Disclaimer: I do not own Dragonball Z. Period, dot, end of statement.
Here begins Part One of Sic Veta Est.
Chapter 1: Saiyans
The inhabitants of the planet were feared throughout much of the universe. They were not considered particularly powerful in their base forms – even powered up to their maximum, the highest level the most powerful individual could reach was only about 12,000. Many races across the cosmos could reach much higher. No, it was not their base form that was so feared; it was the warriors' transformation that was from the stuff of nightmares. With a moon – either real or just a bright orb of light emanating the same energy a real one did – they transformed and their power rose exponentially, enough to take on even the most powerful opponents. With this terrible shape, five fighters could lay waste to an entire planet in a few hours. The inhabitants of many planets lived in constant fear that they would be next and never spoke the warriors' name above a whisper, lest it draw them to their planet.
As the Saiyans' reputation spread, Frieza, heir to the Cold Empire, decided to appropriate the Saiyans to purge his planets for him. The tyrant took the young prince of the planet hostage and let the Saiyan king know that if he wanted his son to stay alive, he would do as Frieza said. Knowing that he could not take his son back by force, King Vegeta reluctantly agreed to Frieza's demands.
The Saiyans purged planets for their new master for a few years, but as their reputation spread ever further, Frieza began to distrust them. Although they were nowhere close to his own power level, the fact that there were so many of them posed a problem. There was always a chance, however slim, that if enough Saiyans banded together, they could overpower him with sheer numbers. The report of five supposedly low-class fighters taking on the toughest planets and purging them with hardly any effort pushed him over the edge. He decided to eliminate them.
Originally, Frieza had gone to Vegeta-sei, been confronted with the leader of those five Saiyan upstarts, and destroyed the monkey and the planet all at once. With the events of the epic battle going on thirty years in the future, however, history was about to be remade.
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