King Vegeta looked down dispassionately at the young child straining against the cold metallic restraints of his sterile observation chamber. He allowed the smallest smile to twitch at the corner of his lips as he observed the scruffy boy's futile attempts to escape. This was certainly better than the pathetic bawling the creature had been making earlier.
"Report," he ordered tonelessly to the scientist at his side. The alien was a purple and green-toned hominid from one inferior species or another. Saiyans as a rule did not produce technological genius—but they were strong enough and wealthy enough to take it from those who could. King Vegeta idly wondered if this one was a servant or a slave.
"Hemmm, hemmm…" The alien cleared its phlemy voice. "We've determined that he's….hemmmmmm-hemm…excuse me, hemmmmmm…"
Vegeta flared his ki in warning, and although the scientist didn't have a scouter he could feel the deadly pressure fill the hallway. The king was known to kill at the slightest displeasure. The scientist flushed and hurridly tried to form the proper words in his throat. The Saiyan tongue was hard on his vocal chords…not that the king understood or cared.
"He's a half." The scientist finally managed. "Hemmmm….A half-human, half-saiyan. A hybrid if you will."
King Vegeta's eyes narrowed as he shifted his attention back to the one-way observation glass. A hybrid.
"Let me be clear on this." Vegeta drawled carefully. "You are telling me that one of my men beget this monstrosity on a human bitch?"
"Yes, hemmm." The scientist replied. King Vegeta must have at least suspected this result, otherwise he would not have sent them the child for examination. "It appears that the father is—"
"I know who the father was!" Vegeta snapped. "And he has been executed for other acts of treason. But to think that he actually mated with a human woman…disgusting. I did not think that such a union could even produce offspring." Vegeta turned his back to the observation chamber, where the child had ceased struggling and was now sniffling again. Vegeta sneered.
"I am satisfied with your report. You will be rewarded if word of this does not get out." The king waved one hand dismissively. "Dispose of the aberration immediately."
The scientist frowned. Dispose of him? But the research possibilities! To lose such a unique, powerful specimen would be a waste. It was not his place, but perhaps his king was letting the betrayal of the father cloud his strategic judgment. And again, the research opportunities...
The scientist took a gamble. The four-year-old child strapped to a wall in the room before them could buy him both his freedom and academic fame. He could not let it die before he had a chance to study it.
"At once, my lord." The scientist bowed, then paused. "However…hemmmm…"
Vegeta stopped mid-step out the door. "Yes, what is it?" He growled.
"Hemmmmm…" The scientist stalled. "King Vegeta, my lord…hemmm…it may interest you to know that while the child's parentage is undoubtedly human, his physiology is almost completely saiyan. Further, we have recorded fluctuations in power levels as high as 940000 when he is aggravated."
Vegeta whirled around, his face a mixture of incredulity and poorly masked shock. "You lie!"
The scientist reeled to avoid the king's whipping cape. "No, my lord." He said quickly. "Hemmmmm…surely you must have read Lord Raditz's report documenting his injuries on his last mission?"
Vegeta stiffened. "That was not in my briefing." He said coolly. Raditz would have some questions to face when Vegeta was done here.
The scientist could not help the smirk that surfaced. "Yes, hemmmm…well, it was not in his official medical forms either. Heh heh heh-hemmmm. One of my collegues took it down as testimony when Lord Raditz began rambling under anesthesia."
Vegeta scowled. "That's hardly reliable."
"No, hemmm." The scientist agreed. "But it did prompt us to test the child's reflexes and ki control. Interviews with the subject and personal observation indicate that he is completely untrained, yet his…hemmmm. The quantitative data from the scouters put him at a higher level than a mature third-class saiyan."
Vegeta considered this. "You are saying that he is stronger at the age of four than the bulk of my army?"
"He is a prodigy, sire."
Vegeta raised a hand to his chin and returned to the observation window. "A prodigy from birth. How very unlike his father." He mused.
The scientist privately wondered if the famous High General Kakkarot, who was the first to unlock he Super Saiyan transformation in a thousand years, could not be considered a prodigy as well. Even if he had been classified third-class at birth.
"You said he is physically a saiyan?" King Vegeta interrupted the scientist's thoughts.
"Hemmm…physiologically." The scientist corrected. "He is…hemmm, how to put it? A hybrid on the genetic level, but the DNA expression related to his physiology…hemmm…that is, musculature, skeletal structure, metabolism—"
"Spare me the details!" Vegeta snapped, flaring his ki for the second time. "What are you trying to tell me?"
"Only that his body is more like a saiyan than a human!" The scientist cried. The stress on his vocal chords sent him into a wracking fit of coughs, and for a few terrifying moments the scientist was sure his life was about to end as Vegeta grew visibly more impatient.
"He…the boy…" The scientist tried to recover. "We need more, hemmmm…tests, but he is hardly human at all. He has the Saiyan Potential."
Vegeta smirked cruelly. The Saiyan Potential to vastly increase strength after a brutal defeat. "You tested that?" The king snarked.
The scientist calmed slightly. "We did. His base power level increased 20 percent."
Vegeta crossed his arms and looked again through the window. The child had now fallen asleep. What a flighty temperament.
"The child." Vegeta said suddenly. "He cries, squirms, cries more, and then sleeps. That is not normal saiyan behavior."
This was what the scientist had been dreading. He needed to present the next results of his studies carefully.
"Yes…hemmm." The scientist said. "The child is, after all, hemmmm…half-human. We do not have much to compare to, but…hemmmm, my team suspects that his mentality is similar to a human. In his mind, he is human."
Vegeta scrutinized the boy's tear-streaked sleeping face. It was almost…innocent. Peaceful. The king's upper lip curled.
"Hemmm…" The scientist recaptured Vegeta's attention. "Humans are…hemmm…weak." The purple and green alien began, framing his next words as best he could. "But even you, my king, as a warrior must respect their technological prowess."
Vegeta made no sign of response, negative or positive. The scientist decided to continue.
"As a scientist, I do marvel at their achievements. Just twenty years ago they had rudimentary space travel. Now they have an empire. Hemmmm…you could say that industry is the Human Potential."
Vegeta's eye twitched. The scientist flinched, but the king did nothing.
"The boy, hemmmm…" The scientist said. "His intelligence scores are off the charts."
Vegeta raised a mocking eyebrow. "Like a human?" He sneered.
"Beyond some of my collegues," the scientist admitted. "A prodigy."
At this, Vegeta laughed. It started as a small chuckle, then grew into a full, sinister cackle. Finally, the king threw his head back and roared.
"He is stronger than my armies and smarter than my slaves!" The king guffawed. "And half-human to boot!"
"M-my lord!" The alien scientist stared bug-eyed.
Vegeta ignored him. Still snickering, he placed one hand on the observation glass.
"Kakarott, you fool." He said softly to the sleeping boy on the other side of the window pane. "You may have deserted me to cavort with humans, but you have provided me with the very weapon to destroy them. The irony is sweeter than the news of your death trying to protect this creature. I hope you are watching from the Otherworld, Goku."
The king turned back to the scientist. "Release him from the bonds and have him transferred to the nursery. Put him with the eight-year-olds. He starts training tomorrow."
Inside, the scientist smiled. Checkmate, to use the human term. He had to make sure the king thought this was all his idea, however.
"Hemmmm…" The scientist hedged with feigned uncertainty. "But my lord, his human mentality….are you sure?"
King Vegeta smirked. "His behavior can be fixed with the proper motivation. If he does not act like a saiyan, he will learn to be one. You say his ki spikes when aggravated? Make sure his peers understand that he is half-human as well."
The scientist bowed. "It will….hemmmm, be done." I envy the boy, the scientist thought. The best of both worlds. It seems full-blooded Saiyans are too brutish to tell when they are being coached.
King Vegeta brushed by the scientist to leave, then stopped abruptly in the door again. He turned around and gave the alien deceptively casual once-over that sent chills down the scientist's spine.
"Tell me, scientist." Vegeta asked suddenly, intently. "Are you a servant or enslaved?"
The scientist nervously straightened his white researcher's coat and shifted his clipboard of charts and notes. "A slave, sire." He said as properly as he could given his difficulty with the saiyan tongue.
King Vegeta's black eyes seemed to drill into the alien slave's own milky orbs.
"Very well," He said, turning back to the door. "You may continue tests on him every third day. If your work pleases me, I will put you on payroll. If the boy you seem so adamant to protect exceeds my expectations I will give you your freedom."
"M-my lord!" The scientist rasped.
"What?" Vegeta smirked, glancing over his shoulder. "Do you think I don't know what you scientists want?" His smirk faded. "Or that I am too stupid to recognize your pathetic attempts at subterfuge?"
"Tch." Vegeta spat. "I know what your type thinks. Fortunately for you, I am also not too stupid to recognize a potential advantage in this war with the humans. I do not waste important military resources. You did right to stop me from disposing of him."
"Sire!" The alien scientist snapped, bowing crisply as a soldier would.
Vegeta sneered. "Don't flatter yourself scientist. Stick to your station. You're not free yet. If the boy fails me, you will die."
The scientist nodded mutely. He had expected as much. But even the threat of death could not dissuade him from reaching for his freedom.
"And if you ever try to manipulate me again, I will personally see to your execution. Slowly."
The scientist paled.