Title: A Killer in Me
Rating: PG-13 for violence
Disclaimer: I don't own them.
This was written by my sister Annabell...
Many thanks to Reber and Stacey for inspiring me to write this!
*Disarm you with a smile,
And cut you like you want me to.
Cut that little child,
Inside of me and such a part of you.
Ooh, the years burn,
Ooh, the years burn.*
~ Lyrics from the Smashing Pumpkins, "Disarm".
Dr. Briefs leaned back on his stool at his desk in the Capsule Corp lab, raising his arms over his head and stretching his back. The black cat on his shoulder also indulged in a stretch.
"Well, kitty," the graying man said to his companion, "I think I might have it this time." There was an air of barely suppressed excitement in his voice.
What he was working on was something he called a Regenerator Ray. It was supposed to restore old, moldy foods to their fresh, edible state. If he could get it to work, it would solve much of the world's hunger problem. But the invention was proving to be very difficult. It had taken him over a year to get as far as he had and it still wasn't working right. The first trials had resulted in a pile of large, incinerated oranges. Later testing had resulted in orange blossoms, seeds and even moldier oranges. Bulma had urged him several times to give it up, but Dr. Briefs was determined to make it work. And now, he thought he might have actually got it right.
He bent over the sleek barrel of the ray gun and resumed tinkering. The old man was so engrossed in his project that he failed to notice the sun setting outside the lab, or the faint charred smell of faulty wiring as one of the main generators caught on fire. Dr. Briefs was too caught up in the creative process of inventing to notice that his life was in grave danger. The little cat did notice, and tried to warn the doctor, but it was too late. Because at that point a loud explosion of the generator blowing itself to smithereens actually did attract his attention, as did fiery debris that rained down around him.
"What the…" he started.
The automatic sprinklers kicked on, drenching everything, but suddenly stopped as the neighboring generator felt the need to copy its companion and blow sky-high as well. Several large chunks of ceiling crashed around the old man, who immediately tried to dive under the table. But a nasty, jagged piece of support beam clipped his head as he dropped, rendering him unconscious.
Outside, Bulma had screamed when the first generator exploded. She knew her father was working late in the lab, and tried to reach the workshop, but the collapsing ceiling had prevented her from entering. The blue haired woman frantically clawed at the sharp metal blocking her way to her father when a strong arm reached around her and pulled her back.
"Stay here, woman," a low voice growled. Turning abruptly, she stared frantically at the small Saiyan prince dressed in a dark blue workout suit and white gloves and boots. His familiar scowl, usually intimidating to most people, was the most welcome sight she could have seen at that time.
"Oh, god! Vegeta, father's in there! Get him out, please!" she nearly sobbed.
"I will, woman, just stay back!" Vegeta ordered. She nodded and stepped back to give him room. With a carefully controlled burst of ki, he cleared the blocked doorway, ignoring the thick smoke billowing out into the hallway. Bulma backed up, clamping a hand over her nose and mouth, trying not to inhale the smoke. Not bothered by the smoke or fire, Vegeta flew through the door and scanned the enormous lab, looking for Bulma' father. His black eyes narrowed as he spotted the prone figure under the table.
Moving with speed that would have stunned a human, Vegeta was by the unconscious doctor's side and scooped the old man up in his arms. Flying as fast as he dared, he returned to the hallway where Bulma waited for them, pacing up and down as near as she could.
"Thank you, Vegeta!" she cried as she took her father from the small Saiyan's arms.
"Father?" she gently patted the old man's cheek to try to wake him up, but the doctor was completely out cold. She jumped back with as gasp of surprise as the lab coat stirred and the small cat crawled out, coughing dryly. Bulma looked up at a touch on her shoulder.
"I'll take care of the fire, get him to the infirmary," the small prince ordered curtly.
Nodding, she dragged her father down the smoky hall, starting to cough as well. Vegeta turned back to the lab and entered the blazing room. With controlled ki bursts, he began to methodically extinguish the fires dotting the lab. He worked his way deeper into the burning building, trying not to inhale too deeply, and his scowl deepened as he progressed. Finally, he stood in the middle of the room, concentrating on his work.
Behind him, another smaller piece of ceiling fell and landed squarely on the miraculously intact Regenerator Ray. The impact activated the gun, sending out a beam of blue-white that hit Vegeta squarely in the back.
Vegeta staggered, a cry of surprise torn from his lips as the wave of light washed over him. It lasted just an instant, but in that instant, his whole body felt like it was jolted with an incredibly powerful lightning bolt. Then it was gone.
Snarling, Vegeta turned to locate the source of the unexpected attack. Seeing the offending piece of machinery, he promptly aimed a ki blast at it, and blew it into a million pieces.
"Stupid machine," he muttered in annoyance as he turned back to his work. Slowly, the fire was contained; by then Vegeta's face was slick with sweat and soot, his breath coming in quick gasps. Finally, the last fire was extinguished.
For a long moment, Vegeta stood in the middle of the gutted lab, panting hard. He shook his head, staggering slightly as his equilibrium left him briefly, and then recovered. He brought his hands up to clutch his hair, trying to get a grip on himself. A wave of nausea swept over him, and he crouched, leaning forward, gasping. He frantically tried to get control of himself. What the hell was going on?
Snarling, he straightened up, drawing in a deep breath of smoky air. The need for fresh air was suddenly overwhelming and Vegeta threw a shaky ki blast at the scorched ceiling overhead. As the remaining beams caved in, he gathered his fraying ki and flew into the sky above the smoldering Capsule Corp lab. Filling his lungs with the cool air cleared his spinning head for a little while. But then the dizziness returned with a vengeance. He tried to fly, but the world was spinning, and he couldn't seem to hold on to the concentration he needed to stay aloft. Unaware he was rocketing across the sky, and not knowing where he was going; he finally lost his tenuous control of his wildly fluctuating ki. Vegeta fell from the sky.
He crashed down in the woods, landing on his hands and knees, creating a huge dent in the soft ground underneath him. He leaned forward, closing his eyes as he continued breathing heavily. Then his stomach rebelled completely, and he vomited. The spasms of dry heaves wracked his body, long after he had emptied his stomach.
He felt that his insides were simultaneously trying to implode and explode. Finally, trembling with weakness that seemed alien to him, the small prince managed to crawl a few feet before collapsing completely, too weak to support himself any longer.
Then the first wave of the real pain washed over him. Too weak to scream, he just lay there, writhing in agony. Gripping the cool earth in his gloved hands, he gritted his teeth. He couldn't understand what was happening to him. Oh, Kami! What the fuck is wrong with me? Am I dying? Ironic that he, Vegeta, Prince of the almost extinct race of Saiyans, survivor of countless battles against overwhelming odds, was dying alone in the woods. Not even an enemy nearby to help him out of this misery, or even an ally. It would have been funny, but he was in no condition to apprectiate the humor.
He opened his eyes as the pain seemed to recede slightly. Bright stars glittered through the leaves overhead. Dimly, he wondered if one of them was the sun that had shone down on his beloved Vegetasei. Then the pain came tearing back, and he forgot about
Vegetasei, stars and everything as his whole body convulsed. The prince's vision turned red as his heart started slamming against his ribs. He screamed soundlessly, then finally, mercifully, black boiled up through the red, and Vegeta passed out.
In another part of the world, in a serene valley, Piccolo stirred in his meditation. Night insects continued to chirp, oblivious to his unease. As he levitated, the Namek stretched out his senses. He thought he had felt a disturbance, like someone's ki flaring wildly out of control. But as he waited for the feeling to repeat itself, there was nothing.
Piccolo frowned. Whatever happened, it was over. But the Namek could not shake the feeling of foreboding. He knew that something was wrong, but decided to wait for it to reveal itself. In the mean time, Piccolo would prepare himself to meet any challenge that the future would bring.
At Kame House, Krillin straightened up from digging in the refrigerator, where he had been looking for a late night snack. He frowned, stretching out his senses. He could have sworn he had felt something, but there was nothing. Shrugging, he turned back to the leftover banana cream pie that 18 had made for dessert that night. He smirked, knowing that Oolong would be mad at him for eating the last of it.
At the Son residence, teenage Gohan stirred uneasily in his sleep. But the disturbance was far away, and he subconsciously knew that his father was there, to protect them if anything was wrong. In the next room, two young boys, Trunks and Goten exhausted from a long day of roughhousing, slept on, oblivious.
In his bed, Son Goku opened his eyes. Carefully getting out of bed, so as not to disturb Chi-Chi, he walked to the window and leaned out on the sill. Studying the sky, a worried look crossed his normally cheerful features. "Vegeta?" he whispered. Tensely, he waited for another disturbance; one that would send him rocketing into the sky to aid his friend, but there was nothing. Finally he went back to bed, but did not sleep.
In the charred, smoky remains of what was once a Capsule Corps lab, Bulma sighed. The sun was beginning to light the horizon, clearly visible through the gaping holes in the walls. Dr. Briefs was going to be all right; he had a concussion and was suffering from smoke inhalation, but the doctors had assured her that the old man would live to invent again.
Coughing slightly from the smoke still lingering in the air, Bulma silently thanked Kami that no one had been hurt in the fire. It had been sheer luck that Trunks had been staying over with Goten. She shuddered to think of what she would have done if her son had been there when the generator had exploded. Although it probably would not have hurt the young half Saiyan, she was still a mother. If not for Vegeta, her father would have been dead. And speaking of Vegeta…
"Where the hell is he?" she wondered.
Deep in the woods…
A little Saiyan child scrunched his nose. The air didn't smell like the recycled space pod air that he was used to breathing. Instead, it was rich, filled with a multitude of scents that teased his senses with their variety. Strange creatures made chirping noises around him as he slowly opened his dark eyes. He was little more than a cub, but to Saiyans, age was irrelevant.
He was lying on his stomach with his cheek pressed into the soft earth. He drew a deep breath, savoring the strong smells of dirt, trees and wild creatures. A slow smirk curled his lips as he raised his head, his furry tail twitched in anticipation. He hoped there were strong inhabitants on this planet, because he really needed a challenge. He had to get stronger, much stronger, if he was going to defeat Freiza.
He rose to his feet, wobbling a little. Feeling a bit strange, he stretched hard, trying to loosen up any stiff muscles. His tail ruffled before he relaxed with a grin of anticipation. The Saiyan cub found it hilarious that by sending him out to clean up planets, Freiza was unknowingly helping to bring about his own destruction. Each time the little Saiyan fought, he got stronger. Someday, he would be stronger than the lunatic changeling, and then everything would change.
Then he frowned, noticing that he wasn't wearing his armor.
Then he looked closely at what he was wearing. It was his usual dark blue sleeveless jumpsuit, but it was filthy! Sniffing, he wrinkled his nose again, this time in disgust. It smelled like smoke.
Did the pod crash?He wondered, Strange, I don't see it. And then he realized that he didn't have a scouter either. Well, shit. Freiza must really be testing me this time. Dark eyes narrowed. Fine then, I'll play this his way, stupid bastard.
With a self-confident swagger, the young Saiyan started walking through the forest, his keen senses cataloging sights, sounds and scents for future reference. I wonder who is going to buy this planet? Then he dismissed the thought. Who cares?
Hearing a different sound, something that sounded mechanical rather than natural, the Saiyan headed towards it. He came out on a busy road, and observed primitive floating motor vehicles. Curling his lip in derision, the Saiyan walked directly out onto the road and put a hand out.
"Stop!" he commanded.
Cars went everywhere, caroming off of each other, trying to avoid hitting the small figure standing arrogantly in the middle of the road. The sweet sound of metal rending and the screaming of the cars' occupants filled the air. The Saiyan child laughed.
Picking a car at random, he approached the upside down vehicle. The occupants were dazed. Impatiently, the Saiyan ripped open the door and peered in. In it was a young man dressed in a suit. His passenger was a female, moaning as a stream of blood dripped steadily down her forehead.
"Hey!" he shouted, getting the attention of the driver.
"Huh?" was the groggy reply.
"Who is the strongest man on this miserable mudball?" the boy demanded.
"Mr. Satan," the man mumbled, spitting some blood.
"Where is he?"
"Satan City." The man waved vaguely up the road.
The Saiyan cub turned his back on the injured pair and began to walk straight up the middle of the road, heading in the direction that the man in the upside down car at pointed. People in the smashed cars stared at the boy, there was something about him, and it wasn't just his furry tail swaying behind him either.
"Hey, you!" A very pissed off man climbing out the wreckage of his brand new car shouted at the boy. "You little shit! Just who the hell to you think you are?"
The boy stopped walking. Turning around, he didn't answer the man. He just lifted one hand with his palm out and his thumb folded across it. A ball of light materialized in the boy's palm, growing to the size of a soft ball.
The man didn't have time to react.
"Big Bang Attack."
The ball of light flew at the man, incinerating both him, and his car.
Even before the car's fuel tank exploded, the boy had resumed his journey to Satan City. There was a series of explosions as neighboring cars also caught on fire. The screams of the people being burned alive as well as the explosions brought a small, catlike smile to the Saiyan cub's lips.
"Fools," he snorted. Then, gathering his ki, the boy flew through the air, eager to meet this Mr. Satan guy. Meet him…and kill him.
As the Saiyan cub entered the city, he flew lower and lower, frowning.
"Maybe I should have asked what this moron Mr. Satan looked like before I blew them
away," he mumbled to himself. Shrugging, he set down in a quiet neighborhood and looked around. Houses lined the street and tall trees shaded the sidewalks. He walked down the street, looking for a person to ask his question. He saw a housewife taking dry clothes off of her clothesline. Her hair was up in rollers and her terrycloth bathrobe fluttered in the breeze.
The small Saiyan made a beeline for her. "Woman!" he called to her.
She turned around, and her eyes widened. A small child was scowling up at her. A thick mane of wild hair stood on end, with errant locks tumbling down over his forehead. And curling behind him was…
"A tail!" she exclaimed.
The child frowned harder if possible. "Where can I find Mr. Satan," he demanded, folding his little arms over his chest.
She beamed down at the child. Despite the grouchy look on his face, he was absolutely adorable! "Why, he lives on the other side of town, near Orange Star High School."
The boy nodded once and turned to leave, then something caught his eye.
Fluttering on the clothesline was a black short sleeve shirt. But what had caught his attention wasn't the shirt; it was what was on the shirt. It was a picture of a brown creature, which looked remarkably like the Saiyan's Ozuruu form (actually, it was just a monkey) crouching and glaring with red eyes and a long tail curling up behind it. Clenched in its jaws was a long, wicked-looking knife. Under the wonderful picture was the words Furious George. Whatever that meant.
"Obviously, you are one of the more intelligent inhabitants of this planet," the Saiyan said to the woman.
She giggled. "That belonged to my son, but he's finally outgrown it. Do you want it?"
The Saiyan boy's smile was feral. "Yes, I think I would."
Later, wearing his new shirt over his torn and stained jumpsuit, the small Saiyan landed next to a large building just as a bell rang. Young people who had been milling aimlessly around the grounds started drifting into the school. Ignoring them, the boy looked up at the words near the top of the building over the door.
Orange Star High School.
Grinning with anticipation, the Saiyan's tail twitched from side to side. He was getting close. After he killed this Mr. Satan, then he would go about clearing the rest of the planet. Its best to start from the top and work your way down.
He became aware that he was being watched. Deliberately he looked around. Most of the people had gone into the building, but there were a few stragglers left. One group of five teenage boys were dressed in leather jackets and was holding small white sticks that smoked in their mouths. Grinning to each other, they sauntered over to where the little shrimp was standing and staring up at the school.
"Well, well, well. Lookie here boys! What's this?" the one in the lead asked the others as they neared the boy and spread out, surrounding the kid with the monkey shirt.
The Saiyan didn't appear to care; he just lowered his head and smirked, his arms folded over his chest. The tip of his furry tail twitched ever so slightly.
The biggest one, who had a shaved head, took his stick out of his mouth and bent over right in the boy's face. Deliberately he exhaled the smoke into the little wimp's face.
The boy closed his dark eyes briefly as the smoke rolled across his face, but didn't move, or even change expression. The furry tip continued to twitch back and forth.
"Hey, guys. Get a load of this! This kid has a tail," one of the bullies called to his companions. "Isn't it cute!" he sneered, reaching out to grab it.
Afterward, none of the would-be bullies could clearly remember exactly what happened. In one instant, the kid wearing a monkey shirt was standing there, motionless. The next instant, all of them were lying on the ground, none less then thirty feet from the boy with a furry tail.
"What the hell…" one of them muttered. Slowly they all got to their feet, each in varying states of shock. The kid was still standing there, smirking. But now he was enveloped by a surging white flame, making his face seem almost demonic.
"What the hell are you?" the biggest one who had blown smoke in the kid's face demanded, his own face white.
The kid didn't answer. Instead he slowly raised one hand, palm out. To the bully's horror, a sphere of light nestled in the small palm began to glow and grow bigger. The bully could only stand there in shock, as the kid's smirk grew even wider. That was the last thing the bully saw.
The other members of the gang stared in horror at the sight of their friend being incinerated. Then the kid turned and looked at the rest of them. That was all it took to break the spell. They took off like the devil himself was after them, and in reality, it wasn't very far from the truth.
Videl was hurrying to class when she was nearly trampled by the herd of terrified teenagers. They were screaming and a few of them were even sobbing. She recognized them as some of the local brats that thought they were tough and picked on anyone smaller than themselves, which was most of the school.
"What in the world?" she wondered aloud. What had scared them so badly?
She watched them run down the hall and turn the corner. Them Videl heard a sound behind her and turned, crouching into a fighting stance, ready to defend herself against whatever monster had terrified the toughest kids in school. Her eyes widened as her jaw dropped in surprise.
"It's just a kid!" she exclaimed as she straightened up.
The kid raised an eyebrow at her as he folded his arms over his black t-shirt. "Do you have a problem with my being young?" he asked.
Videl was about to answer when she looked closer at the black-haired boy. Waving behind him was a furry, brown...
"You have a tail!" she gasped.
The kid rolled his eyes. "I can see nothing gets by you. You must be one of the lower intelligent beings on this mudball," he sneered.
Mr. Satan's daughter frowned briefly at the snide remark; though there was something familiar about the smirking expression and the stance. Something that reminded her of someone that she was acquainted with. Then she remembered something that Gohan had told her about tails. "You're a little Saiyan!" she said, smiling with delight. "I know some people who will be so excited to meet you. I didn't there were any other Saiyans left! And you're just a kid. Look at you, you are so adorable!"
Gohan, who heard the panicked screams of the gang of toughs, had come running to the source of the disturbance, only to skid to a stop as Videl flew by, crashed into the wall behind him, and slid down to lie in a crumpled heap on the floor.
"Videl!" he shouted, spinning around to face whatever evil had knocked his crime-fighting partner into next week. His black eyes grew large at the sight of the kid with wild black hair standing calmly with one fist extended. "Why did you hit her?" he asked.
The kid snorted in disdain. "She called me adorable."
Gohan gaped, not having an answer for that. Instead, he crouched down next to Videl, and helped her to her feet. She stood, swaying as the world spun around her. "What happened?" she muttered.
"That kid hit you." Gohan supplied helpfully.
She shook her head, trying to clear it. "That little brat! I'll…" she started.
"You'll what?" the kid snapped. "Bleed on me?"
"Enough, both of you." Gohan didn't want to have to break up a fight, especially when the combatants were a girl and a kid. "Videl, we are going to be late for class. Let's go." He turned to leave.
"Gohan, wait!" Videl said, grabbing his arm. "Look at that kid!" she ordered.
Gohan rolled his eyes before turning back around. Obediently he looked at the kid, who had folded his little arms over his chest. "What about him, Videl?" he asked.
"Don't you see anything unusual about him?"
Gohan looked closer. "Not really, except for that hair." He shrugged, turning to leave again.
"Gohan! He had a tail!" she all but shrieked.
Now that Gohan was looking closer, he could see it clearly. It was a long, furry brown tail that twitched slightly at the tip. "You're a Saiyan!" Gohan ran up to the kid, who took a step back warily.
"Keep you're distance, whatever-you-are!" the kid ordered.
"Hey, take it easy. I'm half Saiyan," Gohan explained. "I used to have a tail like that."
Without thinking, Gohan reached out to touch the soft fur.
The kid leaped away, almost hissing in rage. "Don't touch the tail!"
"Sorry," Gohan apologized, red-faced. In an attempt to divert the kid's attention from his blunder, the half-Saiyan changed the subject. "How long have you been here?"
The kid snarled, his tail lashing from side to side. "Since this morning, not that it's any of your business."
"Oh, well. If you don't have a place to stay, want to stay with my family? My dad is a Saiyan and I'll bet he'd love to meet you!" Gohan offered.
The little Saiyan considered it. With the exception of Nappa and Raditz, he was the only Saiyan left. If there were more Saiyans, it was his duty to meet with them. Plus, if there were already Saiyans here, why the hell hadn't the planet been cleared yet? He had to investigate this.
"Very well, I will go with you now to meet the other Saiyan," he announced.
Now it was Videl's turn to worry about punctuality. "Gohan, you'll be late for class!" She grabbed his arm.
"It won't take long, just tell the teacher something and I'll be back as soon as possible!"
He shook loose his arm and motioned for the ornery squirt to follow him. They jogged out the front door and blasted into the sky. Gohan looked over at his little companion.
The kid was keeping pace with no apparent difficulty.
"That kid reminds me of someone,"Gohan thought. "But who?"