Mameko: Mother of Goku
A Dragonball Z Fanfiction by Aoikami Sarah
Part Seven : Vegeta-sei Revisited
They sat in the waiting room for a few hours before the studio was ready. Chi-chi claimed that she was skeptical and talked mostly about the fact that it was a beautiful day and that she'd rather be outside in her garden than listen to this crackpot. Gohan on the other hand was very excited to see the medium.
They hadn't been able to get a private session because the waiting list was months long, but they had just made it in time to get tickets for the gallery. Mameko sipped a bottle of water and ran her hand over her rounded belly.
"I wonder what this John Edward guy is like," she commented.
"I bet he's flaky and new-agey," Chi-chi muttered and flipped through a magazine.
"I've seen the show," Gohan reminded his mother. "He's a normal guy."
"Except that he can talk to dead people," Mameko whispered, smiled and poked her daughter in law. Chi-chi laughed.
A large group was escorted into the studio and the Son party was seated down in front due to Mameko's very large, pregnant lady's belly.
Immediately, the trained fighters felt a charge rip through the audience. Everyone there was expecting to hear from their dead relatives. Their senses were heightened.
"So that's how he does it." Gohan muttered.
The women raised a brow.
"He must be able to read the people, not the dead."
Chi-chi and Mameko frowned, but had to stare when the young man at last came out and introduced himself to the audience. He was casually dressed and had a soft tone of voice. The women were immediately set at ease.
"Hello and welcome to Crossing Over, I'm John Edward. I may not get to you all, but please take what I do for others and reflect on it in your own lives." He put his hands together and sucked in a breath. "Ok, I'm... I'm right over here." John pointed directly at the Son Family.
Gohan nudged his mother. "Watch this," he whispered.
Chi-chi waved him off.
John paused. "I'm getting a very strong older male I see as being a father or grandfather figure. He's foreign. He's not from around here. I'm getting like a flute or a fife...?" he asked.
"Or a Piccolo?" Gohan asked.
The half-Saiyajin folded his arms, but nodded.
"He's got a strong attachment to... rice?"
Gohan, Chi-chi and Mameko laughed.
"You're rice?" John asked. "Ok..." The audience laughed. "Well, he's saying something about... lemme guess, you got a relative named Bread?"
"There's something that happened recently, a transition of some form to do with Bread that the musical foreigner is saying congratulations."
"She just started 1st grade last week."
John nodded. "Congratulations! This is his way of saying that he's around." The medium shook his head. "It's getting sorta crowded here. I have a bunch of people... men, women. They're all trying to get through at once. Wow. I mean like lots, folks."
Chi-chi and Mameko exchanged interested glances.
"And they all wanna go through me!" he laughed nervously. "I'm getting a severe sense of trauma. Like they were all there and then… whoosh."
Gohan blinked. "For us?"
"I think so. I'm getting... something about vegetables?"
"What is it with you people?" he asked. "Never mind. I don't wanna know." He took a deep breath. "Wow. I've never heard anything like this before. There's like a chorus of people. It's like they're trying to say the same thing. They're showing me a crown, which I would see as being related to royalty, someone related to you is royalty or you are?"
"I don't think so..." Gohan said and looked to his friends.
"Vegeta Oujisama," Mameko whispered to him.
John furrowed his brows and concentrated. "They're expressing their thanks to the crown. Is there more than one prince? They're showing me three crowns. A big one, one below that and one below that. The younger, younger male royal."
Still doubtful, Gohan nodded.
"Something he did made these people very happy. Wow. There's honestly like millions of people. You guys know what I mean, though, right?"
"Yes," Mameko whispered. Not wanting to lead the medium, she kept her comments to herself. 'My people. The Saiyajin. Vegeta Oujisama said they were all killed at once and later, it was his son who killed Furiza,' she thought.
The audience didn't seem to care how crazy that sounded. They all sighed in sympathy and awe.
"They're pulling back their collective energy. Please let the royals know what they've said here today. Thank you."
The audience applauded. John moved on, but he couldn't shake the intensity of the chorus he had heard: an entire nation fallen at once, reaching out to give their thanks for vengeance.
A few weeks later Mameko gave birth to her second son, Akira. Two years would go by before she would remember the medium's reading. Although Gohan had done his best to dispel its validity, saying that Edward was simply a good telepath, Mameko couldn't help but think it was real. She hadn't been thinking about her people at all that day. He had pulled them from the blue. Mameko had been hoping only to hear from Bardock one more time.
As she was folding the laundry one afternoon two years after their session, she saw a commercial for "Crossing Over With John Edward" and remembered. Mameko sat on the couch and watched the show as she watched Akira play on the floor. Inspired, she made plans to visit the Oujisama's at Capsule Corp.
Mameko sat across from Bulma and munched a biscotti.
"I'm so glad you're back to work here, Mameko-san. We've missed you," Bulma stated.
Mameko blushed. "Thank you. Is Vegeta-sama at home today?"
"Mm hm. What, thinking of a little spar?"
"Oh, no. I think my training days are over…" She blushed some more, thinking of the 'exercise' she was getting at home. "Besides. I have this little monster to attend to." Her son, Akira reached for the cookie. "No, no. Eat your Cheerios." Mameko handed him a zip-lock baggie that clearly did not interest the child. He pouted.
"Oh, biscotti won't hurt him. Hell, Trunks ate stuff you wouldn't believe when he was a little boy."
"That's because you were a rotten mother," Vegeta grumbled as he entered the room. His wife smacked him on the arm, lightly.
"Like you were around to know!" She took Akira from Mameko and baby-talked to him.
Mameko's whole head turned bright crimson. "Oujisama. Good afternoon."
"Hey," he answered and furrowed his brows at Akira. The fact that his mother was the one person left alive who knew him as a Prince kept Vegeta from making a snide comment about the boy's half-Jinzouningen heritage.
"Oujisama, I meant to tell you something…"
"Mm?" He raised a brow.
She explained to her skeptical prince as best she could about the medium's reading. "It was very odd that he should know such things. My grandson is convinced it's just a trick; that he didn't really channel our people at all."
"Even so," Vegeta sat on the arm of a sofa and looked out the window. The setting sun turned the sky dark orange.
"It's a pity. You're so strong now, Oujisama, you could wipe Furiza out just by looking at him!" Mameko cheered and clenched her fists. Vegeta's chest swelled noticeably. Bulma rolled her eyes.
"I don't see why you don't take the time machine back and do that very thing!"
Vegeta and Mameko practically fell over.
"Time machine!" the blue haired Saiyajin cried. "You mean you still have one?!"
"Oh sure, the one that that poor Trunks who got killed by Cell had. Cell used it to come here from the future. It's a little beat up, but since I monkeyed with Mirai Trunks's one, I can get ours up and running." Bulma continued to play with Akira, mumbling baby talk and making him giggle.
Mameko looked to Vegeta with huge, watery, puppy-dog eyes.
"No!?" the women shouted. Akira looked where they did and screwed up his mouth.
"But why, Oujisama? Why miss such an opportunity?"
"Even if we could save Vegeta-sei the Earth would be a ruin if I…" he snarled a bit, but admitted, "and Kakarotto were never to arrive." He turned back to the window. The sky was growing redder, just before the dusk. He'd obviously thought about this before.
"It's true," Bulma explained. "The time machine works in two ways. First it travels through time then on the way back it also goes through the dimensional planes. When it leaves point A it logs the signature of that dimension then you set the time to go back to. When it arrives the act of going back in time instantly creates another string of reality, call it point B. The time machine then logs that dimensional signature B, which is why Mirai Trunks was able to come back and visit us that time, from point A to point B, as it were."
Vegeta seemed unmoved by his wife's explanation having had years to understand it. Mameko gnashed her teeth. "I'm sorry, Bulma-san. I still don't understand."
"If you were to go back and kill Furiza, Vegeta-sei would be saved. Vegeta and Goku would grow up on their planet. They'd never come here. That dimension's Earth would… hm…" She made a face then laughed as something amusing came to mind.
Vegeta raised a brow and cocked his head just enough to see his wife laugh. "What's so funny about that? This world would be destroyed!"
"Well, no. Probably not. Pilaf would have gotten his wish to be emperor of the world. The Red Ribbon Army L would have taken over soon enough but Dr. Gero, having not been defeated by Goku would never make such powerful Jinzouningen, so there wouldn't be a Cell either. Oh. Conceivably, Buu would have eaten the galaxy by now, I guess…"
"Ok, so you're right! There! I said it."
Still, he looked out the window. Bulma looked to Mameko, who was also staring out the window at the crimson sunset from where she sat. Quietly, Bulma took Akira into the kitchen.
"It's one of those sunsets, isn't it Oujisama?"
He nodded slightly.
"Now that I know it's possible, I really want to do it."
"What? Go back and save the world? We would be dooming this one, this world we now call home and all the people on it."
Mameko furrowed her brows and stood up. "Maybe we could warn them."
"Warn who? Yamcha? Muten Roshi?" he scoffed.
"No, we could warn you, Oujisama."
Vegeta straightened up and a slow grin spread across his face. They watched the red fade to black as they made their plans to go back to Vegeta-sei.
It was a tight fit, but somehow Vegeta and Mameko both settled into the cockpit of the famous Capsule 01 Time Machine. Bulma, Juunanagou, Akira and Goku saw them off. Goku rocked on the balls of his feet.
"But Mom," he whined. "I wanna come too!"
"I'm sorry, Kakarotto, there's no room!"
"Besides, you don't speak Saiyago and you don't remember what Vegeta-sei was like. You stay here," Vegeta snarled. He wasn't about to even entertain the idea of Kakarotto showing him up. He was going to be the one to take on Furiza this time, damn it.
Juunanagou adjusted Akira so he could see the ship take off. "Don't be totally shocked at the state of things when you get back," he warned.
"Oh please, you're far more organized that I am, silly Jinzouningen!" Mameko laughed. "I'll be back in two weeks. Take care of Akira. I'll miss you!"
"Miss you, too." He waved as the dome closed down over top of them. The time machine took off into the sky and in a flash it was gone. Juunanagou sighed and turned to his son-in-law.
"You ready, Nana?" Goku held his arms out and grinned.
"You were pretty good back there." The Jinzouningen smiled back. He handed Akira to his brother and folded his arms. "Thanks for helping me out."
"Hey, what's family for? Just do what I said. Ask Popo nice, but if he's being a jerk, tell him I sent ya, ok?"
"Sure thing. I'm going tomorrow. I need another day to think about this."
Goku nodded. "Well, ya got two weeks before Mom comes back!"
He nodded too, and both men took to the air. After a few hundred miles, they parted ways. Goku returned to the Son House and Juunanagou headed towards Karin Tower.
The time machine ripped easily through the fabric of time. Setting the coordinates for Vegeta-sei, Mameko looked to Vegeta and crossed her fingers. In a matter of moments they slid easy across the galaxy and came to rest in orbit above a ruby-red planet.
"Oh my…" Mameko gasped. She put her hand to her mouth and tears welled up in her eyes.
Vegeta stared at the orb and cleared his throat. Mameko snapped out of it and took the machine down to a clearing in a forest on the dark side of the planet. When the capsule depressurized and opened at last, they both sat for a moment and took in sounds and scents around them. Slowly, they emerged, and without speaking to each other agreed to wait a while before beginning their quest.
Back on Earth
Juunanagou sprawled out in the grass and watched the stars. It was nights like this that he missed the moon. "Not for long," he muttered, a smile spreading over his lips like a child trying to repress a fun secret. He laughed out loud. "I'm too used to keeping this inside! She's not even in this dimension right now!" The android put his hands behind his head. "All I have to do is rub a genie's belly and I get my wish."
"Remember," Vegeta hissed from the alley they were hiding in, "I'm Trunks. You're Maks. We can't give away our identities. Who knows what that could mean for the versions of us here."
Mameko snickered. "I can't imagine it would hurt me much, but I understand, Oujisama."
"And none of that, either."
Vegeta smirked. He looked left and right then led her out onto the street where he stopped and pursed his lips.
"The palace is this way, Ou- Trunks-sama." Mameko pointed in the opposite direction.
"Right. I knew that." He led her the right way. Mameko repressed her laughter.
"So, how soon do you think I can start my mission?"
"After we establish ourselves with the King and the Viceroy."
"Eeeeeee! I'm so nervous!"
It took Bulma years to learn what Mameko, as a Saiyajin was accustomed to: the Saiyajin male's use of grunts to supplement emotional statements. She knew the last grunt meant, 'you think you're nervous? Try being fifty years older than you ought to be and waltzing into your house to meet your parents!'
The prince led Mameko straight into the Palace's front gate into a teeming courtyard. Aliens and Saiyajin alike were busy going to and from the Royal Palace. They walked in through the front gate with no problems. Ahead lay the difficulty: a check-point at which visitors were asked to announce their intentions. Before Mameko could ask how they were supposed to get past it, Vegeta grabbed her and pulled her aside. Dragging her with him, quickly, the Prince pushed a certain brick and whisked them both through a hidden doorway.
The wall closed back up and left them in the darkness. With a firm hold on her upper-arm, Vegeta led Mameko through the narrow passage. There was no need to tell her to be quiet; she was awed. After almost a quarter of an hour of this, going round and round and up a few flights of oddly placed steps, he stopped.
They listened carefully. The dull murmur of a conversation could be heard on the other side of the thick walls. When it stopped, Vegeta grabbed her arm again and leaned against the wall. It gave way and spun out on a hidden hinge.
Mameko shielded her eyes, but opened them quickly in alarm.
"What is the meaning of this!" a deep, authoritative voice boomed. She gasped and focused. Standing at least a full foot taller than his son, King Vegeta was only a few yards away, but rather than attack he stood and stared.
"Ousama," Vegeta began. "You must pardon the intrusion, but this planet will be destroyed tomorrow if you do not allow me to help." He bowed slightly, but kept his eyes on his father.
The king did not summon any guards. He did not attack them himself. He stared back. "Who are you?"
"My name is Trunks. This woman is Maks. We are Saiyajin from the future."
Mameko blinked and bowed. "Ousama!" she encouraged. "Please, you must believe us. We are two of only a handful of survivors. We have come back in time to kill Furiza before he blows Vegeta-sei and everyone on it to atoms!"
Vegeta waved his hand and stepped forward. Mameko bit her lip and watched the two men. The king turned and watched them from the reflection of a large window. Mameko noticed the huge desk and shelves of books around them.
"I wouldn't believe you," King Vegeta drawled, "if I didn't already see it coming myself."
Mameko sighed. The King turned and stared at Vegeta again.
"Do you mean to tell me that you are strong enough to defeat him?"
"I do, Ousama." The Prince swallowed hard, but showed no obvious signs of nervousness.
The King squinted "You have no tail."
"And Maks has blue hair. A lot has happened since Vegeta-sei was destroyed."
"He really blows the whole damn thing up, does he?"
"He did, but I assure you he won't."
Slowly, a small smile tugged at the right corner of the king's mouth. "Then you're hired."
"I believe you have a meeting with the bastard tomorrow." Vegeta folded his arms. His whole posture told Mameko that he was relieved this stage of their quest was over. "I will accompany you as part of your guard. I will challenge Furiza and I will kill him."
"You, Sir have made my day!" the king shouted, his enthusiastic baritone almost distorting in Mameko's ears. He pressed a button and the door slid open. "Come, both of you. The evening meal is being set as we speak. There is plenty for us all."
When the King's back was turned, Mameko flashed a toothy grin and gave Vegeta the thumbs up. He simply smirked.
"Trunks-sama, may I…?"
Vegeta nodded. "My King, please excuse Maks. There is a matter with her ancestors she must attend to."
The King met Mameko's hopeful eyes and nodded. She bowed deeply. With a wave, he summoned two guards to escort her out. "Give these two scarlet passes. They have free reign."
Mameko got her scarlet pass - a red Saiyajin Empire pin - and asked her palace escorts how to find what she was looking for and she was off.
The King and his son walked down a long hall, empty of guards. Most of the royal guard had been recruited into the planet trade. The palace was a quiet, lonely place, Vegeta recalled. When he was growing up, he tried to spend as much time as possible outside its walls for of the simple fact that it was a huge bore. He was lost in this thought when the King suddenly stopped. Out of pure reflex, Vegeta snapped to attention, clicking his heels together. The king smirked. "You're used to following me. How is that?"
Scrambling for an answer, Vegeta tried not to outwardly lie. "I am accustomed to following a King, yes. You are correct, Your Highness." He was amazed that after nearly 50 years he still had something like that burned into his brain.
King Vegeta nodded slightly and walked on.
Mameko tried not to run down the corridors. Although the scarlet all-access pass the King had given her told anyone loyal to the King that she could do whatever she damn well pleased, the Empire Medical building was crawling with Furiza's men. Most of the Saiyajin doctors and nurses had been replaced long ago. She stopped to read a map on a wall and made a quick left.
Mameko stood in front of the Maternity ward window and stared. There were a dozen or more babies in their incubator pods. The one nurse on duty was fortunately Saiyajin. Mameko smiled at him when he looked up as she came in. She pointed to the red badge tagged to her armor and he stepped aside.
"Please find a place among the guard," the King commanded. "I will discuss your proposition with the Viceroy and we will meet after dinner."
Suddenly, Vegeta broke out in a cold sweat. The guard stood at attention and announced, "Her Excellency, Viceroy Kalifura." He watched her out of the corner of his eye as he bowed. She strode over to the royal table and was seated next to her husband.
Viceroy Kalifura stood a noticeable foot shorter than her impressive husband, but was none the less impressive herself. Her black eyes burned with confidence and pride where her husband's held a similar, but softer, almost friendlier glow. She scanned the room quickly and picked the stranger out. Her brows came together a bit and she pouted slightly.
"Ousama, who is that man?"
The King looked up from his plate. "Mm. That, Madam Viceroy, is our savior."
The images stopped coming as he gained consciousness. He was safe in the regen tank. But hadn't the world blown up? Was it a dream, or was this a dream now? It had seemed so real to him. Bardock tapped his fingers against his arm impatiently as the liquid drained away from him. He crawled out of the tank, tried to forget about the nightmare and asked about his fellow squadron members.
"They've been assigned to…"
"Excuse me?" Mameko asked as she poked her head into the recovery room.
"Ma'am! This is no place…"
Too nervous for protocol, she blurted, "Chief Science Officer Bardock. I must speak with you."
Bardock clenched the tiny towel he had been given tightly around his hips. He noticed the scarlet pass. "Gimme a sec?" he asked, offended.
"Oh, sure. Right." Mameko blushed and turned around. "When you're ready."
Bardock put his uniform back on, all the while never taking his eyes off the woman's back. Her blue tail twitched left to right impatiently.
She led him down to the first empty room she could find and shut the door. "You don't know me, but I need you to do me a favor," she drawled in her best Earthling accent: that funny, flat way of talking that her son had.
"Ok." He raised a brow.
"Vegeta-sei was going to be destroyed tomorrow."
The visions were back. Bardock clutched his head and cried out.
"Are you ok!?"
"Y-yes, but…" he stuttered. He could only partially hear and see her. The other half of his senses were showing him Furiza and a man standing in a desert. With a single blow, the man annihilated him. "It changed…"
"My nightmare. When I was in the regen tank, I had a nightmare of Furiza blowing up the planet, but just now, I saw him get blown up!"
Mameko squinted. "Since when can you see the future?" she asked skeptically, dropping the phony accent.
She straightened up and cleared her throat. "I am from the future. My name is Maks. My friend, Trunks will destroy Furiza tomorrow afternoon."
"Does he look a little like Vegeta Ousama?"
She repressed a grin. "Yes, a little."
"Then that's what I saw." Bardock leaned against a wall and rubbed his eyes. "Funny thing for the Chief Science officer to believe, don't you think?"
"Not at all because I know it's true. Tomorrow, Vegeta-sei's suffering ends. Furiza will die."
Bardock grinned. "Maybe it's 'cause you remind me of someone I know, but I believe you."
Mameko turned her back to hide her blush. "There is one thing you must do, Bardock," she began.
"Whoa, hold up. I have to check back in with my squadron."
"No, this is more important. You must find Mameko and rescue her."
He stared at the back of her head.
"How do you know?"
"Quickly!" Mameko started for the door. "Your son is in the maternity ward of Empire Medical and will be there until you pick him up yourself. His name is Kakarotto. But you must rescue Mameko now. Take her north, far from any of Furiza's influence. Stay there until tomorrow afternoon. You will know when Furiza is no more."
"Please!" Mameko turned her head enough to see his expression. He looked lost. "She's crying right now, I guarantee it." With that, Mameko tried to run from the room, but he caught her arm.
Her eyes met his. "I'm called Maks." They stood there for a moment, waiting for the other to make a move. "Rescue Mameko as soon as you can."
He let go. She slipped out the door and ran back to the palace.
After a rushed dinner, Mameko and Vegeta were summoned to the throne room. Seated on his throne was the King and standing to his right was the Viceroy. Before he could introduce the strangers from the future, Kalifura stepped forward.
"I have been told you are to save us all from certain destruction," she nearly shouted. The sweat stood out on Vegeta's face.
"That is my intention, Viceroy."
"And we should believe you why? What makes you think, even if you are a Saiyajin, that you could possible hope to stand against Furiza?"
Vegeta grit his teeth. "In truth, Viceroy, the only things stopping me from eliminating him from the universe right this minute are decorum and your safety. I need to get him out in the open so that no Saiyajin experience harm. The only way I can think to do this is to accompany His Majesty to their meeting tomorrow afternoon. There, I will lure Furiza out and send him to hell."
Kalifura was silent. Her husband raised a brow.
"Very well," she remarked and turned her back to them. "You are dismissed, Trunks, was it?"
"Yes, Your Excellency." Vegeta and Mameko bowed deeply before leaving the room.
Kalifura's eyes burrowed into her husband.
"That went well…"
"There's something strange about this tailess Trunks person," she cut him off. "Do you sense it?"
"And they told you they were from about fifty years in the future?"
"Yes. I'm sure it's him."
Kalifura spun around and winced. "It can't be!"
"I forgot to mention. They came in through the bookcase in the study."
She gasped. "But why does he call himself Trunks? Why is he being so devious?"
"I'm sure he has his reasons. We'll know tomorrow."
The Viceroy turned back to her mate. "Tomorrow."
The 53rd platoon's barracks were dark and quiet. Silently, he snuck in past the night guard, who moaned a bit as he was stabbed in the arm with a potent sedative. Quickly, he typed on a small keypad next to the guard and deleted tomorrow afternoon's Planet Trade mission. Bardock's teeth flashed with irrepressible delight in the pale glow from a light-pole outside. He slipped through the shadows and followed his nose.
Mameko gasped as his hand closed over her mouth.
"Shh," he urged. "It's me, to the rescue."
"Bardock?!" she hissed. "But…"
"Come on." He scooped her up into his arms and ran a few steps till they were out the door, then took the sky.
"What are you doing? We'll be killed!"
"Your welcome!" He laughed. "Mameko, tomorrow Furiza's gonna bite the big one. It doesn't matter what we do. Everything's gonna be just fine." He waited for her to call him crazy, but she didn't reply. "Mameko? Mameko?!" He put on an extra burst of speed. "Mameko!"
"I'm ok. Sort of…"
He stopped so he could hear her better. "What's the matter?!"
"I had our son two days ago. The commanders, they keep hitting me…"
"Mameko, don't worry. We're gonna land soon and find you a doctor." He took off again for the north.
Mameko rubbed her cheek against his chest. "What was that you were saying about Furiza?"
"Oujisama?" Mameko asked as she walked out onto the balcony outside their room.
back to bed. And don't call me that."
"I'm sorry, but I can't sleep." She smiled. "Wow, what a view!"
"Mm." Saiyajin male for: 'I agree and am also experiencing great feelings of nostalgia.'
She nodded and stood next to him. The first of Vegeta-sei's two suns was about an hour from rising. Not until the second and brighter sun had risen would dawn be over. It was a slow and beautiful process enjoyed by all Saiyajin. This morning, Vegeta and Mameko watched the suns rise for what should have been the last time. Everything was about to change.
When at last he saw the twinkling of a few lights in a secluded valley, Bardock dropped down and jogged carefully, so as not to jostle his load, towards the nearest tavern. The night-clerk was flipping through an outdated magazine and raised a cautious brow as the warrior, still wearing his battered battle armor and the woman in the night-gown came to the counter.
"We'd like a room please."
"Mm hm…" the clerk eyed Mameko with a look of casual disapproval, as if he'd seen this sort of thing many times. "Name please?"
Mameko clutched the counter. Trying to stand on her own feet was proving more difficult than she had previously assured her mate. "Nnnnn…" she groaned and squeezed her eyes shut as a wave of pain overtook her.
"Mameko!" Bardock laced his arm under hers and held her up. "And please, can you summon a medic for my wife?"
The clerk looked astounded. "Yer wife?" he hastily finished the sign-in and handed Bardock the key. "I'll see whut I can do fer ya."
Mameko's eyes fluttered open and the grey light of early morning made the unfamiliar surroundings even more indistinct. "Bardock…?"
"I'm here." His voice came from her left. She turned her head. He was sitting in a chair, watching her.
"Did I pass out?"
He nodded. "I didn't want to leave you. We have to find you a doctor."
"Is it safe?"
"Well, I think we're at least 500 kilometers from Imperial City."
This seemed to relax her. She smiled at her mate and reached out her hand. "I missed you like crazy."
"Same here, Kiddo."
"Kiddo…" she growled affectionately. "Just because you've got 20 years on me, Bardock…"
He laughed, got up and took her hand. "Even when you're a hundred, you'll still be my Kiddo."
"Pedophile," she joked. Their mirth was interrupted by a brisk knock at the door. Bardock leaned against it.
"Who is it?"
"Somebody asked fer a docter?" came the muffled reply.
A quick look to Mameko for her approval and Bardock opened the door. The doctor was an older man with graying hair and a typical, little, green medic's bag. Bardock thanked him profusely and shut the door.
After his examination, which included a strange mix of modern non-invasive technology and good old fashioned poking around, the doctor concluded that Mameko had suffered some internal injuries at the hands of her captors which were most likely infected. He prescribed and handed the young woman a small bottle of antibiotics, recommended bed rest and took his leave. When Bardock stopped him and offered a large sum of money to pay for his services, the doctor simply tipped his wide-brimmed hat and smiled through his mustache.
"It ain't every day ya see a planet-trader with a missus," he said and winked, knowing full well that they were breaking Furiza's anti-bonding law. "You take care a that girl, Mister."
With his red badge, Vegeta got no flack from the Guard as he marched to the throne room after lunch. He knelt before the King and the Viceroy. King Vegeta led him and a contingent of the Guard out of the room.
"No one makes a move, even if Furiza lays a hand on me."
"Your Majesty!" some of them cried.
"Leave everything to Trunks, here. Nothing is going to go wrong."
One of the Guard, a female who was perhaps half the prince's age, whispered to one of her compatriots. "I do not trust this stranger."
"Nor I, but we must trust Ousama." They looked away quickly as they realized Vegeta was giving them the patented look-of-death.
He laughed inwardly. 'Fools… if only you knew how trustworthy I am.'
The Viceroy startled Mameko as she let herself into the quarters she and Vegeta had been keeping.
"Oh," Kalifura said, half startled - half disappointed. "It's you."
"Yes, Your Excellency." Mameko leapt up, throwing down the book she was reading and bowed to her ruler.
"Shouldn't you be with Trunks?" She squinted.
"He's going to go all out on Furiza. It's far too dangerous."
Kalifura glanced at the book as Mameko picked it up. "Cultural Development Of The Northern Lands and Great Wastes?" she asked as she read the title. "Not exactly light reading."
"No, Your Excellency." She put it on top of a stack of other materials: memory sticks, printed texts, maps and images of people and places of historical significance.
"You must be an historian," the Viceroy mused and circled the table.
"In the future there are only a few of us left, and only Trunks-sama and I ever lived on Vegeta-sei." Mameko bit her tongue. Vegeta had warned her not to say too much.
"I see…" The Viceroy stared at her. Mameko sat down on the window-seat and wrung her hands. The afternoon suns shone through the panes and warmed her already nervously perspiring body. "Maks, what exactly is your relation to Trunks?"
"Um…" Mameko squirmed. 'What is she getting at?!' "Well, I'm his traveling partner."
"That's not what I mean. You call him -sama. He must be above you."
"Oh! That! Well, yes. He's quite a lot older than I am." 'Oh, please say she buys that, please!'
Mameko sighed a little, but by the tone of Kalifura's voice, it didn't sound as if she was satisfied. Mameko looked out the window. Far below she could see people milling around in the streets; thousands of people who would die shortly if it weren't for Vegeta. She smiled at the thought and shivered in anticipation.
"Take me to him."
"E-excuse me?!" Mameko looked quickly to the Viceroy. She had her hands on the hips of her elaborate gown and was frowning severely at her. "I can't! Please, Your Excellency!"
"Nonsense! Do as I say!" She stomped her tiny foot. "You obey the Prince, but you deny me?! Rubbish!"
"But Oujisama'll kill me if...!" Mameko clapped her hand to her mouth.
A slow smile spread on Kalifura's face. She laughed. "I won't tell him you told me if you take me. We don't have to get close, just enough to see it with our own eyes. I want to see my son in action. I want to see Furiza die by his hands. You will not deny me, Maks."
Mameko grit her teeth but nodded and led her to the Great Wastes.
The sun shone down on Juunanagou as he lay in the grass outside his cabin. His artificial irises adjusted to the light until they were nearly pin size. He had paid close attention to everything in the last twenty-four hours: the way the wind felt on his face, the smell of the forest, the taste of the muffins Mameko had left him: everything. He wanted to remember how it was. He had prepared himself. Satisfied that he was ready, Juunanagou stood up, dusted himself off and rocketed past Karin Tower and finally came up over the lip of the lookout.
Dende didn't have to open his eyes. He sat in lotus position and called to the visitor.
"Hello, Juunanagou. How are you this morning?"
"I'm well, Kami-sama."
"I heard that Mameko and Vegeta are on a bit of a vacation," he laughed a little and stood up.
"So they are. I bet you know why I'm here, don't you?"
"Indeed I do." Dende smiled at the Jinzouningen. "You've thought this over very well, haven't you?"
"Yes, I have."
He nodded and summoned Mr. Popo.
Mameko's eyes slowly opened and for a moment she thought she was still in a dream of the past. Bardock was dozing lightly in a chair to her left. The sunlight poured into a puddle below the window. He woke when she sat up.
"Mm," she nodded. "It must be almost noon. Has it happened yet? Is Furiza dead?!" she asked, excitedly.
"Not yet." Bardock stood and stretched all the way down to his tail, which shook as he arched his back. "When it happens, I think we'll know."
Mameko blinked at him. He was wearing a pair of baggy pants, northern-style leather boots, a white boat-neck shirt and an old officer's jacket. "Where did you get the duds there, Cowboy?"
"Consignment shop. I had the doc look after you while I stepped out. Gotcha some too." He smirked and tossed her a paper bag. "And some breakfast. In case you didn't want to leave the room just yet."
Mameko pulled the thin, white nightgown over her head. "I wish I was feeling better." She smiled as she put her new dress on. "Then we'd both have a reason to not leave the room just yet."
Bardock simply hummed, Saiyajin male for: 'I agree. I want to jump on you but I want you to get better.'
Mameko smoothed out the cute, country, jumper-style dress her mate had found her and was polite enough not to mention that his fashion sense was dead. She would dress him better later. "So, when are the fireworks?" She went to the window and looked out at the quaint, little town they had found.
"Imagine a being as powerful as he is suddenly getting annihilated," Bardock smirked with pleasure as he thought of it himself. "Something like that, we'll be able to feel it." He watched her from his seat, leaning back in the chair. Noticing the familiar way she held her hands behind her back; the same what that the blue-haired woman had. That woman had smelled like Mameko, there was no mistaking it. And she knew about the future… He lost himself in his thoughts.
"Hello, Bardock?" Mameko cocked her head to the side. "You in there?"
"Unhn." He watched her standing there in the puddle of noon-day sunlight. Her tawny brown hair shimmered. Her smile almost glowed. "Come here."
He patted his lap. "Com'ere," he coaxed her again. She giggled and sat down. Even though she was tall for a Saiyajin woman, she always felt petit next to her mate. He was so strong and his hands dwarfed hers. He wrapped his arms around her and she laid her head against his chest. "I missed you so much, Kiddo."
They sat like that for a long while. He stroked her hair and kissed her face and hands.
"I want to find our son."
"Beat ya to it."
"No!" she beamed. "Really?!"
He nodded. "He's still in the maternity ward. He'll be there till we come get him." Quickly, before she could ask, he added. "His name is Kakarotto."
The king's entourage filed down the corridors past sniggering soldiers of various alien species. "Fools!" "Hope they've got life insurance!" "See ya later, Monkeys!"
Vegeta growled, but his father gave him a warning look. Saiyajin male for: 'You'll get your chance.' He took a deep breath and continued.
'Furiza…' Vegeta thought. 'I haven't laid eyes on you since my son destroyed you all those years ago.' He grinned very evilly. 'Now it's my turn.' Any repulsion or anger he might have had was washed aside by the anticipation of what he was sure would be a very satisfyingly one-sided battle.
Still, when he finally saw him, flanked by Dodoria and Zarbon, a chill ran down the prince's spine. This was the beast who killed his people, his family and his future. This was the beast who destroyed worlds in a second. This was the beast who tortured him for decades. It had taken years and an Earthling woman's patience to undo the damage he had caused. Today was not just the day Vegeta would save his world; it was the day he would get his revenge.
"Furiza…" the King began. "We have come to declare our independence."
Zarbon and Dodoria laughed. Furiza jumped down from his hover-throne and wearing a smarmy grin approached the King. Much to his surprise, someone stepped between them.
"No one simply approaches Vegeta Ousama."
"What is this?" Furiza looked up at the stranger, annoyance creeping over his white face.
Vegeta folded his arms. "Bow."
"You heard me. Bow to the King. It is the least you can do, since you are unworthy to even breathe the same air as He."
The veins in Furiza's head stood out and throbbed. "Who the hell do you think you are?!"
"You want to know?" Vegeta placed a hand on Furiza's shiny head, pressing down just enough to make him bow. "Come with me!" He raised two fingers to his forehead, silently thanked Kakarotto for finally showing him how to Shukan Ido and disappeared.
"Are you certain he'll be here?" a petulant Kalifura asked.
Mameko scanned the horizon with a high-powered scouter. "He said so, maybe they're still getting ready?"
"Maks, you best not have lied to me," the Viceroy snarled.
"No, Viceroy. He told me he would fight Furiza in the middle of the Great Wastes." She sighed and got back into the air-car that had brought them there. "Perhaps we could scout around some more." Kalifura ignored her and watched the emptiness. "I did lie to you."
"Oh?" Kalifura glared at her and frowned.
"My name is Mameko, not Maks. I'm alive right now, hopefully."
"I see." She opened her mouth, perhaps to apologize or ask more about Mameko's past, but a sharp beeping sound startled them both. Kalifura jumped into the car and snatched the scouter away from her. "It's them!"
"E-Excellency!" Mameko whined.
"Come on, get us closer!"
"No! We mustn't. You don't know what kind of power they have. We must find shelter!"
Kalifura began to order her differently, but Mameko floored the pedal and the car took off in the opposite direction.
"Wait!!" Kalifura screeched. "Wait! They're over there!" When the car had come to a halt in a deep arroyo, the Viceroy slapped Mameko across the face. "How dare you defy me!!"
Mameko paused, the hairs on the back of her neck told her that soon the battle would begin. If she could just keep the woman down and safe until then, she wouldn't have to explain how dangerous it would be topside.
Juunanagou grimaced and reached a hand out to touch the black, shiny, round genie's belly.
"Is ok. Mr. Popo no bite!" Mr. Popo laughed.
"Well, here goes nothing!" Juunanagou swallowed deep and rubbed the stomach a few times. He looked up to Popo who nodded in approval. "I wish… I wish I was a Saiyajin!"
Juunanagou's eyes went wide as he felt his body shift. He fell to his knees and dry-heaved. His voice wouldn't come, else he would have screamed. His strength left him and he crashed to his side.
The pain from the fall was the first thing he was aware of then the sound of his lungs breathing and his heart racing. He opened his eyes. The light was so bright it stung. In a few moments he adjusted and sat up. Juunanagou rubbed his sore shoulder and was fascinated with the texture of his leather jacket under his fleshy hands. He laughed nervously.
"Are you all right, Juunanagou?" Dende asked with a hint of concern in his voice.
"Mm," he answered and laughed again. "Everything is so different!"
"Not bad, though?"
"I don't know yet." He smiled and gingerly stood up. Juunanagou let out a sharp cry of alarm as something brushed by his leg. Dende laughed heartily.
"Did you forget that a tail is part of the Saiyajin package?"
Juunanagou tugged on it and giggled some more. "My kid is gonna freak out when he sees that his dad has a tail now, too!" An inspired glimmer lit his eyes. "Speaking of my kid…" Stepping back a few paces, Juunanagou tried to focus his newfound life energy. In a moment he was floating. "I'm gonna go show him!"
"Don't forget, you don't have an endless power supply anymore. You'll need to eat and sleep like the rest of us, now. Don't go out over the ocean and get too tired to fly!" Dende warned.
"Thanks a million, Kami-sama, Popo-san!" Saiyajin Juunanagou waved as he awkwardly took to the air.
"You welcome!" Popo beamed and waved back.
"Good luck!" Kami cheered.
The wind whipped dust around the few, massive protruding rocks in the Northern Plain. Vegeta had carefully selected this location as being far from any living beings. He touched down, never taking his eyes off his enemy as he too set foot on the desert floor.
"This ought to be amusing," Furiza purred. "I was just thinking about destroying this planet this morning and you've definitely sealed the deal. Killing a monkey as insolent as you before I do will be fun, I think."
"Too bad you won't put a scratch on me, never mind live to see tomorrow," the prince shot back. He stood with his arms folded and a calm, confident look on his face.
Furiza's similar expression fell. "Such total insolence!" He lifted his hand and shot a large energy attack toward the Saiyajin. It didn't seem that Vegeta had moved to dodge, rather that the blast had gone right through him. Furiza boggled and looked to his feet. The dust had been disturbed where Vegeta had side-stepped, two quickly for his eyes to catch. When he looked back up Vegeta was in his face and landed a right hook that sent him crashing into one of the protruding rocks. Then the fight was truly on. Furiza flew back to him and attempted to do the same, but found that he was blocked every time. Vegeta smiled and didn't seem to be breaking a sweat at all.
In the arroyo Mameko had struggled to keep the Viceroy from running toward the scene when they felt them arrive, but the air pressure built up so quickly the two women were awed into stillness. "Is that my son doing that?" Kalifura asked quietly. "Or is it just Furiza?"
"By the feel of it, I'd say it's both." Mameko shuddered. "Will you stay here with me, Viceroy?"
Kalifura nodded as another shockwave of energy pulsed over them like a bomb.
Furiza panted and cursed under his breath. "How is it that a monkey is able to do this to me?!" he hissed.
Vegeta cracked his neck. "As much as I'd like to take my sweet time killing you in the most painful way possible," he said, flicking a speck of dust off his black armor. "There's going to be a huge party when the Saiyajin hear you're dead and I'd really like to get that started."
A blood vessel became pronounced on Furiza's forehead. "I've had about enough of your mouth," he said and transformed into his second stage.
Vegeta clicked his tongue. "You're going to need one more to even think about coming near me."
Vegeta grinned wide. "One more transformation. I know you've got three. You'd better bring it out." He clenched his fists and powered up to Super Saiyajin. "This is my stage one," he remarked and kept going. "Stage two, three," he said, easily pushing his limits as far as they'd go. The hatred he felt towards his enemy and his exhilaration for what he was about to do made it easy. His coloring changed yet again to black and red. "Four." Furiza had pushed to level three and stood staring in disbelief at Super Saiyajin 4 Vegeta. "It ends now," Vegeta said calmly and concentrated on his attack. Furiza flew at him. When the connected the light was so bright it shone over half the planet.
Mameko stood at the window and waved down to Bardock as he approached the inn with lunch in his arms. They both turned toward the north as the flash brightened the afternoon sky. "That must be it!" Mameko cried. "The sign!"
A loud boom followed and they were the first to spread the news that Furiza was dead.
Vegeta walked slowly around the area, scanning for any remaining bits of Furiza but he was more than sure he got it all. He wouldn't be resurrected this time. A high-pitched sound caught his attention and he turned to see his mother flying across the plain toward him followed closely by Mameko. "Che," he scoffed.
"I thought I told you to keep your mouth shut!" he barked at Mameko as they arrived.
"I… Oujisama? What happened to you?"
He was still in SSJ4 mode and grinned at the shocked look on his mother's face. "Madame Viceroy," he said and bowed. Slowly and for effect he powered down, stepping through the other levels of Super Saiyajin as he did so.
"Y-you're a Super Saiyajin?" she asked.
"And you destroyed Furiza?"
Again he nodded.
Tears formed in Kalifura's eyes. "That's my boy," she said softly.
Vegeta frowned. "I beg of you, do not expect the same wonders from your son."
"The trials I have had to endure will not exist for him now that I have saved you. He will be strong, but this kind of strength comes from necessity, not talent."
"Oujisama…" Mameko muttered, amazed.
Kalifura pouted. "I will take that into account. But don't think I'll go easy on… you." She couldn't help but smile. "I'm so proud of you!" she beamed.
Vegeta puffed out his chest. "Let's go."
Mameko laughed with joy. "Let's party!!"
"Well, I have some cleaning up to do yet. Furiza's goons and his father King Cold will be troublesome if I don't take them out."
The women agreed and all three took to the air and headed south.
The parties seemed never ending. Day after day another feast was declared and the guest of honor, "Future Trunks" as he was ironically dubbed was asked to appear at each and every one of them. Mameko noted that although Vegeta usually dreaded Earthling celebrations and their bland activities of idle chat and formal dining, the prince relished a Saiyajin feast. The long tables laden with game, the long nights and potent drink followed by lazy mornings recovering were much more his speed. They both agreed that they would stay as long as the King wanted them to, as they would return to their time and place only a day after they left it.
Mameko laughed. "It feels a bit like cheating, doesn't it?" she asked as she modeled an honorary suit of armor she'd been given. "Too bad I can't fit this in the Time Machine…" she grumbled. Vegeta grinned and dug into his bag. He clicked something in his hand and tossed in into the middle of the room. A ten foot long storage unit exploded from a capsule. "Oujisama, you're a genius!"
He shrugged. A knock at the door to their suite drew their attention. "Enter," he commanded.
"Excuse me, Trunks-sama," a familiar voice called as a couple were shown into the room. "Is Maks here?"
Vegeta indicated to the blue haired woman and stared at them. "Who are you?" he asked.
"My apologies, I'm Chief Science officer Bardock. This is my mate, Mameko and our son…"
"Kakarotto…" Vegeta stood up.
Bardock looked surprised but Mameko jogged toward them. "I'm so glad you could come!" she chimed. She stared at the slightly younger, normal version of herself holding the baby, standing beside her bonded mate and tears sprang to her eyes. "Oujisama, would you excuse us for a while?"
Vegeta stopped to examine the family before leaving without a fuss. He stared at the baby and chuckled. "That's going to be one hell of a kid," he commented as he left the room.
"Thank you!" Bardock replied.
Maks sat down and bid them come and do the same. "Are you alright?" Mameko asked her older self.
Maks nodded. "More than alright. This is a dream come true for me in a way to see you reunited. A real dream!"
"I'm so sorry," Bardock said softly. "I can't imagine what it must have been like for the two of you to lose everything."
Maks nodded. "It was pretty shocking for me. Ou- er… Trunks-sama had a rougher time, I think."
Mameko looked to Bardock and handed him her baby. To Maks' surprise she got up, sat next to her and hugged her tightly. "I'm so sorry, Mameko."
The blue haired woman gasped. "You know?!"
"You couldn't fool me," Bardock agreed. "And when she saw you she knew herself instantly."
Mameko pulled back and held Maks' hands. "Thank you so much, me!" she laughed through her tears.
They talked for a few hours before the next feast was to begin. Maks got to hold her infant son and give them some idea of what he'd be like when he was a man. They were astounded by her stories but swore to keep them secret.
Vegeta wandered down the hall and heard a rapid set of steps approaching him from around the corner. He stopped in his tracks as the young Saiyajin nearly collided with him. "Why don't you watch where you're…!" the child began to berate him but stopped short and stared up at the man. "Trunks, is it?" he asked with his face screwed up in a scowl that was all-too familiar.
Vegeta was almost speechless. Almost. "It is. You should watch where you're going yourself, kid. You almost plowed into this planet's savior, you know."
The child spat. "My mother says that I have to aspire to be as great as you but I don't think you're so great!"
He raised a brow. "Oh? I just killed Furiza. What have you done lately?"
This was too much for the kid. His face turned red and he opened his mouth to shout at Trunks again but he put his finger to his forehead as if to flick it. The child cringed instinctively. "Hey," He opened his eyes when nothing happened. "Why did you do that?"
"So you'd recognize that I'm just like you," he said carefully and crouched down. "Listen well, little Prince," Vegeta addressed his younger self. "What I have done is pretty amazing, but what you can do is even more amazing."
"Oh?" he asked, interested.
"You can lead your people into the future."
The young prince clicked his tongue. "That's not cool! I want to be powerful!"
"And so you shall!" Vegeta answered. "You should be grateful every morning you wake on this world and it's still here. You should be proud that your people are strong and alive." He stood and began to walk past him down the hall. "In my time they are gone and I am virtually alone. I think you know how that feels having spent so much time away from here. Imagine a lifetime of that and worse and be grateful."
The young prince Vegeta was left speechless in the hall.
The morning the King, Viceroy and Prince were to see the saviors from the future back to their own time Bardock, Mameko and Kakarotto were allowed to be present and waved until long after the machine was out of sight.
In the following year, many children were born to Saiyajin parents who would never have lived had it not been for them who were appropriately named Trunks and Maks.
Back on Earth, Present Time
When the time machine popped back into existence in its dimension of origin, all of Vegeta and Mameko's friends were there to welcome them home. Vegeta was quiet, but his grin was all anyone needed to know that he had a good time. Mameko most of the talking and excited to tell the story she spoke quickly.
"And there was… wait, where's Juunana?" she asked craning her neck around a group of Son family members who were gathered before her. They smiled at each other and parted to reveal her husband. He handed Akira to Chi-chi and approached Mameko. Her mouth opened to ask what was different about him. There was something about the way he walked, the glisten in his eyes, the scratch on his chin. "Juunana, what happened to your… how do you have…?" she tried to figure out what had changed. He smirked and stopped hiding his tail.
"You…!" she cried, clapping her hands over her mouth in shock. Everyone laughed. "You're a…!"
"Saiyajin," he answered. "I hope that's acceptable, Oujisama?" he asked Vegeta who stopped staring at him and chuckled. He simply nodded his approval.
Mameko squealed with delight and threw her arms around Juunanagou.
Everyone stayed up very late at Capsule as Mameko and Vegeta told their story and handed souvenirs of Vegeta-sei to everyone. When the last few people went home in the wee hours of the morning Mameko bowed to Vegeta. Juunanagou did the same and Vegeta laughed again. "That's going to take some getting used to," he said. "Welcome aboard."
"Thank you, Oujisama," he replied.
"And thanks to you, Mameko," Vegeta said, looking up at the brightening horizon. "The suns are rising on Vegeta-sei this morning."
She blushed and her tail wagged nervously. "It was you who destroyed Furiza, Oujisama."
"But if you hadn't come here, I would never have found the passion to make it happen. I believed that my world was long lost. You changed that, and for that I thank you."
She bowed again, glowing with pride. "It was fun," she said. "I think it's time to go home, right, Juuanana?"
He nodded and Vegeta waved as they took to the sky and headed north for their cabin home.