The Legend of the Bond
I don't own anything from Akira Toriyama. This is just a fan-based story…
Authors Note: Because this is an A/U, characters will be somewhat out of character simply because their childhood and teen years were different and those years affected their personalities greatly. They are somewhat OOC intentionally.
Bulma sat beside her open window in her room gazing up at the array of glowing stars with her big blue eyes, letting the wind blow through her blue hair. Earlier today, she had been again praised by her father, but Bulma just sighed. Was he really proud of her, she wondered, or was he just covering up his upset with her for what she'd just done?
Today was her 12th birthday and she had invented something her father couldn't even fathom: a light- (not air) propelled toy car. And she was also ahead of everybody in school. She remembered how frustrated her father became when he was told that she needed to be transferred, again, to a different and more challenging school. Yet when her parents got home from the meeting with her teachers, her father turned and knelt before her. I am so lucky to have such a smart and beautiful daughter like you. You are my little hope for the future…he had said to her then with eyes full of love and pride.
Now Bulma wondered if her father was really happy or sad about the daughter he had. For her birthday, he gifted her with her own lab, built onto her wing of Capsule Corporation. She smiled despite her thoughts. What evil I could do with my new lab! As she started thinking about all the inventions she was going to create, she couldn't control her girlish giggles. She wanted to develop an automatic strawberry dispenser, a facial booster (for those zits that might come up soon, though with her looks…she wondered), a personal alarm small enough that only she could hear (if she slept too much in class) and perhaps a boyfriend radar. She giggled again at the thought. Boyfriend. She was getting to that age now that boys seemed to be catching her eyes, and she theirs. Accompanied with a strong sense of desire, strawberries came crawling back into her thoughts. I think I'm going to sneak in to the kitchen and get some strawberries. With that, she turned from her window and skipped a step to her door, thinking merrily about strawberries when she stopped. She didn't know why, or for what, but suddenly her heart raced. Her carefree thoughts clouded over with a feeling of dread. She slowly turned to her window once again and looked to the stars with a feeling of growing panic. With a worried look spelled all over youthful face, she paused to touch her chest above her heart. She could only hope that this…this oddity of emotions was nothing more than her imagination.
A ship, not in the sky, but in the stars, slowly made its approach to the unaware planet awash in blues and greens. A planet so rich in resources that it was overflowing with them, enough to make an empire that was already flush in blood money oh-so-much richer. Chikyuu, the little planet that now sat alone, without a protector, without a sense of need of protection because it thought it sat alone in the universe. And now there was the need for a protector, because the ship was fully prepared to come upon this planet without mercy, without care…with bloodlust oozing from its bowels.
Sitting on the bridge, obviously hating this mission and bored, sat a boy no more the 13 years old in the captain's chair. His tall hair rose fire-like above his face, his face imprinted with a disgusted scowl, and his short, muscular body wore the armor of a prince. The boy waited impatiently for the weak officer, more loyal to Freeza than him, to announce his business.
"Prince Vegeta, we have arrived at Chikyuu. Do you wish me to send Nappa and Radditz for the purging mission?"
The prince glared at him. "No―" he began to say, but the officer looked distressed and interrupted him.
"But Lord Freeza―"
The officer didn't have a chance to finish what he was going to say. The young prince raised his small gloved hand and blasted his body to cinders, leaving nothing but a black spot remaining where he once stood.
"To hell with Freeza!" the prince coldly stated as he eyed another officer, who had been standing nervously next to the first. The prince did not like being interrupted. The officer that Vegeta was eyeing shook visibly but stepped forth and kneeled.
"Order Nappa and Radditz to go down to the surface with 15 men and bring back 100 new slaves for Vegeta-sei. And make sure these slaves are of the better breed of the Chikyuu-jin species. I don't care about the rest of them; kill any who resist," the prince ordered the officer with little gusto in his voice. He simply was bored and very much frustrated with Freeza.
"Yes, sir!" the officer said quickly, retreating from the disgruntled prince to carry out his orders as quickly as possible.
Prince Vegeta simply stared at the screen that showed the blue and green planet hovering in front of him with a look of displeasure. A planet of weaklings! What a piece of trash! he thought, his temper slowly rising. For a long time, Freeza had held the Saiya-jin people under his control almost to the brink of slavery. With the addition of this new planet, Freeza's empire could grow vastly richer and more powerful and harder to destroy. Now this planet of weaklings stood against him and his desire to destroy Freeza.
The young prince's original orders from Freeza were to simply purge the planet so it could be sold as soon as possible, but Vegeta wasn't about to follow the lizard's orders and let him have another planet that would make him overly powerful and rich. No, the prince had other plans for Chikyuu. As he had little knowledge of the Chikyuu-jins and their abilities, Vegeta wanted to make sure he wasn't also destroying a possible way to rid himself of the annoying lizard. And, above all, he had no desire to just hand over the planet that was reflected in his eyes to Freeza.
Bulma wanted the comforting taste of strawberries, but it had taken every ounce of her courage to simply walk to the kitchen. Bulma's feelings of dread held onto her heart with a death grip. She had to gather her wits to simply walk into the dark kitchen, tip-toe to the fridge and open it, then grab the remaining little berries that sat cold on the shelf. Sitting on the floor with her back resting against the fridge, she slowly ate the berries, feeling more panic than she would like to. Here she was, eating some of the sweetest things in the world and she could not enjoy them. As she took another bite, she felt as though she was hearing whisper-like voices in her mind. Perhaps it's Papa and Mama…in another room
Her train of thought was cut off when she heard a loud noise, like a high-pitched whistle coming from above and then a loud crash. She bolted to her feet when those voices came back: Freeza!...Kill!...Damn those…
She put her hands to her ears and knelt on one knee. Her mouth opened to scream but nothing came out. Her father and mother then ran into the kitchen, turning on the lights and running to her, both of them holding her in a tight embrace.
"Bulma! Thank goodness we found you!" her father said into her ear softly. Outside they could hear large explosions, screeching alarms, the shouts of police and firefighters, and people screaming in fear and pain.
"When we didn't find you in your room we got worried!" Her mother's voice still sounded sweet and happy even though concern was clear in her voice. When neither of them moved from her side, she realized that her parents were aware of what was happening outside. Part of her didn't want to ask them, but she also didn't want to be left out; she wanted to know…she needed to know.
"Papa, Mama, what's happening?" She felt her mother shudder. Her father slightly flinched and looked her in the eyes.
"Chikyuu is being invaded, or so it seems, by bad men…" Bulma looked at him dumbfounded.
What? Aliens?! Her thoughts screamed denial but her inborn curiosity wanted to know more, wanted to investigate and study the new aliens. But if they were really bad men as her father stated then perhaps it would be better to hide with her parents.
Her father began to stand. "We should get to our shelter before they come in here―"
A tall bald man strode into the kitchen leaving a trail of debris that used to be part of their house behind him. He smirked at the trio, as they gazed back at him with fear. Hmmm, they seem to be what the prince wanted: a scientist, a beautiful woman and their daughter… Thenhe thought of the usefulness of the daughter and realized she might be smart and beautiful enough to be of value. He began to walk towards them, ready to grab and haul them out with the others he found, when the scientist stepped in front of his family, arms outstretched to protect them.
"Don't you come near them!" he stated rather angrily.
The bald, tailed man laughed in an evil roar. "Do you think, you little shithead, that what you're doing will protect them?" He raised his hand towards the scientist's face. Never mind, he thought, he would take the daughter; that would be enough. The large alien let his ki form into a small growing ball in his opened hand. Bulma's father merely looked on as he felt the rising heat on his face and then he felt no more. Nappa had released a ball small enough to decapitate the little scientist where he stood but not large enough to hurt the two females. His glance found its way to the other two. They were scared, especially the older woman, who was in tears, but the girl glared at him with the fire of pure hate and defiance in her eyes. He did not like it. Nappa simply reached out and grabbed the traumatized females by their hair, ignoring their screams, ignoring their pleas. Half-laughing and smirking, he dragged them out to join the rest of the captives.
Bulma couldn't believe this was happening. She locked up, feeling a numbness come over her. Would her life ever be the same? Would she ever be able to hope it would be the same again?...It was an obvious question she didn't want to answer.
Bulma woke reluctantly, trying not to remember the last few hours. She remembered her father's death, being dragged out to a clearing then hauled onto a ship, and finally thrown in a dark, damp cell with others. Her mother was nowhere in sight. She wanted to stay asleep but finally, after much discomfort, decided it was best to stay awake as long as possibly. She sat up, letting her back arch against the back wall of the cell. She glanced around at the others. She recognized most of them; if not personally, then by appearance. There were movie stars, scientists, doctors, and politicians that were quite famous, sitting, sleeping or looking quite in shock around the cell. She sighed, wondering what that might mean; why these people, out of the entire population of Chikyuu, were chosen. Her eyes closed slightly, trying to ease the headache that was creeping into her head. Suddenly, as before, those voices came back, but they were stronger…louder…clearer…
Finally!…Destroy Chikyuu!…I won't let Freeza…
Bulma panicked, not quite sure what that meant, what that voice was or who that voice might be. She simply let her emotions overwhelm her, letting tears flow freely but not allowing herself to cry out or sob. The tears continued to run down her face in what felt like an endless streams.
The prince waited anxiously, pacing back and forth on the bridge. The ship had landed not longer than two hours ago and all of the slaves had been herded on board. His scowl deepened as his thoughts were again plagued by soft, questioning whispers: Where?…Father?…Why?…
He hated the voices, sounding so weak and helpless. Since he knew the slaves were all on board, he could finally destroy Chikyuu and be done with this. However, Radditz had not yet returned and the delay was making him furious. Suddenly, a little, green-skinned officer came onto the bridge and knelt before him. Vegeta held back the urge to kill him.
"Prince Vegeta! Radditz has returned!"
"What took him so long?" the Prince said rather venomously.
"It seems his brother was here on Chikyuu. He was simply retrieving him." The officer never looked up, hoping his life would not be taken if he kept his eyes to the floor.
"Bring Radditz here now."
"Yes, sir!" The officer quickly left the prince's presence in search of the 2nd-class warrior. He didn't have go very far. The Saiya-jin warrior was making his way down a corridor not far from the bridge, while holding a child, obviously another Saiya-jin, who was kicking and screaming. The officer stopped in front of Radditz, bowing slightly before speaking. The child stopped his stream of complaints and listened in as the officer spoke.
"Commander Radditz! Prince Vegeta wants to see you right away!"
Radditz looked at the man with a scowl then looked down at the boy in his grasp.
"Kakarotto, behave or I will simply kill you for the trouble I'm going to be in."
The boy protested, "I'm not Kakarotto! I'M GOKU!"
Radditz smirked and punched the boy in the stomach, knocking him out cold. "You are Kakarotto, boy." He handed the unconscious child over to the confused officer. "Take the boy to my chambers," Radditz stated simply before walking towards the bridge, all the while ignoring the expression on the speechless officer.
It didn't take long for the young Saiya-jin to disappear down the corridor. The green-skinned officer looked down at the boy with a raised eyebrow. He wondered to himself why Commander Radditz bothered to save the boy knowing it could get him in serious trouble with the prince or perhaps get him killed. Then again, why should he care? He stared at the boy in his arms again then made his way towards Radditz' chamber.
Radditz knew what was coming. He had hoped that it wouldn't have taken this long or that the prince wouldn't find out that he deviated from orders to search out for his little brother. Why he had done so was perplexing to him. When he finally found him, the little shit of a brother had such low ki it was disgusting. Perhaps he thought that it would be a waste of a Saiya-jin life if his little brother was killed in the purge. He had a feeling the prince might go against Freeza's orders and do a foolhardy thing, such as destroying Chikyuu. He paused before entering the bridge with his head high, but a slight fear tugged at his heart.
The prince turned to face him, a scowl locked on his very young features. Radditz was kneeling before him and the prince knew that the slightly older man, a boy really in his late teens, was fearful of him. As it should be, he thought.At the age of 13, the prince was not only heir to the throne of Vegeta-sei, he was also the strongest Saiya-jin alive. And right now he was quite pissed at the other Saiya-jin kneeling before him. His stern glare rested on Radditz for a moment before he spoke.
"Why did you deviate from your orders?" the prince asked emotionlessly.
"My prince, I didn't want to waste a Saiya-jin life in the destruction of Chikyuu." Radditz spoke the truth straightforwardly, knowing the prince hated it whenever someone tried to kiss too much ass or beat around the bush. The prince's eye twitched. He had not realized that Radditz knew of his plan.
"That 'Saiya-jin life' is a traitor, who went against his mission and disobeyed his directive. I think your feelings on this matter are worthless since what you 'rescued' is also worthless," the prince said again emotionlessly. Inwardly, he was glad that the traitor had not purged the planet, which would have allowed Freeza to have gained control of it much too soon.
"The boy is my brother and sustained a brain trauma, resulting in a complete memory wipe. Perhaps he can regain his worth in the army?" Radditz bit his lip. Why was he pleading for the boy? Was it for his own skin?
The prince stared at him for a moment. The awkward silence that hung between them made the fear in Radditz' heart grow. Was he going to be killed for his stupid mistake? For a moment, the prince's face looked troubled, but then the look was quickly replaced by an emotionless mask.
The prince hated this. The damn whispers came back all of a sudden, causing him to lose his resolve and let his emotions show. But the prince was quick enough to shake it off and continued to glare down at the tall, spiky-haired Saiya-jin kneeling before him. The words he caught when the whispers came left him shivering inside: Don't kill!…They…are strong…
"I will be the one to determine his worth, not you. You will be disciplined when we return to Vegeta-sei for your actions and the boy will be sent to the training program to see if he can redeem you. If not, I will see to it that you will die at the hands of some worthless fool so that for years your death will be remembered as a joke." The prince allowed his words to sink in and turned his back to the kneeling man. "Leave and hope that I don't see your pitiful face ever again."
Without another word, Radditz got to his feet, bowed and left in rush, very grateful that he wasn't killed outright for his actions. To simply be disciplined wasn't a generous let-off but it was justly and he knew he could survive it. That the prince didn't kill him on the spot like he normally did to those who irked him was simply miraculous. Perhaps it hadn't irked him as much as Radditz thought. And the fact he didn't order Kakarotto to his death was simply…amazing. Radditz made his way to his assigned post, knowing he would strive to keep as much distance from the prince as he could.
Bulma sat at the back of the dark cell thinking silently to herself with her eyes closed. I hope they don't kill me, I know they are strong enough to probably kill everyone in the room. Her silent thoughts were pierced by those damn whispers again:
Pathetic…endangering mission…stupid…should die…The words were harsh and powerful causing her head to ache, but they held an odd fear, like the words were afraid of something. She let a small moan out when suddenly the cell's overhead lights came on, forcing her eyes to open. She felt a slight panic as the cell shook and rumbled. Bulma shot up onto her feet. There was a small stained window close to her and she quickly, before anyone else, looked through it. The ship was taking off. While everyone else was panicking, she felt the need to be strong and not to panic…if she panicked she would die. She held down her fear and any panic she quickly swatted away. She didn't know where her strength was coming from, but perhaps it had something to do with those whispers. As the ship made its way further and further from the ground below, as people started crying and holding each other, something came over Bulma.
The young girl's face paled as she watched helplessly, knowing she was moving farther away from her home by the second. And the farther the ship slipped away from the ground, the farther she slipped from the life she knew and loved…and from her hope in the future. They were out in space now, her world hung only slightly in view. As she watched, the whispers came back so loudly, so heart-wrenching, so unbearable.
Now…to destroy Chikyuu…Freeza will pay…This is the only way…Bulma screamed, causing everyone to look at her as if she was insane; perhaps she was. She doubled over in pain, clutching her head with her hands. Suddenly, the ship shook again, but very roughly. A loud blast was heard and the window became drenched in a blinding light. The ship roared away from the blast and Bulma could not hold it in any longer. She screamed with all her pain.
Chikyuu was no more…
Prince Vegeta stood at the dock, overlooking the last of the explosion as the planet before him disappeared. Initially, he felt a slight pang in his chest at what he had just done but no more. It had to be done, he had to do it. There was no other way. He knew what was ahead of him: the beating of a lifetime for disobeying the cold lizard. Radditz had unknowingly endangered the mission. The longer Chikyuu existed, the longer his chance of destroying it slipped away. But luckily, he had not missed his chance. His thoughts became clouded as the damned whispers came back, assaulting him, causing him intense pain. He doubled over, only to be caught by Nappa.
NOOOOO!!!…the whispers were so sharp and redundant, playing over and over in his mind. The prince jerked away from Nappa, barely staying on his feet.
"Prince Vegeta?" Nappa asked, the question left hanging in the air. His prince looked mad and annoyed.
"Humph," the prince smirked, but said nothing more. He wouldn't lose face. Vegeta turned on his heel and walked away from Nappa. The big, bald Saiya-jin just raised his eyebrows, following the prince with his eyes, but made no move to actually follow the prince.
Bulma was in the corner, bracing her knees against her chest, her face a mask of stone as she stared at the ground. Others were wandering aimlessly about the cells, looking like ghosts. They were the last of the Chikyuu-jin, the last of their race. The last… The numbness began to creep through her limbs again. Four short hours ago she was eating strawberries in her kitchen and now…she didn't want to think about it. She felt someone slowly approach her from the side, crawling up to meet her. She turned her head to see a raven-haired girl, perhaps a little younger then her, dressed in a odd, two-piece set of armor that looked more like a swimsuit than something to protect her and a helmet with a metal plume that looked detachable. Her cape flowed behind her as she stopped and looked worriedly at the blue-haired girl. Bulma just blinked and returned her questioning look.
"Are you okay?" the dark-haired girl asked softly, barely above a whisper.
"Yes, I think…" Bulma's voice was barely audible as well.
"What happened? Why did you scream? Are you hurt?"
"Um…no. Well, my head hurt a lot when I…err, never mind." Bulma tried to explain but she was at a loss for words. She was mad and completely frozen.
"It's okay. I know it hurt me too, when it happened. Um, did you come with anyone else?"
"Yes, my mother and I, but we were separated."
"Yeah, me too. I was with my father and we got separated."
Bulma felt her heart soften. So she wasn't alone. This girl had also been separated from her family and forced into this as well. Perhaps they could help each other; perhaps they could get through this together.
"I'm Bulma. What's your name?"
Both girls smiled at each other.
The prince had decided to personally inspect the new slaves. Normally, he would never do such a lesser chore, but since he had come to Chikyuu, those strange whispers had plagued him. He wondered if they had come from a Chikyuu-jin with some odd mental power or perhaps…he shrugged the thought off.
It was a stupid legend, a billion years old, and besides, these people were Chikyuu-jins, not Saiya-jins. There was no way a bond could be formed between two different species. The bond of legend was based on a stupid, weak idea that had something to do with two souls forming into one which gave a bonded person the ability to feel the emotions, thoughts and sometimes to affect the other's personality. To him it was rubbish; physical strength and power were the only things that mattered in the universe. He had only heard a little of the legend, not enough to know the full extent of the power of the bond. Regardless, it was based on emotions…disgusting. The only emotions he needed were rage and hate.
The prince had come to the section of the ship which held the new slaves. The captives had been divided based on their ages and bloodlines. He didn't want families to be together simply because he didn't want the irritation. The cell closest to him was the one that held the older Chikyuu-jins. He stood before the cell door for a moment and then entered. He saw every single face look upon him with fear. The prince looked around at the occupants of the cell and was disappointed. They all were weak fools…perhaps he shouldn't have taken new slaves. Then again one of these pieces of trash might amount to something. He saw a large man and a good-looking blonde close together and felt a shudder come over him, though he didn't know why. He kept his frown and walked out. He was making his way down the corridor to the next cell when his steps came almost to a stop. Now the damn whispers were coming to him now in waves and it was pissing him off. He ground his teeth and held himself up with his hand on the wall, but still he walked, inch by irritated inch. He felt nausea and he felt his head compounded with thoughts that were not his own.
Bulma, who was curled in a ball at Chi-chi's feet, wanted to cry out as her own whispers came back with vengeance. The alien thoughts were painful and hard to keep down. She wanted to die, she wanted to run…
The prince stood outside the second cell's doorway, wanting to go in, but the pain was too much. This was stupid. He should just blast all of them to get rid of those whispers, to get rid of the pain, to rid himself of this damn weakness. He raised his arm, ready to let a ki blast loose onto the cell door, to destroy the cell and all who resided inside. He was ready to blow this agony away, but he hesitated when nothing came. He couldn't, he just could not shoot and destroy the whispers. Cursing, he backed away. He was panting, sweating, and he could hardly stand, yet he continued to back away. Slowly he turned and walked into the shadows of the corridors.
Inside the cell, Bulma couldn't hold on. When it became too much to bear, she let darkness wrap itself around her and she passed out on the pain and something else…
A/N: This is the Beta'd version of Chapter 1, I hope you like it. Please give your thanks to Hollyberry for all her hard work!