Chapter 1: Captured
Princess Bulma shifted nervously against the wall of the cold, dark, space she was hidden in. It had been days since she had seen the light of day. The only light she was afforded were a couple of candles. She sat with her knees drawn up to her chest, lost in thought. The elegant dress she was wearing by now was definitely ruined.
Look at me. Bulma, Princess of Earth, reduced to hiding in a cellar, she thought dismally. Her thoughts of consternation were broken by the sound of the cellar door opening. Bulma's best friend and lady-in-waiting Chichi came down the stairs. She held a tray with food on it.
"Our protectors have given us food. There is very little left here, but they see fit to feed us," Chichi said. She sat the tray down and Bulma looked at it. There was a plate with two lean steaks and some salad. There was also two glasses of water. "Let's eat. We can't stay here too much longer. You're father told us to keep moving."
"We'll leave in the morning, Chichi. We need rest. I don't want to run into those monkeys on the way down to the next village and not be able to run away," Bulma said as she ate. Chichi nodded.
It was silent as the two ate. Chichi looked up at her friend. Even in the dim light of candlelight, she could still see Bulma's graceful features. All the dirt on Earth could not hide Bulma's rare beauty. Her blue hair and even bluer eyes were still visible through all the dirt they had accumulated on themselves in an order to keep hidden.
"Do you think we can outrun them, Chichi?" Bulma asked suddenly. Chichi stopped chewing, suddenly very confused. An unreadable expression was on Bulma's face. Chichi searched her eyes, and found the wounded puppy look in them. Frowning, Chichi stiffened her upper lip.
"You better not be giving up on me, Bulma," Chichi said. Bulma looked at her. Before she could retaliate, the cellar door opened loudly. The man who had taken them in, Sven, burst through the light with a worried look on his face. "What is it, Sven?" Chichi asked.
"Your highness, get your cloak. You must be hasty," he said quickly. He sounded out of breath. Bulma stood quickly and did as she was told. Chichi followed suit.
"What is it?" Bulma asked as Sven led them upstairs.
"They approach. Mariska begged to go get water, so I let her. She returns with news that they come from the river. We have minutes. You must go now, your highness. They will search all the homes for you and Miss Chichi. Hide in the woods or run," Sven said. Bulma put her black hood up and secured a dagger on her belt.
"I feel bad leaving you and Mariska defenseless," she said. Sven laughed heartily, but there was still a twinge a fear in it.
"I would hardly call my Mariska defenseless, my princess. But, I insist that you and Miss Chichi get going," Sven said. Bulma nodded. A short, round woman known as Mariska pushed canteen filled with water into Bulma and Chichi's chests.
"Fresh from the river. Go out the back, now," Mariska said. She never bothered to use Bulma's title, let alone use her actual name. She just ordered Bulma about. It was not like Bulma cared; she found it amusing.
"Okay. Stay safe. Goodbye," Bulma said as she stepped out the back door to the small house. Chichi followed her into the darkness. Mariska mumbled something Bulma assumed was a farewell.
Outside, Bulma saw them going in and out of houses, carrying torches. They were dragging out the occupants of the homes, demanding answers of them. They were abnormally large men, with muscles beyond her imagination. Chichi noticed her friend staring with vengeful eyes and tugged at her right arm.
"Come on, Bulma. There's about fifty of them and two of us. Those aren't really good odds," Chichi said. Bulma sighed and walked towards the dark woods. The moonlight lit their path so far. "We need to move faster than a saunter, your highness." Bulma gave Chichi a strange look.
"I know that, Chichi. We just can't start crunching leaves within earshot, can we?"
"I hadn't thought about it like that."
"Exactly. Who's the brains in this outfit?" Bulma stared at her friend. Chichi stuck her nose in the air and sped up her walking. She went ahead of Bulma until Bulma could not see her black cloak in the moonlight. Neither realized that they had been spotted, either.
One of them had seen the princess and her servant enter the forest. Stroking his goatee, he smirked calmly and looked at his comrades. They were still roughly questioning some of the villagers. The poor saps; they were scared shitless of the bigger, stronger soldiers.
So, she was hiding here after all. Best to take her by surprise, then, he thought.
"Sutek and Torre, I think I've spotted our prey," the tall, bald invader said. The shorter, dark-haired one known as Sutek smiled.
"Where, Nappa? It's about bloody time. Her highness is stealthy for a royal brat," he said. Torre stood next to Sutek, taller than him, but still shorter than Nappa.
"In the forest. The little wench is trying to get away. Go bring her back. Remember, you two. She is to be UNHARMED," Nappa said. "Bring her little friend, too. I doubt she'll be quiet without her and the last thing I need is a noisy harpy demanding where her servant is."
"Whatever you say," Torre said. He and Sutek headed silently towards the forest.
Bulma's eyes darted from side-to-side like a bird's. Her breathing had picked up and she was starting to sweat. But it was not a heat sweat; it was a cold sweat. Where had Chichi gotten to? This was definitely not the time to get emotional about a joke. Bulma and Chichi both wore black cloaks, so it was hard to see each other in the darkness. Sighing, there was only one thing Bulma could do.
"Chichi!" she whispered as loudly as she could without downright yelling. She heard a strangled yelp and then the crumpling sound of someone falling on leaves. Bulma's eyes widened to the size of saucers. "Chichi, this isn't funny! Answer me, damnit!" Bulma started moving around with her hands outstretched. She looked around fiercely, making her hood fall back. She stopped when she saw Chichi lying on the ground.
A large pair of feet were not too far from Chichi. Bulma fell to her knees and checked her friend's pulse. A sigh of tense relief was let out as she realized that Chichi was just unconscious. Bulma stood up and pulled her hood back over her head. Next, she gave the most vicious look she could must to him.
"Get away from us, you monster," she said in a deadly tone. She quickly deduced from his attire and wild, unruly hair that he was one of them.
"You know, a lot of people have died because of you," he said. Bulma's face faltered.
"How many died by your hand, hmm?" she asked.
"You liar. Get away from me!" Bulma said louder. She pulled a dagger out that Sven had given her. The soldier smiled in the darkness.
"Ooh. The kitten's got claws," he taunted. "Be gentle, princess," he said. Before she could retaliate, and she had thought up a slew of insults, Bulma felt a hard tap on the back of her neck. After that, all she would remember was darkness.
Sutek stood in front of Torre. He folded his arms and shook his head in disapproval.
"Humans. I wish someone would explain to me why we're even here," he complained. Torre threw the princess unceremoniously over his shoulder. Sutek frowned.
"You could at least hold her with some dignity, Torre. She is the princess," he said. Torre just glared at him in the moonlight. "Do what you wish, then." Sutek picked up Chichi. However, Torre did change the way he was carrying Bulma. He carried her in both arms.
Hours later, Bulma found herself in a large white room. There was nothing in it except her and Chichi. Chichi was awake and rubbing the back of her head. When she noticed that Bulma was awake, she let out a sigh of relief and crawled closer to her.
"I'm so happy you're awake!" she said loudly. Bulma nodded, but was slightly more concerned with her surroundings than her friend at the moment.
"Chichi, where are we?" Bulma asked. Chichi shrugged. There was only a single door with a very small, round window. That was the only outlet in the room.
"I don't know, but I don't believe we're still on the earth, Bulma," Chichi said. Bulma groaned.
"How would you figure that?" Space travel technology on Earth was still quite primitive in comparison to other planets. She knew it was possible to evolve, but Earth just did not have the resources yet. Bulma had ideas, but being a woman had held her back.
"Well, when I stood, I got that weird feeling you sometimes get when we're on ships, you know?"
"Chichi, you get that feeling when we're in carriages," Bulma said.
"Still, if we are in space, where would they be taking us?" Chichi asked.
"My first guess would be their home planet. It's called Vegeta-sei, I believe," Bulma replied with a calmness that betrayed how she was feeling. It was then that the door opened to the white room. A tall woman entered. She was wearing the same type of armor that the men had been wearing, only it fit in a much more feminine way. She had dark brown hair that was in a ponytail, but the ponytail was just as unruly as if her hair was down.
"It is time for decontamination, princess," she said in a cold voice. Bulma stood and raised an eyebrow. Chichi stood as well, clinging to her mistress protectively.
"Decontamination? I have no sickness. Neither does my lady," Bulma said sternly. The woman looked annoyed; she had been told to treat this princess as if she was their own.
"You are not sick, princess. However, during your...adventure, you seem to have acquired quite a bit of filth," she said. Bulma and Chichi looked down at themselves; they were indeed in dire need of a bath. Bulma looked back up and stuck her nose in the air, trying to remain calm.
"Okay. Take us," Bulma said. The woman nodded and led Bulma and Chichi down a quiet corridor. Bulma deduced they were definitely on a spaceship of some kind. When she looked out the portholes, she saw the stars against the blackness of space. Having never been to space, this amazed her.
This technology is incredible, she thought as they passed what appeared to be a control room. Oddly enough, the last thing on Bulma's mind was escaping. Why is that? she asked herself. Where would she go? She was brought out of her thoughts by a loud creaking noise. The woman was pushing a door open. My, my, she's strong.
They entered what appeared to be a bathroom filled with sinks, showers, and toilets. This was obviously a man's world; there were no stalls. The woman noticed the mortified looks on Bulma and Chichi's faces. She resisted the urge to laugh.
"All of the men are sleeping, and the ones patrolling have been instructed to stay clear of this particular bathroom. I have brought you clothes from the queen's stash, seeing that she is not here. I doubt you would want to look like a soldier until this afternoon. The dresses are a little, uh, revealing in terms to what I guess you're used to wearing. I will return in fifteen," the woman said. She had loosened up a bit as her speech went on. She turned mechanically on her heel to march out, but Bulma's voice stopped her.
"Yes, princess?" she asked.
"What is your name?" Bulma asked. The woman blinked, as if she was surprised Bulma had actually "asked."
"It is Crenia, princess. My name is Crenia," she said. Bulma nodded.
Nappa looked up as Crenia entered the control room. He noticed the slightly happy glint in her eye. Normally, she only got that glint when she was finished killing, hunting, or talking with the queen.
"You didn't kill the princess, did you?" he asked. Crenia looked at him with a "Do I look like I'm crazy" look.
"You walked in here looking like you'd killed fifty men, or had a talk with the queen. What the deal?" Nappa asked. Crenia looked out at the stars, formulating her answer. Nappa could read her like a book normally, but today she could tell he wanted to play blind man.
"That princess reminds me of the queen. That's all. They have the same mannerisms," Crenia said. Nappa scoffed and leaned back in his chair.
"If that human princess has the same dangerous survival instinct that the queen has, then you can talk to me about them having the same mannerisms. Anyone that nice that can turn into something like..."
"Let's please not get into that horrifying experience, Nappa. I'm supposed to be keeping time," Crenia said before Nappa could go into further detail.
Bulma looked at the clothes Crenia had laid out for them. Chichi threw her a dress and Bulma slinked into it. It took her a moment to realize what went where, but she eventually got it.
The queen must definitely be in good shape, she thought. Chichi and Bulma looked at each other. Neither had ever realized what great bodies the other had. Their dresses were the same, except that Chichi's was black and Bulma's was white.
A slit on the left side went almost all the way to their hip. The dress was so low cut, Bulma felt as though she would fall out of it if she bent over too far. Chichi was glad she was not really having that problem, though. She smiled knowingly at Bulma. The sleeves were only attached by a few bits of thread and were only tight for about an inch. The rest was just long and loose.
"Chiffon. It's all chiffon," Chichi said.
"I kinda like it," Bulma said, noticing that most of her back was out, too. "The queen isn't too shy about showing off her body, is she?"
"That's because she has a great one," Crenia said from the doorway. Bulma and Chichi turned to face her quickly. Crenia examined both of them. She noticed that Chichi could easily pass for one of them. Bulma, on the other hand, looked like an otherworldly being. "I see you've dressed. We'll be arriving soon. You'll be told everything there," Crenia said. Bulma crossed her arms and made a choking noise.
"What is there to know?" Chichi asked for her in an incredulous tone. Crenia stared at Bulma and Chichi for a moment.
"What do you two know exactly?"
It was then that both Bulma and Chichi realized that they really did not know much that had transpired in the last three weeks while they were hiding. Everything was brought to them in bits and pieces and the vast majority was always secondhand. They glanced at each other for a moment and just looked confused.
"We know your race invaded our planet," Bulma said. Crenia nodded.
"Oh, princess. You know so little. Come. I will give you two something to eat before you go to your room. I'm sure you don't want fifty horny men drooling over you in those dresses. I daresay some of them get very lonely. It's best to stick with me," Crenia said as she left the bathroom. Bulma and Chichi ran to catch up with her.
"Will we meet the queen?" Chichi asked. Crenia nodded.
"Yes. She is actually the one who wanted you to be brought to Vegeta-sei. But, I cannot speak on any more matters. You will meet both of the monarchs when we get to Vegeta-sei, princess," she said.
"What are they like?" Bulma asked. Crenia smirked.
"Night and day, princess. Night and day."