Dragon Ball Tenmei Z by Son Goharotto
Welcome to Dragon Ball Tenmei Z, the sister story to DBTZ. This is a 'what if' story based on the idea: "What if Goku hooked up with Bulma?" It will follow closely to the canon plot, with key differences, eventually spiraling away into a new stories.
DISCLAIMER: As much as I might wish it otherwise, DBZ does not belong to me. It's the property of Akira Toriyama, TOEI, FUNimation, et cetera ad nauseam. I'm not trying to make any money off of this and it's just a way for me to show my love of all things Dragon Ball. Well, except maybe GT. Bleah. I is teh poor, so don't sue me.
WARNINGS: As a whole, this series contains mature language, graphic violence, brutality, mature situations (non-lemon), and a touch of angst.
"'Layered Voice, a la Fusion'"
Thoughts, Memories, and Telepathy
Volume I – The Saiyan Saga
Episode 01 – An Unexpected Twist! The Hand Of Fate Intervenes!
I saw it. The end of our world. The end of our people. Our whole way of life, eradicated from existence like the afterthought of a careless god. No, I take that back. It was the act of a devil.
Burdock grimaced, restlessly pulling on the tangle of tubes and wires attached to him in the recovery tank. Black was white and white was black; a negative of space. The distorted colors swam in his mind's eye. A great round globe hung as the centerpiece. Suddenly, violently, an explosion. Fire and electricity. All that remained was a debris. Dust and echoes.
New images of a primitive people he didn't recognize flashed through his mind. Places that seemed far away; conflicts that mattered little to him. But there was one who did look like himself, younger, unworn by a lifetime of battle. Occasionally, Burdock saw his comrades in ways that made his blood run cold. It played in his mind like a poorly edited film of some stranger's life story, inter-cut with tantalizing glimpses of horror.
A voice echoed: I condemn you to see your own future and agonize over the form it takes! Haarrharharharharhar!
The Saiyan awoke from his nightmare and a freshness broke over him as the recovery tank's regenerative fluid drained away. The glass dome rose, revealing a bent old man observing him intently.
"Are you well, Burdock?"
"Yeah," the shaken warrior replied, standing up. "Still a bit dizzy in the head, though." Burdock only half paid attention to the ensuing conversation, his own thoughts haunted by the frightful vision. Then the old scientist caught his ear when he said his comrades had been ordered to conquer Planet Meat. "What! Dammit, how could they leave me out?" he grumbled. "Meat, eh? All right, that's pretty close."
Bolting from the room, Burdock ignored the shouts of those scientists that attended him. Sterile white panels flew past as he sprinted down the corridor, but he was pulled up short by the shrieking cry of a baby. He paused to look into the nursery window and saw a newborn with a familiar head of raven hair.
The words of that bitter Kanassan who struck him, cursed him, repeated again in Burdock's head. For a wild moment, he saw energy bolts rain down on Planet Vegeta, leveling cities and annihilating the already-sparse population. The Saiyan shook his head to clear it of the disturbing vision.
'Kakarrot' read the name plate of the child's incubator. His child. Checking his Scouter, Burdock saw his son had a battle power of only 2, the lowest of the low. "What scum!" he snarled, disappointed with the fruit of his loins.
Now passing through a junction, Burdock barreled through the multiracial crowd of soldiers and scientists in Freeza's employ. A green-eyed Zunite stared down the oncoming Saiyain, then–realizing the warrior had no intention of swerving–hastily jumped aside.
Burdock came to a bank of elevators and forced his way between closing doors of an empty lift. He jammed the 'launch pad' button repeatedly, urging it to hurry up. Toma, you rat. You better leave some for me, the warrior thought.
Burdock growled under his breath as the elevator slowed to take on new passengers. He could hear their conversation as the doors parted.
"No way! Lord Freeza's brother is coming here?"
"And he'll arrive any time now. That's what I heard, anyway. By the sound of things, they don't really get along. The people that know Coola say he's even scarier than Lord Freeza!"
"Don't let Zarbon or Dodoria hear you say that," the smaller of the two warned. He opened his mouth to say something else, but at that moment, he caught sight of the grim-faced Saiyan. Both short aliens were cowed into silence for the rest of the elevator ride.
Toma. Panboukin. Seripa. Totepo. At worst, Burdock was expecting to arrive and find his comrades celebrating an easy victory. But they were all dead. All dead. Freeza's minions appeared to taunt him. Burdock didn't care. The time for talk was over. He wanted to kill.
The motley crew of soldiers fell before him like dominos. They were pampered soldiers, always receiving special treatment for being born with an extra few points on their combat rating. Even hindered as he was by random visions, the proud Saiyan warrior countered their every attack with the ease of a veteran who earned his strength on the battlefield.
When the last pansy fell, the cracked lense of Burdock's Scouter showed a new, far greater power. He whirled around, spotting Dodoria, Freeza's attack dog. "Why! Why are you doing this to us!" the Saiyan demanded.
The stout pink warrior only chuckled knowingly. He took a deep breath and attacked, a beam of ki ejaculating from his enormous maw. Air became fire and Burdock was awash in pain.
Burdock coughed, vomiting up a combination of blood and gravel. A considerable weight pressed down on top of him, but he was determined not to die here, like a beaten dog. He pushed, throwing off himself a small mountain of rubble and the smoldering corpses of his comrades. Even in death, they watched our for him by taking the brunt of Dodoria's ki blast. He surely would have bought it, otherwise.
"Freeza really is after us," the bloody-faced warrior muttered. The leader of the planet pirates was legendary for his insurmountable might, rumored to dwarf even that of King Vegeta. Could there be any hope for the Saiyans once that baleful eye turned upon them?
He stumbled towards his one-man transport pod, woozy from the pain and loss of blood, and falteringly programmed it to return to Planet Vegeta. He had to warn somebody, anybody. When at last the pod rose from the ruined landscape of Planet Meat and shot off into space, he tried to relax and recover what strength he could, but a new fear swelled within him as he sped past Freeza's flagship. The warlord was heading for the Saiyan homeworld as well!
Burdock willed himself to calm. The circular ship didn't appear to be in any hurry. At this rate, he could make it to Vegeta with hours to spare. Or perhaps only minutes? He was blacking out periodically and had trouble grasping the passage of time. Trying to formulate a plan, the exhausted warrior slipped again into unconsciousness.
A green sky with many suns. A windswept plateau. The crash of waves on a rocky shore. Burdock looked around the eerily calm dreamscape, but did not recognize it as a planet or just the creation of a delirious mind.
A shiver ran down his spine and he turned around. Freeza stood behind him, appearing wrathful and pointing an accusatory finger, but the Saiyan was curiously unafraid. He turned again and saw two other figures that were not there before. One looked like he might be Freeza's brother. Indeed, it could be none other than Coola. The lizard-like alien's expression was coldly calculating, but triumphant. The other was someone Burdock recognized instantly; his son.
Kakarrot was a grown man, looking for all the world like his father, with only a few minor differences. His skin tone was lighter and his clothes foreign, but he appeared strong and confident. Were he and Coola allies against Freeza? If Burdock understood properly, if what he saw now really was the future that Kanassan cursed him to see... A tiny spark of hope ignited in the Saiyan's heart. Even if his people were doomed, Burdock latched onto the idea that someday, the progeny of a low-class but noble warrior may be victorious over the tyrannical villain.
Snapping out of his revere, Burdock made a split second decision. He clumsily jammed a few buttons and changed the course of his one-man pod. The giant crimson marble that was Planet Vegeta veered off to the right. The only other ship in space was another pod; surely Kakarrot's as he was sent on the traditional first mission of childhood.
A recent memory bubbled to the surface of his awareness, fighting through the sludge of fears and visions. Burdock recalled the two short aliens speaking of Coola. True enough, there were rumors that Freeza's brother was bitter about the 'family business' being entrusted to his arrogant sibling. He had entreated upon their father, King Cold, to reconsider. But Freeza was the prodigal son and a rift divided their clan.
Even now, Burdock could see Coola's ship approach on the dark side of Vegeta. If he could make it in time, he may be able to secure an ally in defense of the Saiyan homeworld.
The small pod shot towards Coola's personal craft, a mirror image of Freeza's, and the computer sent an automatic boarding request. Burdock was mildly amazed–and incredibly thankful–that it was immediately accepted. The autopilot took over and guided his pod into the docking bay. When pressurization was stabilized, the Saiyan stumbled out of his blood-soaked seat and fell to hands and knees on the cold metal floor.
"What have we here?" rumbled a deep baritone. The owner of the voice was a tall, heavily muscled green alien whose breast plate bore the mark identifying him a captain of Coola's personal militia. "I think you missed the planet, little monkey."
Burdock struggled to rise, fists shaking.
"Show some respected, Dore." The second soldier that approached was another captain; a cultured-looking fellow with a crest of blond hair. "It would not do for Lord Coola to hear you being discourteous towards our valued ally."
"I–have to see–Coola," Burdock gasped, biting back a wave of nausea. "Take me to him."
Dore burst out laughing, but the blond captain silenced him with a wave of his gloved hand. He graciously guided the wounded Saiyan through the ship with an indignant Dore trailing behind, careful not to step in the drops of blood left in Burdock's wake. On the bridge, Coola sat in his hovering thrown, eyes on the forward monitors that showed Planet Vegeta. The third captain was also there; a lanky, frog-headed soldier that eyed their guest with obvious distaste.
"What message could be so urgent that King Vegeta sends a messenger who dirties my nice, clean floor?" Coola demanded. His voice was civil, but as cold as a Shamoan winter.
Burdock was caught off-balance. "Message? Wha...no. I came 'cause Freeza is gonna wipe out my people. You hate him, right? Then help us!"
"Don't speak so rudely to Lord Coola!" the frog-headed captain cut in. "If you want help, then grovel on your knees and beg!"
"Bastard!" the Saiyan growled, but he was stymied.
"I know of Freeza's intentions," Coola explained dispassionately. "He is a superstitious fool who jealously covets his dominion over others. Even the slightest hint of something that may upset his perfect little existence will inspire him to take drastic action against it." The floating throne slowly turned and Burdock was paralyzed by the warlord's frigid gaze. "I have been expecting word from your king's court prior to our meeting. If you are not a messenger, then what is your business?"
"That's what I been trying to tell you!" Burdock shouted. "Freeza's here! He's gonna destroy the planet right now!"
Two of Coola's captains expressed sounds of disbelief, but the blond one appeared solemn. "My lord," he interjected. "We did, after all, lose contact with our agent in Vegeta's court."
"Hmmm," the warlord considered. "Yes. Rettetsu has been keen to ally the Saiyans with us against my brother. He is normally so prompt..."
Burdock looked around, wringing his hands in frustration as Coola deliberated with his captains. What was the point of all this talk? Now was the time for action! A flicker on the forward monitor caught his attention and he was the first to see the glow of energy from the far side of the planet. He watched in mute horror as cracks appeared along its marbled surface, chasms so large that they must have split whole cities in two. Points of light appeared in the planet's shadow, erupting in massive columns of fire.
Silently, Planet Vegeta exploded.
The shockwave that struck Coola's ship threw everyone to their feet, toppling even the warlord's hovering throne. The pilots fought to bring it under control. Lying dazed on his back, Burdock only barely heard Coola roar, "Brother! You're more foolish than I thought!" The Saiyan was suddenly hauled to his feet, held aloft by the collar of his fighting jacket by the relatively diminutive warlord. The murderous rage in Coola's red eyes cleared Burdock's head. "Is there anyone left! Anyone not on the planet!"
The exhausted warrior wracked his brain. "M-my sons. Kakarrot is just a baby, but Raditz will fight alongside me. And I...I heard the heir, Prince Vegeta, has been requesting more missions lately. If he was off-world, then surely his steward, General Nappa, lives as well."
Coola threw Burdock to the metal floor. "Neizu, scan the Scouter-net for the frequencies used by those Saiyans, and any others that might have survived. If we are to salvage this situation, then the survivors must be rounded up and protected from my brother."
On some distant mudball, the young Prince Vegeta, heir to the throne of the Saiyan race, observed his handiwork–if not with pride or satisfaction, then at least as evidence of his power.
The natives lay around him like a great wall of death, struck down where they stood as part of a final offensive rush against the tiny monster that assaulted their planet. The circular clearing was his kill zone; the absolute closest any of them could get before being killed. Vegeta hadn't even needed to transform into a Great Ape to do it. This race was pitifully weak and the prince suspected Freeza was just giving him busy work. Something to keep him occupied and out from under foot. He craved a challenge that would push him to improve.
Sitting on a rock, Vegeta started to unwrap a small energy bar. At least these wretches lasted long enough for him to work up an appetite. A rumbling sounded overhead, which he mistook for thunder. But then a round craft breeched the stormy clouds directly above his position. The prince raised his eyes and watched a lone figure fly out of the craft, surrounded by a white aura in his haste.
The Saiyan that landed before him was obviously of low-level; they had a limited gene pool. He was in generally bad shape as well, cut and bruised, as if just returning from a fight. "Your majesty," Burdock began, kneeling before his prince. "We must flee at once."
Vegeta bit into his energy bar, crunching idly and observing his bloodied subject with little-to-no interest. "What is there to flee?" he asked wryly. "As you can see, this planet is quite peaceful."
"No, your majesty. Freeza has just annihilated our homeworld. He will come to finish us off for sure."
"Nonsense," Vegeta argued, growing annoyed. "As we speak, my father and his top generals are...encouraging Freeza to abdicate his throne. The Saiyans will be taking control of this region of space."
"I'm sorry, your majesty. But I saw it for myself," Burdock swallowed hard, steeling himself to say what came next. "If the king chose to confront Freeza, then he has failed–GUH!" Already weakened and in a compromising position, Burdock had no way to defend himself from the tiny fist that lanced out, impacting his jaw and sending him reeling into the pile of dead aliens.
"Scum!" the prince barked. "I ought to crush you where you stand! You–" A beep sounded from Vegeta's Scouter, bringing him up short. He tapped the receive button hard.
"Prince Vegeta, do you read me?" came Nappa's stricken-sounding voice.
"What is it?" the prince demanded impatiently.
"We've just received a transmission from Lord Freeza. It seems as thought Planet Vegeta has been destroyed." When the child who inherited its name did not respond, Nappa continued, "Apparently, a giant meteor collided with the planet. Counting us, there are very few surviving Saiyans."
Burdock watched his prince carefully. The child warrior had no expression. He just remained very calm as he removed the Scouter from his ear. The only sign of his emotions was the shattering of the device into tiny, sparking fragments.
"Why are you here?" Vegeta finally asked. "Did you turn tail and run like a coward?"
The low-level warrior bristled at the insult, but knew better than to retort. "N-no, your majesty. I knew the attack was coming and went to get help from Coola, but I was too late. We immediately set out to gather the survivors. You're the first and my elder son is not far. If that was General Nappa you were talking to, we'll find him as well."
"And what does Coola propose we do?"
"Fight, your majesty. Strike back at Freeza's empire and tear it down around his ears until he's all that's left." Burdock clenched his fist. "Then we'll take our revenge."
Vegeta smirked. Life under Freeza's rule was boring and pointless. But taking on the empire and fighting every day, encountering worthy opponents and growing stronger? Yes, that appealed to him nicely. The Prince of the Saiyans dusted himself off and threw back his cloak. "Lead the way."
From the bridge, Coola watched Prince Vegeta follow Burdock back towards the ship. He clicked off the monitor.
Freeza's decision to wipe out the Saiyan race was a major setback to his plans. From a purely business standpoint, it was a terrible waste of resources. As a race of natural-born warriors, they had tremendous growth potential and could only become a more valuable asset over time. That's part of why Freeza feared them. Arrogance and cowardice were often indistinguishable.
Coola knew he had nothing to fear and had planned to use that psychological edge over his foolish brother. But now, it was all for naught. A handful of monkeys did not an army make.
The blond captain approached and bowed. "Lord Coola, if I may, perhaps Freeza was wise to eliminate the Saiyan threat. They are uncontrollable beasts. I fear they will only prove to be a hindrance to our ultimate goal."
The warlord steepled his fingers and smiled. "A calculated risk, my dear Suaza."