DISCLAIMER: I don't own Dragonball-Z, not really sure who does either. It'd be a shame if people I don't know sued me. J v
A/N: I'm re-posting this because the first post was all wonky, and it bothered me, probably others too. I'm also adding more story, a page more I think. The Kill is taking precedence. Got eleven pages of that written, I'm doing my own bata'ing and as some of you may know that takes a lot of time. And there'll probably still be mistakes when I post the next chapter ^_~.
I'd like to thank Shadowfang, Chibi Mars and Juu for reviewing when I first posted. It meant a lot to me.
WHAT HAPPENED ON THE SHIP?
I can feel the ground shake and shift underneath Goku's ship, the one my father built for him. It was falling at an angle into a newly formed fissure. That heaping pile of green meat Piccolo moved across the floor, his reddish-purple blood lubricating his slide.
As I began putting the ship's engines through the ignition cycle I wished—as long as I was abandoning people I did care about—that I could kick Piccolo off the ship. But the Namek was too heavy for me to lug by myself. Lucky bastard.
The terminal beeped an all systems go and I put my finger over the final ignition button. And let it hover there. I sat in the control chair staring at my hand, watching it shake with indecision. What was I waiting for? Namekku-sei was going to implode any second now!
We—Krillin, Gohan, and I—were just supposed to come here and use the Namekku-sei dragonballs to wish back Earth's warriors. Krillin was dead. And Gohan was probably dead too, after trying to fight that monster Freeza. Why should I die sitting here waiting for him? Damnit, life was so much easier when I didn't have to worry about anybody but myself!
The ship rocked again and started slipping further down the slope. I needed to see what kind of situation the ship was in, but the viewer was malfunctioning. There was some serious EM radiation floating around outside causing interference.
"Come on kid, I don't know how much longer I can wait here for—."
The ship went into free fall sideways and I had the brief sensation of being on a high-speed elevator, my stomach feeling like it was trying to force its way up to where my lungs were.
I tumbled out of my chair letting out a yelp, somersaulting until my back hit the wall. I don't know why I didn't scream because it hurt like all get out. But I did cry out a second later when the ship came to an abrupt halt and the back of my skull bounced off the wall.
I nearly blacked out but the ship was vibrating, stimulating me into staying conscious. I shook my head to get rid of the blobs of flashing lights dancing before my eyes and looked up, well not up, but above my head and saw Piccolo, a trail of blood marking his decent, settled against the wall beside me. He probably hadn't felt a thing.
"That does it. I am so out of here!" I announced to no one.
I got onto my hands and knees and clawed my way up to the control chair. I pulled myself into it and strapped myself in, which is what I should have done in the first place, and slammed my hand down on the ignition button with authority. The ship shuddered again this time because the engines were powering up.
"WARNING… THE CRAFT IS NOT IN A PROPER TAKE OFF POSITION. WARNING... THE CRAFT IS NOT IN A PROPER TAKE OFF POSITION!" The ship's computer alerted me.
I began tapping keys on the control podium and brought up the subroutine I was looking for moments later.
"YOU HAVE INITIATED EMERGENCY TAKE OFF. DAMAGE MAY BE SUSTAINED IF THIS ACTION IS TAKEN. DO YOU WISH TO PROCEED?" The computer warned.
I hesitated once again. Where the hell was all this indecisiveness coming from anyway? I sighed and looked at the docking portal thinking of Gohan.
"Sorry kid," I said and quickly typed in affirmative.
Emergency lift off was violent to say the least, especially since the ship was most likely lying on its side at the time. But the ship's sensors would guide the craft in the direction of the upper atmosphere no matter what position the ship was in. The only thing that could stop it was if the ship were completely and solidly surrounded.
The Capsule ship took off and I had the sense of G forces working on my body weirdly, like I was being pulled down and to the side all at once. Then suddenly the ship altered course, swinging upward, presumably straight up into the air, and I was pushed deeper into the control chair. Then it was over and I was left feeling wobbly all over as weightlessness temporally replaced the extreme G forces moments before the ship's artificial gravity generators kicked in.
Regaining some of my composure, I ran a complete diagnostics to check for any damage the ship might have sustained from lift-off. Finding none, I looked at navigation and made sure I was heading home. "Good. Looks like I'm on my way."
Oh, I'm going to Hell.
I went below and showered until all the hot water tapered away and I was standing naked under a powerful stream of luke warm water. I was committed to staying within the rectangular confines of the shower, hidden behind its cloudy glass right up until I made final approach to Chikyuu. It was easy to imagine myself back at home in here, not on some spaceship leaving my friend to evaporate when Namekku-sei blew up.
I refused to cry. That would indicate I maybe, just maybe, made the wrong choice. I don't feel guilty. Nope, not me.
I got out of the shower when my skin began to prune and when I started to feel a little too cowardly. I slid the shower door open and stepped out from under the quiet spray right into the barrel chest of Piccolo.
"Piccolo! You pervert, I'm naked for Kami's sake... !"
A hand was instantly around my neck lifting me off my feet. I could hear the water from my body splashing onto the cold white tiles around the bath as I kicked my legs wildly. Piccolo raised me until our eyes were almost level. And then being naked in front of Piccolo quickly became the least of my problems. Nudity after all was incidental when you're looking up into the eyes of death the way I was.
"Where is Gohan?"
I knew it wasn't a rhetorical question because Piccolo only squeezed my throat hard enough to hurt but not hard enough to keep me from answering him.
"B-back on Namekku," I said surprised at how calm my voice sounded.
"And where are we?" Piccolo asked me in a voice so low and threatening that I was positive I'd never get one word out before he snapped my neck.
"Going home. To Chikyuu."
I could see it—how he debated what his next action was going to be. He wanted to kill me that was plain. It was a testament to how much he'd changed over the past year that he needed to think about it at all. But Piccolo didn't flick his wrist—his black, black eyes just bored into mine, the edges of his lips twitching. There was no way I believed he was fighting back a smile.
"Take... us back to Namekku... now."
I knodded as much as I could considering every vertebrae in my neck was securely clamped in place by Piccolo's big, rough hand.
He dropped me so abruptly I slipped on the wet floor, lost my footing and landed un-prettily on my ass. I bit back an emphatic ouch and scooted away from the glowering Namek towering over me. I stood up slowly, not daring to take my gaze off of Piccolo and went over to the toilet where my clothes lay folded on the closed lid.
"I said now."
Humiliation and fear burned my skin at the same time. The fear winning out by a mile, but the shame was still there. Piccolo followed me up the stairs as I stumbled awkwardly up onto the command deck, futilely trying to cover my breasts and nether regions from his view. Only I was born with just two arms so it was a lost cause. I had to try though, for modesty's sake.
I jogged to the controls aware that parts of me were bouncing, but I figured the faster I did what Piccolo demanded the faster I could get dressed again. I almost slipped a second time in a smear of Piccolo's blood but avoided the streaks just in time. I suppressed a shiver when I sat down on the cold plastic control chair and started manipulating the ship's computer.
Piccolo stood behind me. I've actually never felt someone's stare before. I've read about it and heard people say 'His or her eyes were like lasers' but I never experienced the sensation first hand. But I felt Piccolo's glare, and it didn't feel like the heat from lasers. Piccolo's stare was more like a ten-ton weight sitting on my neck.
We were two hours gone from Namekku-sei when I took the ship off auto-pilot and put us on a reverse course. "Ah... I...we should get back there in a couple of hours."
I started to stand up from the chair and was shoved back down by a warm, clawed hand.
"You stay until we reach Namekku," Piccolo's gruff voice told me.
I managed to summon some righteous indignation and whirled my head around to glare at the Namek.
"I am not going to sit here for two hours naked so you can get a cheap thrill!"
Piccolo smiled crookedly, a warped version of Goku's goofy half grin, and I flinched.
"A cheap thrill for me would be to pin you to a wall and dress you like a fucking deer. Now be quiet and pray to that fool Kami that Gohan is well. Because if he is not you may entertain me yet."
I can't believe I risked my life to wish this guy back. I kept thinking as the water from the shower turned icy on my skin. I had my arms wrapped over my chest, but not because of any propriety. Piccolo made it very clear that he wasn't the least bit interested in my goodies. I rubbed my hands up and down my upper arms and crossed my legs hoping to generate some kind of warmth.
Mean Green, as I was fond of calling him now, just in my head of course, paced the length of the command deck with all the sleekness of a predator on the prowl. His purple clothes—his gi—were in tatters leaving him relatively as bare as I was from the waist up. I could see the muscles under his green and pink patches of skin flexing as he moved.
I watched him for a while just to be sure he wouldn't come up from behind and disembowel me. After the first hour I relaxed some and turned back to the controls and switched on the viewer, which was working just fine now, and watched the stars streak by. Piccolo wasn't going to hurt me yet, I decided.
I had another hour of guaranteed existence.
I wanted to believe that even if Gohan blew up with Namekku, and it was surely dust by now, Piccolo would still need me to get him back to Chikyuu, but I doubted it. It was more likely he wouldn't care much about getting home if Gohan was dead. Piccolo could kill me and take his chances. Actually he could let me take us home and do me then. I was at his mercy—screwed in every way imaginable.
The proximity klaxon rang out when the ship entered the Namekku-sei solar system and I knew something was wrong right away. And it didn't bode well for me.
The ship was having trouble maneuvering through irregular gravitational forces. And the sensors were picking up a huge debris field that hadn't been anywhere in the system when I left. As we sped toward Namekku-sei's position—compensating for its orbit around the trinary stars—I started to understand what was causing the gravitational turbulence.
The gravity field that held the solar system together was rearranging itself. Filling in the void Namekku-sei's destruction had left.
"Where is the planet?" Piccolo asked.
I uh'ed and ah'ed and desperately tried to think of a way to tell him, preferably in such a way that wouldn't get me gutted.
"Stop gibbering and speak!"
I stood up slowly, not bothering to cover my nakedness. If I was going to buy it, it wouldn't be sitting down and I wasn't going to be groping myself. I stepped away from the control chair and faced the Namek.
"It's been destroyed."
Piccolo looked to the viewer, to me, and to the viewer again, then finally his gaze settled on me. "Then your time is up."
I had arguments for my survival all ready in my mind, hoping that if I hit Piccolo with some logic, he'd reconsider killing me. Like how he needed me to get him home. Or what if the ship ran into some problems? But they all turned to ash once Piccolo advanced on me.
I was rooted into place, scared stiff. I don't think my heart was even beating. I imagined all the ways I was about to be disposed of. This was Ma Junior, the Demon King, or prince, or whatever, there were probably a thousand interesting ways he could think of to kill me. Vivisection, I think, being the least thoughtful of them.
When I saw Piccolo's right hand start to shine a bright lemony yellow, I was actually relieved. Instead of suffering a death that meant someone was going to have to clean me off the ship's interior for weeks, I was just going to end up a shapely grease stain on the wall. Piccolo raised his arm up parallel to the floor and the ki swelled up into a sphere around his hand.
I closed my eyes.
Seconds passed, then a minute and I opened my eyes. Piccolo was just standing there in front of me; his arm still out stretched, but his hand was not glowing with ki. I looked up at his face and the Namek seemed to be staring at me.
If I didn't know any better, I would have said he was ogling me.
I jumped when he suddenly lowered his arm and raised his chin, looking down his nose at me.
"You are very fortunate, human."
I had no idea what he meant but was afraid to ask what he was talking about. Piccolo lifted his arms out to his sides and closed his eyes. For a second it was like I blinked, but I knew I hadn't, and Piccolo's ripped and shredded clothing was gone and in its place was a brand spanking new gi, cape and turban included. Then the seven-foot tall Namek turned away from me.
I wasn't going to die. I wasn't going to die. I... wasn't... going... to die.
I stood there naked, too shocked to celebrate having a future. Finally, I found my voice. "Uh," I cleared my throat, "How am I fortunate?"
Piccolo sat cross-legged on the floor, then began floating a foot off the ground, and his eyes were closed. His hands were cupped, fingers overlapped and his thumbs touched, making sort of a circle over his lap. One could have looked at his serene posture and never guessed he was about to reduce me to the consistency of a fart two minutes ago.
"Gohan is a alive." He said.
"W-what? He's a-live? But... how?"
Piccolo started glowing and his contorted body floated higher above the ground. I asked again what he meant but the Namek continued to ignore me.
"Hey answer me, you overgrown lima bean!" I shouted with some of my usual hubris.
Piccolo still didn't answer me. I was shaking with rage, how dare this son of a bitch—yeah, yeah, I know, he never had a mother—ignore me!
"Well, can I at least put my clothes back on?"
"I don't care what you do."
"Oh, thank you kindly, asshole!" I sneered and stomped petulantly to the stairs and down into the lower deck.
After getting dressed I stormed back onto the control deck. Making a point of disregarding Piccolo as I made my way over to the control chair. For all the good it did. By meditating Piccolo was one-upping me in the whole ignoring department.
I would have gone over and kicked his floating ass if I thought I could have gotten away with it.
The ship was still in a holding pattern, with only the proximity sensors to keep the craft from running into the contents of the new asteroid field. I worked the computer and put the ship back on a course for Chikyuu. I waited until the ship was well out of the solar system before I felt comfortable enough leave auto-pilot in charge then headed back down to the lower deck. I refused to spend another minute sharing space with that green bastard.
Yeah, I'm gonna start calling him that from now on. Green Bastard. Mean Green isn't harsh enough.
I laid in bed for a while with my clothes on, boots and all. Probably wouldn't be taking them off until I—we—reached home. I glared up at the lighted ceiling feeling pissed off and bored out of my mind at the same time. My watch said I'd been down in the lower deck for eight hours. The adrenaline from earlier had long since been reabsorbed back into my system and left me shaky and restless.
"I should go back up there," I said to the ceiling. "I can't let that Green Bastard run me off the bridge. This is my ship! Daddy built it and that makes it mine!"
I made no attempt at getting up from the bed.
I rolled over from my back and onto my stomach, resting my right cheek on my folded arms. Kami, at least if I was up on the bridge I could access some of the books in the ships computer. Or figure out how that gravity machine worked, maybe improve on it. Or…
I fell asleep.
A klaxon screamed in my ear practically knocking me out the bed. I leaped off the mattress and run up the stairs. Stepping onto the Control Deck I saw Piccolo standing over the computer pushing buttons at random, basically screwing everything up.
Running up to Piccolo I pushed him away from the controls and yelled, "What the hell did you do!"
I vaulted into the control chair and soon discovered that it wasn't the Green Bastard's fault the alarms were going off. We were being scanned by another ship that was dogging our vapor trail. I brought the other craft up on the monitor.