only to find a small fist ramming into his check.  He barely felt the blow but his sharp ears could clearly hear the sound of bones cracking in the boy's fist.  The tyrant quickly lashed out with his tail, whipping the saiyajin across the cheek, while simultaneously grabbing him by the throat.  Applying pressure he brought the still defiant Vegeta to his eye level and could see the hatred flashing in his eyes.  A new sense of wonder filled the Tsirijin Lord's mind.  The child was truly remarkable he was still fighting, still rebelling, despite the obvious injury he had bestowed.  He would be hard to break, this feisty child, but that was what he had expected.  That would make the task all the more satisfying.

"I give you one more chance to save yourself some dignity" the tyrant stated beginning to crush the child's neck in his grip.  "Swear your loyalty to me before all these men and I will spare you the beating you deserve." 

Vegeta's lungs were burning for air when he suddenly dropped to the floor.  He clutched his throat gagging, and coughing for a moment at Freeza's feet.  "I swear" he began in a halting gasp "to kill you Freeza."

Freeza's grin faded for a moment as the words of the saiyajin sooth-sayer once again came up to haunt him.  He took a moment to study the child lying at his feet catching his breath clearly still seething with malicious intent.  Would this child truly bring about his destruction if he lived?  He would soon be the sole-survivor of his race and the only one through whom the prophecy could be fulfilled.  Should he kill him now and just be done with it?  If he did all of his carefully laid plans would come to naught and he would never have the chance to create a living weapon in the image of his own destructive cruelty.  The boy was just so perfect, strong-willed, and full of anger, pride and hate.  Could this unruly child be tamed?  It would be a terrible shame not to find out.

"You will never be powerful enough Vegeta" Freeza taunted "but if you learn your place your life will not be without rewards.  The whole universe will learn to fear you as you will learn to fear me.  You will conquer, pillage and kill to the delight of your monkey heart and I will collect the spoils.  I might even be tempted to share some of them with you if you willing submit to me.  Just look at Zarbon, Dodoria and the Ginyu.  They live like Kings for their obedience.  You could as well, perhaps even more so than they do."

Vegeta sneered.  "I don't need anything from you" Vegeta hissed without hesitation.  "The day I kill you everything you have will be mine and I will rule in your place.  I will take everything from you that you take from me."

Freeza laughed disdainfully.  "You really believe that, don't you?" he continued to chuckle with amusement.  "Poor, poor delusional monkey.  It is fortunate that I've taken an interest in you or you would be dead right now for your presumptuous threats.  In time you will come to realize that I am superior to you in everyway and always will be.  I am now your lord and master.  From this moment on you are under my sole tutelage and your first lesson that you shall learn is never to defy me."

Vegeta never saw the blow coming but only felt the brutal force of it as it struck him in the chest.  It was followed by another in the back and another to the head sending him into a hazy world.   He could barely get a breath into his burning lungs and his head began to swim more and more with each passing blow.  Mercifully, his eyes began to loose focus plunging him into darkness where only brief explosions of pain broke through until the blackness swallowed him completely.

Well that's it for now.

As you can see this is how Vegeta landed in the prison cell, which is where he was when his father was killed according to the anime.  I hope you like my explanations as to how all this ties together with the Bardock Special and the series.

What's next?  How will the rescue attempt fare?  How will Raditz survive?  What is Ice's plan?  Find out just what happened before Vegeta's Planet was destroyed.