The young woman threw back her head and screamed in
pain. Her long, spiky black hair, now
matted down with sweat, stuck to her forehead and cheeks as she writhed on the
medical center bed. Her long brown tail
lashed back and forth as the pain coursed relentlessly through her body.
said the doctor who stood poised between her well-muscled legs to deliver her
child. His light-blue skinned hands
worked diligently as the infant's slick, black-haired head emerged. The child's torso and legs soon followed, its
tail wrapped protectively around its waist.
The doctor supported the infant with one arm and deftly tied and cut the
umbilical cord with the other, examining the child for weakness and defects. The child waved its chubby little fists,
scowled at the doctor, and immediately began to yowl as the cold cycled air of
the med-center hit its wet, naked body.
male," the doctor told the still laboring woman, who fell back against the bed
panting in exhaustion. The doctor
handed the wailing infant to a nearby attendant who immediately wrapped a
blanket around the child and began to diligently clean the blood off of his
tiny body. The doctor now turned his
attention back to the young Saiyan woman lying exhausted on the bed. His long pointy ears twitched in surprise as
he caught sight of the small brown tail twitching from between the woman's
legs. "What in the. . .," the doctor
muttered as he leaned over and touched the tiny appendage, which lashed
furiously against his fingers. "It
couldn't be," he said as he stroked the tiny tail. Another contraction rippled through the woman's body, causing her
to arch her back and scream. A tiny
foot appeared next to the tail.
woman's cry, the attendants standing behind the doctor instantly turned their
attention from the howling Saiyan infant in their care to the screaming woman
and the doctor. One of them, a tall
young humanoid man with light orange skin and long dark green hair pulled back
from his face in a long braid stepped forward and placed a hand on the doctor's
shoulder. "What is it, Scleren?" the
young man asked, concern creasing his brow.
turning from where he was working to free the infant's other leg, Scleren
grunted and replied, "Nothing, Pazru, hand me another clamp and the scissors. I will need them again soon." Confused by
the doctor's orders, Pazru looked over Scleren's shoulder and gasped.
"Twins?! Scleren, but . . . ."
know. One of these two children will
not be allowed to survive. But that is
not my concern right now. Hurry, Pazru,
prepare the tools I need and call for another blanket." With one last glance at the second infant's
lashing tail, the young man hurried to follow Scleren's orders.
woman thrashed her head back and forth on the sweat-soaked pillow and moaned
loudly. Her tail whipped out from the
bed, just barely missing a startled Pazru and knocking over a tray of
instruments. Other attendants rushed to
clean up the mess, being careful to dodge the lashing tail.
Scleren spoke soothingly to the young mother
as he worked to remove the infant from her body. After a little maneuvering the infant's other leg was free. Scleren skillfully maneuvered one of his
hands beneath the infant so that the child straddled his arm. In response the tiny wet tail wrapped
tightly around his arm. He gently
pushed his hand in further under the child until he reached its face, where he
was swiftly bitten by the infant.
Cursing under his breath, Scleren cupped his palm over the child's mouth
to make an air pocket. "Give me one
more hard push," he pleaded with the howling woman. With an ear-shattering shriek the young woman forced the child,
still straddling Scleren's arm, from her body and abruptly and mercifully fell
unconscious, her tail hanging limply off the side of the bed.
to one of the attendants with his head, Scleren ordered, "Attend to the
mother." A short, fat fish-like
creature quickly obeyed his command. "Pazru, clamp." The young green-haired man was instantly at his side with the
desired instrument. Flipping the infant
over onto its back (his back, Scleren noted), the doctor seized the
proffered clamp and applied it the still pulsing umbilical cord. The Saiyan infant howled when Scleren broke
the grip of his tail. Ignoring the
screaming baby, Scleren obtained another clamp from Pazru and placed it a few
inches lower than the first. Pazru
stood ready with a clean pair of surgical scissors in his hand, which he
swiftly handed over to the doctor who grunted and severed the cord. "Blanket," Scleren demanded. A small long-snouted attendant with dark
yellow skin and short, spiky lavender hair handed the item and several
cleansing cloths to the doctor who immediately began to wash thick globs of
blood from the infant's body. He then
wrapped the soft warm blanket around the child's body.
scowled at him, a tuft of damp spiky black hair partly obscuring one eye. This child was slightly smaller than his
older brother and his skin was a shade darker.
His tail snaked out of the folds of the blanket and securely wrapped
itself around the doctor's arm, squeezing it for good measure. "My, my, but aren't you the stubborn little
one, ay, brat?" Scleren chuckled, pushing the ebony lock from the infant's
face. Still holding the child in his
arms he walked over to where the first infant was being held by a purple,
pebbly-skinned attendant. The child had
finally quieted and was staring wide-eyed at his surroundings. When he caught sight of the doctor and the
small bundle in his arms, the first infant clumsily scrambled out of its warm
blanket and up onto the shoulder of the surprised attendant, where he began to
gurgle and coo excitedly. His younger
brother was less enthusiastic about meeting his twin and began to wail and buck
in the doctor's arms. The older twin,
his dry hair already springing up in the spiky black disarray that would
characterize his appearance for the rest of his life, as it was with all
Saiyans, tilted his head in puzzlement at his younger brother's reaction and
began to wail in empathy.
chuckling, stood slightly behind Scleren watching the comical scene, but
immediately sobered, knowing that one of these children would not be allowed to
survive in accordance with Lord Frieza's decree. Pazru glanced back at the still unconscious mother being attended
to by the fat fish-creature and then back to the howling children. He sighed.
At this, Scleren turned, frowning, and looked at his young, sensitive
attendant. Carefully removing the
younger Saiyan's tail from his arm, Scleren handed the still bawling baby to a
tall, muscular red-haired attendant. He
ordered the infants to be taken to the nursery and fed, and the two attendants
hurried from the room. Clapping his arm
around Pazru's shoulders, Scleren led the troubled young man from the room.
understand how you feel. I do not
desire for either of those two children to die." He steered Pazru into the adjoining scrub room, and sat him down
on a cold metal bench running the length of the room. Pazru leaned back against the cool wall, scrunched his eyes shut,
and sighed, his narrow shoulders drooping.
The doctor turned to a small keyboard panel set into the wall next to
the room's entrance and pushed a short series of buttons, the keys glowing red
as he touched them. Finished, he turned
away from the panel, which began to rapidly blink soft blue. The door panel silently slid shut behind
him. Pazru, his face in shadow,
suddenly spoke up.
why would Frieza demand such a thing?
Wouldn't it make sense to let all the Saiyan children live? Then he would have more of them working in
that blasted planet trade of his."
Scowling, Pazru leaned forward, elbows planted on his knees, chin
resting on his folded hands. A stray
strand of silky green hair fell out of the braid and into his face. Angrily, Pazru tucked the loose strand
behind one of his almost non-existent ears and resumed his intense study of the
"It is not
your place to question what Lord Frieza says," Scleren replied coldly as he
pulled the blood-splattered tunic over his head. Pazru looked up at him in sudden terror, his large amber-colored
eyes widening in shock. Scleren turned
away from the frightened attendant, still holding the bloodstained garment, and
walked nonchalantly over to a second keyboard panel on the other side of the
room where he pressed several softly glowing buttons. A small, transparent door to the right of the panel opened with a
hiss and Scleren threw the ruined tunic into it. He pushed another series of buttons and the panel closed. "Countdown to incineration," an
emotionless mechanical voice sounded, and proceeded to countdown from 10, the
panel flashing in response as each number was spoken. Scleren stood unmoving in front of the panel, arms crossed. A thin sheen of sweat broke out on Pazru's
forehead as he stared wide-eyed at the doctor's broad back. "Incineration has begun," the robot
voice said, and blue-white flames surged up behind the little door, consuming
the soiled garment. Pazru's eyes
widened even more at the sight of the blaze.
Scleren suddenly turned around facing him with a smirk on his face, the
shadows of the flames playing on one side of his face. In abject fear, Pazru sat up and pressed
himself against the wall as best he could.
Scleren broke the tense silence, "Don't worry, Pazru, I'm not one of Frieza's
informers. I hate that frigid son of a
bitch just as much as everyone else."
Pazru shut his eyes in relief, took a deep breath, and slumped down
against the wall. Chuckling, Scleren
reached up and released the ties holding his topknot. A mane of coarse, bluish-white hair spilled down to his shoulder
blades. "I really had you there, Pazru,"
the old doctor laughed, returning to the panel and receiving a new, clean tunic.
weak chuckle the relieved attendant replied, "You never do know who's on your
side and who's not, Scleren. But why
would Lord Frieza make such a decree?"
you know, Pazru, the Saiyan population is getting rather large, and land for
housing accommodations, and more importantly for the Saiyans, food supplies are
running low, and. . ."
ridiculous!" Pazru interrupted, his nostrils flaring in rage. "Vegetasei is
enormous, with enough land and food for at least twice the current Saiyan
population, not to mention the resident aliens such as us!"
Frieza only wants the strongest warriors out there clearing planets in that
ridiculous trade of his," Scleren, his voice muffled as he pulled on the new
tunic, ignoring his younger subordinate's interjection. Pazru sat hunched over, his fists
clenched. Scleren's voice dropped in
volume and suddenly became flat and serious.
"It's all nonsense, Pazru. That
whole stupid decree concerning the limiting of the Saiyan population that
Frieza forced King Vegeta to make law is one large load of shit." Startled at his mentor's use of profanity
Pazru looked up at the old doctor.
Pulling his hair out from underneath the neck of the garment, Scleren
fastened and straightened the tunic, smoothing over the wrinkles with his long
fingers. "Let me tell you why I think
Frieza made that decree. I think the great
Lord Frieza is afraid of the Saiyans."
Afraid of the Saiyans? Scleren,
honestly, I mean I know the Saiyans are powerful—they conquered both of our
planets and hundreds more besides—but Lord Frieza has the power of a thousand
first-class Saiyan warriors. I've even
heard stories of him destroying entire planets without even breaking a sweat! Even if King Vegeta did lead the Saiyans in
a revolt against Frieza, there's no chance that they could succeed, much less
do any serious damage to Frieza or his minions, it's just ludicr—"
smiling, Scleren raised a long blue finger to silence his young student. "But
what of the legend of the Super Saiyan?"
with raised eyebrows Pazru snorted and replied, "The Super Saiyan? You must be insane! That's just some dusty old story that Saiyan
parents tell their children to make them train harder, nothing more. If Frieza really believed that I'd have to
say that the cold was getting to his brain!"
maybe some of the legend is an exaggeration—"
"Exaggeration? You've got to be kidding, Scleren. The whole story is probably one long-dead
Saiyan king's ego-trip!"
of the Saiyan's violent history centers around the legend of the Super Saiyan—
"—and all of the histories of the inhabitants
of the planets neighboring Vegeta include the Super Saiyan and his legendary
accounts coincide with each other.
There are no contradictions whatsoever.
Frieza knows this and fears the ascendance of any Saiyan, third-class or
otherwise, to the level of Super Saiyan."
equaled if not surpassed by the Super Saiyan, if the legend is correct." Pazru fell silent at this, his brow wrinkled
in thought. With a grunt, Scleren
kneeled in front of the young man, placing his calloused hands on Pazru's
shoulders. "So do you understand now,
if I am correct in my logic, which I am almost positively convinced of, why the
decree was made, Pazru?"
still deep in thought and muddied in confusion looked up into Scleren's
wrinkled, rough-skinned face and small, wide-set deep-blue eyes. "But, if Frieza wanted to keep the Saiyans
from ascending to a higher power level, wouldn't it make sense to destroy the strongest
children?" he replied, one orange finger stroking his chin in
make perfect sense from Frieza's point of view to do this, but it would
raise suspicion among the Saiyans, and King Vegeta would never allow such a law
to be enforced. To destroy the weakest
among the Saiyan children of a multiple birth is pure brilliance on Frieza's
part because it accomplishes two things:
One," Scleren raised a finger in emphasis, "the female Saiyans
constitute about 30% of the population, and are typically weaker than the males
at birth, so—"
females of multiple births were destroyed, it would lower the already low
percentage of Saiyan females!" Pazru
interjected, his eyes clearing as understanding set in. Scleren smiled, the wrinkles around his eyes
creasing. He squeezed Pazru's shoulders in agreement, and continued.
though multiple births among the Saiyans are a rarity, which we witnessed
earlier this morning, the lower percentage of females would eventually limit
the growth of the population. And to
speed up the process Frieza made the second law that limits the number of children
each mated pair of Saiyans is allowed to have."
would King Vegeta ever agree to the second law?"
Pazru, that is my next point. Now, the
second thing the law would accomplish would be that the knowledge that only the
strongest among the Saiyan survive and grow to adulthood would boost the ego of
the king, clouding his better judgment, and making him more apt to agree with
Frieza and enforce the law. Frieza
proposed the second law not soon after, and King Vegeta, most certainly a wise
man, but still riding high on ego, readily agreed to it without a second
glossy green eyebrows lowered and his brow furrowed again. "But, Scleren, there are still millions of
powerful Saiyans that are not affected by these laws and still have the
potential to ascend to the Super Saiyan level.
These laws would certainly limit the growth of the population, but it
would take literally hundreds of space-standard years to kill out the race,
which, knowing the Saiyans' vitality, I doubt could ever happen. Frieza would have to find some way to
dispose of the entire race if he was to rid himself of his fear."
Pazru, and considering what we know of Frieza's power and his ruthlessness, do
you even dare to consider the danger we and everyone else on this miserable
planet is in?" Scleren stared gravely
at his young student, who returned his gaze with wide, fear-stricken eyes. The old doctor gave Pazru's shoulders
another squeeze and with a grunt, struggled to his feet. Scleren's features softened to the gentle,
but stern countenance that all people in the med-center respected and knew so
"Come, Pazru, we have
wasted enough time deliberating about harebrained conspiracy theories and
things over which we have no control."
Scleren gave his bright young student a wry smile, which quelled the
younger man's fear. Pazru studied the
smooth white floor of the scrub room for a moment, pondering the magnitude of
what they had just discussed, and then stood up beside his mentor, returning his
smile. Scleren continued, "It is now my
duty to assess the power levels of each infant and determine which child will
be allowed to survive."
another look at his student, the doctor calmly stepped up to the keyboard panel
set next to the door, keyed in the code, and the door slid open with a rush of
cool cycled air. Pazru, frowning in
concern at this last, rather ominous statement, followed his mentor back into
the med-center's delivery room and out into a wide hallway towards the nearby