(I really like how the biggest issue is Amotto's implausible power increase and not the fact that she was raped by her brother. Amotto did not transform into a Super Saiyan 2. Ka'bijj and Turpin were mistaken. I gave hints to suggest that she briefly tapped into something along the lines of Broly's Legendary form out of sheer desperation. And I want to put this out there. Amotto in her base form is nowhere near as powerful as Goku was when he first became a Super Saiyan. So she's not strong enough to beat either Frieza or Coola on her own. And neither were Turpin or Ka'bijj. It was only through the combined efforts of Ka'bijj and Amotto that they were able to give Coola so much trouble. But alone they were screwed.
Also, come on guys. It's just a story. I'm grateful it's enjoyed so much, but if something doesn't happen to your liking don't post an anonymous review calling the idea stupid. It's petty and pointless. Just enjoy the ride, because it's all in good fun.)
Chapter Thirty-Five: From the Ashes
"I have nothing to fear
I have nothing to say
You have nothing to take this from me
Years of screaming in pain
Years of anger and rage
I will not be your slave."
From the Ashes-In This Moment
Leta stared down in contempt at Blythe as the man gurgled and twitched, blood flowing down the sides of his mouth and from his nostrils.
"No less than you deserve for your betrayal, Blythe," she muttered coldly. "Then again it is a bit merciful compared to what Tettuce would have done to you. He did not abide traitors." She scowled and nudged Blythe's head with her boot.
The Gylderian traitor's body suddenly went into violent convulsions, his mouth wide open as the gurgling grew louder, blood flying as he shook.
He finally went still, his eyes wide open and staring at nothing.
"Hm." She turned away from him and stopped when she found Vegeta standing before her, his arms folded.
"So you're the one they call Princess Leta." He arched an eyebrow as he looked her up and down. "Who exactly are you? I've never heard of any Princess Leta before."
"I would imagine not," she responded with a small smile. "My father was Spinac."
Vegeta frowned. "You're an illegitimate child then?"
"I suppose so."
"Hm. Figures." He turned away from her. "You're no princess, though. Just leave the ruling to me from now on."
Leta frowned. "Excuse me?"
He glanced at her. "I don't repeat myself to scum."
She suddenly scowled. "Listen here you little toad-"
He spun around and pointed a finger at her. "Shut your mouth you insolent wretch! Do not raise your voice to me! I am Prince Vegeta!"
She blinked at him, frowning all the while. "I am well aware of who you are, Vegeta. Apparently it is high time you became aware of who, exactly, I am." She started towards him. "I am Princess Leta, daughter of Lord Spinac. I am the eldest of the last two members of what passed for a Royal Family on Vegeta. I am—was, mated to Tettuce the Exile. I am all that is leading this paltry group of survivors and I will not bow down to a sniveling little brat like you!"
Vegeta gawped up at her. "H-how dare you!"
"Shut it, little prince. I am in no mood to deal with your attitude so just drop it for now. If you want to contest my authority, do it at a later date when we are not in such a hurry." Before he could respond she swept past him, hovering up to the hole in the ship.
She paused and looked down at him to see his shoulders trembling and his fists clenched tight at his sides. She sighed, shaking her head as she turned and entered the ship. She quickly returned to the bridge to find Jeice kneeling beside Lessbru and the bridge a flurry of movement.
She looked around at the bodies rushing all around trying to repair the damage caused by Blythe. She scowled at the thought of him. It had been a mistake to let the man live in the first place. She realized that all too clearly now.
A hand touched her arm and she looked at Surah. Her scowl vanished and she sighed at the worry in her sister's expression. She managed a smile and patted her hand.
"I am fine, Surah."
"That is a lie, Leta," her Gylderian sister said under her breath. "You have not been fine since you found out your mother was alive. You should have spoken to me by now about her. What is wrong?"
Leta stared at her sister silently for a few moments. After a while she glanced around the bridge then grabbed Surah's hand and led her out into the corridor. Once the door closed she turned to face her.
She took a breath and sighed. "Surah…You knew your parents. I knew of mine. I never had an opportunity to meet with either of them, and when my home planet was destroyed I-" She paused and looked away. "Never thought I'd have that chance. I never thought I'd be able to be angry with my mother and father, and to tell them exactly how I feel."
She smiled and shook her head. "My mother lives and I cannot think of anything to say to her. All I feel towards her is anger and resentment…But there is a part of me that earnestly desires to know her and have a mother/daughter relationship with her."
"Your pride is preventing you."
Leta looked at Surah and nodded. "Yes. It is my pride that is keeping me from seeking her out." She laughed bitterly and turned away. "I'm pathetic, aren't I?"
Surah stepped forward and touched her sister's shoulder. "No, you are not. You were raised by Gylderians, so of course you are nervous about how to interact with your Saiyan mother." She offered a small smile. "You blame your pride, but that is not the only thing stopping you, Leta." She reached out and touched her index finger to her sister's chest, right over her heart. "You want that relationship, but you are scared. Do not be, my sister. It is not becoming of you."
Leta smiled and grasped Surah's hand between hers. She closed her eyes and nodded. "I can always count on you to have faith in me."
"Just as I can count on you to have faith in me." Surah grinned as Leta opened her eyes.
Leta felt a little surer of herself.
Auguinti, not for the first time, thanked his nocturnal nature as his beady eyes stared unblinking at his computer console. It was always like this for him, staying up late into the early hours of the next morning, maintaining a false vigilance that even Cold knew to be a sham.
Which was exactly why Auguinti was always able to tip toe around the Ice-jin's ever watchful gaze, capable of slipping through the microscopic shadows that belied the tiniest of holes in Cold's defense. His arrogance allowed Auguinti breathing room to wreak untold amounts of havoc on his unsuspecting shipmates.
His stubbornness, and tendencies to openly defy Cold, made him the least likely suspect. Cold believed that pride prevented him from taking that extra leap into blasphemous levels of underhandedness, never once suspecting that Auguinti was his biggest threat.
The blue alien allowed himself a reptilian grin as he narrowed his beady eyes at the image of a planet, boldly labeled S.S.T.G. 5. Auguinti had hacked into the main servers that controlled the finer workings of the Ice-jin Empire. If he so chose, he could easily, at the moment, bankrupt the entire empire.
But that was too blatant for his tastes. He preferred to pile on minor annoyances, slowly chipping away at Cold's indifference. One day he would see the vile reptile lose his cool, and it would most likely end with Auguinti's death. But the satisfaction of knowing that he'd been a constant headache to the Ice-jins was his sole reason for continuing to oppose the Regime at any and every turn.
While turning the princes into paupers was an appealing outcome, Auguinti's purpose for hacking into the server was much simpler. He intended to alter the recorded coordinates for S.S.T.G. 5 in order to give the Saiyans just a bit more time. He knew the Galactic Band would do everything in their power to ensure the rebels had ample breathing room, but he couldn't just let things unfold in the Ice-jins' favor. Not if he had the power to make a difference.
Even if it was by doing something as simple as changing some coordinates.
Auguinti's grin never faded as he carefully covered his tracks. No one would ever know a thing.
And sure enough, as the next few days unfolded as mundanely as the last, and they finally reached the recorded coordinates for S.S.T.G. 5 and found no planet, no one suspected a thing. Aside from a shattered wine glass, Cold's only reaction was to say that their enemy was clever, and far more prepared than he had originally guessed.
No one aside from Auguinti heard this, as only his ears were equipped for nearly inaudible sounds. A fact that Auguinti had not felt necessary for anyone else aside for him to be privy to.
Time was inconsequential to Amotto, though she was aware that quite some time had passed since Seripa and Bardock's unexpected arrival to S.S.T.G. 5. But she made herself as scarce as possible, preferring to be by herself for now. Besides, she was starting to enjoy the silent serenity of the unrelenting rain. It had not stopped raining since her tumultuous arrival to the forsaken planet.
The terrain was harsh and unforgiving, the inhabitants even more so, and yet Amotto found herself with a sense of peace as she wandered through the craggy valleys and through dead, petrified forests. Rather than being put off by the forbidding appearance of the planet, she found herself fascinated by its dark beauty. The craggy upheavals that passed for mountains seemed to mirror her broken heart and her turbulent mind, reflecting the swell of emotions that surged through her being.
But because of this comparison she found herself more at ease as a Super Saiyan. In fact she spent the majority of her time as a Super Saiyan, her golden aura a beacon of light in the encompassing darkness of S.S.T.G. 5. Pebbles, twigs, small plants and insects; none were safe from the power that swelled around her constantly as she seemed almost to stroll along.
S.S.T.G. 5. She couldn't bring herself to continue to refer to this…planet as such. So she'd taken to calling it Fracture. The fissures and gigantic stalagmites seemed to her to be the giant evidence of a massive fracture in space and time. Of course she knew that wasn't the case, but her Super Saiyan mind seemed almost attracted to that idea.
She supposed it had something to do with the power that she now possessed. It was big, so instinctively her mind perceived big. She was an ant suddenly gifted the powers of a sentient being. She was a goddess now, despite the difference in power between her and Coola. For not much longer would that be the case. Sooner than the Ice-jin would ever realize, she would be the strongest being in the universe. She would be a true goddess compared to the Ice-jins, and she would exact divine justice upon them. She was, after all, the Arch-Cleric of Super Saiyans.
She had succeeded in the task Ka'bijj had left for her, so she felt confident in calling herself by the title he had bestowed upon her. She was the one and only Super Saiyan, now that Turpin and Ka'bijj had been finished off. It was only right that she wear the title.
That fact would have triggered her violent nature before. But somehow she was finding herself, even as a Super Saiyan, somehow becoming more herself. As if by constantly remaining transformed she was burning off the anger she normally felt. She'd felt comfortable, even safe, hiding beneath the veil of anger at first. Letting it control her actions rather than take responsibility and take charge of her power had been sickeningly satisfying, but it had also been only temporary. Eventually she'd felt nothing but disgust for herself.
Now she felt…well, a sort of serenity. If she was to be honest with herself, she realized one day (or night, it was really difficult to determine from the ground,) she might've let herself continue on with the self-righteous anger if it were not for the fact that her power felt…whole, more complete, when she was at peace. Anger seemed to cause her power to burn up quicker. It was a rush to let anger drive her forward, but it was wasteful. The power was intoxicating to be true, but Amotto was, or at least tried to be, a sensible person. Broco had reminded her of that; if only she'd realized it sooner.
In the days that followed the fateful battle with Coola, Amotto came to resent herself for the way she'd acted towards Ka'bijj. Really she resented the way she'd acted in general, like a selfish brat. What was worse was that she'd come to remind herself of her drunkard "father." When she'd realized that, it had churned her stomach.
Her stomach growled and she grimaced as she came to a stop, the rain falling in sheets all around her. Her glowing aura evaporated the rain drops before they could reach her, shrouding her in a second aura of steam. It growled again and she scowled, her emerald eyes glimmering as she glanced about. She was only mildly surprised to find herself surrounded by dozens of the Brute Saiyans.
They hadn't snuck up on her, of course. No, she had mistakenly wandered into the territory of one of the many tribes that were scattered across Fracture. They couldn't harm her, not that they would even try. As if driven by some instinctual fear, they gave her a wide berth. They watched her warily, eyes clouded with fear, but not one ever made a movement against her. They were simple creatures, but even they knew when and whom to respect.
Amotto couldn't remember the last time she'd eaten. By the sounds of her stomach she could guess that it had been a day or two. She sighed and glanced over her shoulder, but almost immediately frowned. Great, she couldn't remember where the complex was. She sighed and put her hands on her hips.
"Great, Amotto. The most powerful being for light-years and you're lost. Brilliant really."
"You could circle this planet a dozen times in less than five minutes, and you think you're lost."
Amotto would have bristled before and retorted angrily—and had on a few occasions—but her attitude had changed drastically. Instead she merely smirked and turned to see the mysterious Mejai enveloped in a strange silver aura, holding the sizzling meat of some freshly cooked beast, and wearing the same style armor he'd worn upon their first meeting.
"You really are a dense woman," he said pointedly before taking a bite of the juicy meat. "No wonder you're always so angry." His eyes stared at her with an intensity as sharp as the words he tossed her way. "It's easily apparent how your hands could be as red with death as they are."
Amotto's smirk faded and her eyes hardened. She matched Mejai's focus, her glimmering hues unreadable and dark.
After a moment she spoke, her voice steely and cold as death, "I made my mistakes, and I'll have to live with them. I know this better than anyone, especially you."
Mejai cocked a green eyebrow as he stared unblinking at her. After a few moments he smirked. "You sound like a monk or something."
"Isn't that the general idea?" Amotto asked with a matching smirk.
"I suppose so. Anyway, enough of that. I have more food if you're interested." He nodded towards the half-devoured meat in his hand.
Amotto opened her mouth to respond, but her stomach growled loudly. She scowled down at her mid-section and sighed, "Even if I wasn't, my stomach sure is and isn't afraid to make it known."
"At least some part of you speaks its mind." Mejai grinned and quickly finished off the hunk of meat, lazily tossing away a handful of bones. He suddenly bowed dramatically to her, kicking his leg out with a flourish. "A feast awaits, my lady."
The female Super Saiyan rolled her eyes and shook her head. "Always with the theatrics. What is your deal?"
Mejai straightened up with a shrug, grinning all the while. "It's fun, I guess. I don't know, I like teasing you."
"That's dangerous, you know. You're messing with a being of indescribable power here." She was vaguely aware that the distance between them was shrinking.
"I think I can handle one little Super Saiyan." Mejai's hand was on her cheek and his silver aura was blending with her golden one.
"I'm more of a handful than you realize," she whispered urgently, her green eyes locked onto his dark blue.
She could never exactly pinpoint the moment this affair had begun. Time had become inconsequential to her. It was meaningless, even though she was aware that several weeks had already come and gone.
And though time was inconsequential, she still found herself thinking that not enough time had passed since Broco's death. She felt the familiar sting of guilt wrenching her heart, even as her body was overcome with the most glorious feeling she'd ever experienced. Mejai's touch was gentle and assuring, compared to the rough, domineering experiences of her past. She felt the pleasurable touch of this mysterious man and she enjoyed it, but not as thoroughly as she'd have liked.
Pain, misery, and guilt occupied large portions of her heart, she was all-too painfully aware. Before, during, and after as she lay on the damp floor of the cave she and Mejai had retreated to. A small fire blazed away, bathing their sweat-glistened bodies in a metallic orange sheen. As her emerald hues reflected the firelight, she could feel Mejai's slow, steady breathing as his bare chest touched her back, sending chills up her spine. She cringed, but an absently gentle touch to her arm relaxed and reassured her. She couldn't help but to look inquisitively at the man she barely knew as he still slept on. The mysterious man who had not only rescued her, but seemed to be taming the Super Saiyan beast she had become.
Was this okay? Part of her wanted so much for it to be, but another part of her knew that it could never be okay. Could she really love this man the way she'd loved Broco?
No, of course not. But she could still love him. Couldn't she?
She didn't know. And that was why, ever so silently but swiftly, she donned her armor and left the cave, venturing back out into the unrelenting rain.
She stood, unprotected by her aura, as the rain coursed rivulets down her face, her neck, her arms, legs…Momentarily stunned by the cool, refreshing feel of it, she stared into the blackened heavens of this forbidding planet. A small smirk touched her lips as she realized that amidst the ugliness of this Fractured planet, she'd managed to find a measure of beauty. It was wholly unexpected, and definitely not where she would have expected it.
Slowly she turned to the cavern entrance and frowned ever so slightly. Maybe this could be okay. Her and Mejai…She knew next to nothing about him, but that was her own doing. And, she realized with a slight start, she knew more than she realized. She knew his mannerisms, and his personality. She didn't have to know anything beyond that for her to know that she was developing an attachment to him.
But what kind? Her frown deepened and she stepped slowly away from the entrance, a ghost of her past timidity briefly taking over. She quickly quelled the feeling firmly, and turned resolutely from the entrance. Her aura flared to life silently, instantly drying her and enveloping her in a cloud of steam.
She looked up into the sky as red bolts of lightning lanced across the clouds. She recalled an all-too recent time when her thoughts would have driven her to anger. Was she marshaling control of her Super Saiyan state? It was true that she'd been in the state for longer than she could remember, even sleeping as a Super Saiyan. Of course it was mostly due to the fact that her base power was not quite enough to handle the intense gravity of the Training Ground planet. Also it had allowed her to run rampant at first and kill dozens of Brutes. Maybe even hundreds, who really knew?
What would happen to her if she were to suddenly revert back to her base form? Would all of that adjusting be for naught the next time she transformed? Would she revert back to being that feral beast?
She liked to think that she wouldn't. She was certain she'd figured out the true trick behind transforming at will and hoped that would keep her from using anger as a constant trigger.
Maybe it was time to give up her reluctance and find out for sure. There really was only one way to know for certain.
She took a breath, and then exhaled it slowly, her hair darkening to green and her eyes to black. Instantly she felt the gravity pulling her down, making even standing a chore. She grimaced but it quickly became a smirk.
"Heh. Just walking would make for great training here."
"I've been waiting for this moment for a long time, Amotto."
She started and turned around as quickly as she could, encumbered as she was. She frowned as Mejai, wearing nothing but his underarmor, strode out of the cavern purposefully, his body enveloped in his silver aura.
"What do you mean?" she ventured cautiously. She did not know anything about this man, not even why he was even on this planet to begin with.
He smirked and carefully gathered his thick green locks up, deftly tying them into a ponytail. "Ka'bijj may have neglected to mention me, but I am your true teacher and your final test. And your true training begins now."
She cocked an eyebrow as she regarded him. "Are you serious? Do you really think you can handle me? I'm a Super Saiyan, for Kami's sake."
"A fact that has not escaped my notice, just as the fact that you are weaker than me has not escaped my notice." He smoothly slid into an odd fighting stance, his arms raised and his hands turned at awkward angles, while his legs took on sharp angles.
"Maybe right now, but when I transform-"
"It won't help you!" he suddenly shouted, vanishing almost immediately afterwards.
"Wha-?" Amotto barely had time to utter before her head suddenly snapped backward, and her feet flew out from under her. Before that fact had fully registered in her consciousness, she was splayed on her back in a perfectly outlined indention of her body. She blinked and then cringed as fierce pains erupted in her jaw and her stomach, simultaneously.
What the fuck…? Her mind was clouded with the pain, but she forced herself to focus as she struggled against the gravity and the pain to her feet. The rain felt like falling stones as she glanced around for Mejai, who had, it seemed, disappeared.
She focused on her ki, focusing on the trigger to her Super Saiyan form. She called on it, willing her body to undergo the change into the being of legend. But just as she felt her ki begin to swell, she was struck from the side and sent sailing through the air.
She struck the ground at an angle, chunks of rock flying from the force of her impact and the momentum with which she tore through the planet's surface, a deep trench left in her wake. She would have continued on uncontrollably if Mejai had not appeared and dropped down onto her stomach, causing the ground to crater beneath her as she was brought to a sudden, and rather violent, halt.
As she struggled to suck air into her severely collapsed lungs, Mejai knelt by her side, his ever-intense dark blue eyes meeting her own bewildered gaze. "Once there were ten of these planets, Amotto. Each planet was different; their environments geared towards different aspects of a single test that potential Clerics had to undergo. The test was a Rite of Passage to become a Super Saiyan."
She managed a frown at him and he smirked. "You've come a long way since your arrival here. I never thought you, with that volatile personality of yours, would have achieved the control you have over your transformation. But I have noticed that you have not reverted and then tried to transform again. Which means you are afraid of losing the control you have gained. I've waited until this day because of that fear."
He leaned down until all she could see in her field of vision was his smirking face. "Only now that you are ready to conquer that fear, can I truly test whether or not you are deserving of the Arch-Cleric title. Transform if you can. But know that if you transform in rage, I will find you undeserving of the title." He drew away, standing up to tower over her prone form. "You do not want to be found undeserving."
"I-I imagine…you'll k-kill me?" She cringed as she slowly sat up, pain shooting through her stomach to her back. Her whole body hurt, but the pain enveloping her stomach and back was something special.
"Yes, I will."
She narrowed her eyes at him. "All I have to do is transform without getting mad?"
"It's not as simple as it sounds."
"So I've gathered." She smiled and cocked her head. "Watch this." Her ki spiked, the ground cracked further and her hair stood on end.
But before her aura had even appeared, let alone her eyes and hair changing color, Mejai had lunged at her and round-house kicked her across her chest, sending her rolling backwards across the ground.
With a curse, Amotto flared her ki as hard as she could and she was suddenly sailing into the sky. Her eyes flitted back and forth, up and down, as she tried to find Mejai before he could strike her again. He wasn't going to give her any chances to transform. Just as soon as she flared her ki, he was going to attack her all-out. He was trying to piss her off.
She smirked. So THAT was his game. Piss her off and force her to transform out of rage. Well that wasn't going to happen.
She cast a glance over her shoulder and her golden aura suddenly erupted to life, her hair standing on end and beginning to flash.
Just as quickly, two elbows crashed into the top of her head and she was slamming face-first violently into the ground, chunks of dirt and rock exploding all around her as blood erupted from her mouth and nose.. She lay deathly still—though she wasn't dead; only wishing she was—as chunks of rocky debris clattered down around her. Mejai touched down at her side just as her eyes closed.
"Truly pathetic, but no less than I expected. Without your precious transformation, you're nothing."
"Nothin' but scum!"
"No…" Amotto whispered. She didn't hear Mejai's words as clearly as she'd heard those last three words. Her "father's" voice was unmistakable.
Mejai arched an eyebrow. "What was that?"
Her eyes cracked open and she turned her head to look at him with a slight smile. Slowly she struggled to her feet, fighting against waves of weakness and the intense gravity. She stared at him, her gaze unwavering despite her trembling knees and shoulders.
"All my life…I've been told I was nothing. Trash, scum…the works." She laughed quietly, slowly shaking her head. "If not…for my mother…I'd probably be dead now. She taught me the secret to surviving and thriving…under adverse conditions." She grinned. "She also taught me…the key to becoming a Super Saiyan."
Mejai smiled slightly. "And what, pray tell, is the secret?"
Amotto had transformed before the words had completely left his mouth, her aura shining bright as a sun in the blackness of the rain swept landscape. Mejai's eyes widened and his mouth hung open as he stared at her golden hair and emerald eyes in a pleased sort of bewilderment.
She smirked at the look in his eyes. "She taught me raw determination when the odds are stacked against me. She taught me to never give up, to keep on fighting no matter what." She waggled a finger at him as she suddenly grinned, "And that just so happens to be the key to finding the trigger for this form. I was determined not to use anger to transform, but anger was how I found out how to transform. Because even while I was angry, I was also determined to make the ones who'd angered me pay for what they did to my friend, Broco. It was determination, not anger that had originally triggered the state. Anger triggers determination, but it is quicker, and so much more efficient, to become determined."
Mejai suddenly began to clap. She blinked at him, her grin fading a bit. "What?"
"You were so angry when I first met you that I'd believed that to be your true personality. But your words just now completely contradict that belief. I apologize," he said as he bowed low to her.
Amotto took on a sudden sheepish demeanor as he straightened up. She grimaced and scratched her arm, shifting uncomfortably. "No, I'm really not that angry. I just…It's been a rough year, to say the least." She suddenly wrapped her arms about herself, absently gripping at the scars left behind from her brush with death. "A lot's happened, Mejai, and it's happened so fast."
She smiled grimly and murmured, "Too fast to make sense of sometimes." She lifted her gaze to regard him with the shadow of despair clear in her beautifully brilliant emerald hues. With a quiet sigh she looked down. "My people became an endangered species overnight. I've lost friends and…" she trailed off with a frown. "My friends," she said after a silent moment, "meant more to me than anyone or anything in this entire universe. And I've lost so many since Frieza destroyed my home planet. I've been imprisoned for months, I've been blown to pieces, and I've been forced to watch and accept the death of the first man I ever loved."
She trailed off and looked up at him slowly. "What hurts the most, though…" She suddenly laughed bitterly, her eyes sparkling with the threat of tears. "I never had a chance to tell him. To tell him anything, really…" she said with a sob, tears sliding down her cheeks slowly.
Mejai regarded her in silence for a moment, the only sounds being the steady beat of the rain on the stony ground and the hum of the two auras. He stepped forward, his aura merging with hers as he wrapped his arms around her. She responded immediately, throwing her arms around him and clinging desperately to him. She didn't sob any more after that first one, but he still felt her tears soaking into his underarmor. But he didn't complain. He just smiled sadly and pressed a soft kiss to the top of her head.
"And being with me tears you up inside, doesn't it?"
She nodded against him, saying nothing in response.
He chuckled and she looked up at him in sudden surprise, her eyes bloodshot and teary. "I mean nothing by laughing. It's just…I get it. I mean it makes sense, and it explains a lot."
She nodded slowly and then smiled slightly. "Yeah. It's been…well, it's hurt a lot. But…despite everything Broco isn't coming back, right?" she said quietly. "I have to accept that someday, no matter how much I don't want to." She sighed and looked away. "But at the same time, there's some things that not even time can erase. And that's how strongly I loved Broco. I'll never stop loving him."
Mejai gently touched his finger to her lips, startling her into silence with the unexpected gesture. "Just as you've kept your past from me, I've kept mine from you." He looked square into her eyes and smiled. "The past isn't what's important anyway. It doesn't take away from what you felt or experienced, but those are lessons learned. Hard lessons, sometimes, yes, but each and every one of them is as important as the lessons you still have to learn. And those are the most important. The lessons of now are the ones you need to focus on. I doubt Broco would want you to stay trapped within your past."
Amotto stared at him for a moment before frowning and brushing his finger away from her face. She arched an eyebrow and then sighed. "I hate you for being right, you know."
He grinned and shrugged. "Hey, if I'm not hated for something at least once a day, my whole day is ruined." He turned and hovered into the air, his silver aura shimmering into view. "Come on, let's get back to the complex. You have some friends waiting on you."
She smiled slightly as he suddenly took off. "Yeah, and I owe them some explanations," she whispered to herself. She took off after Mejai in an explosion of gold.
Cold twirled his wine glass, his eyes passively glued to the swirling black liquid it held. As always he stood before the massive view screen that revealed the blackness of space; beside him Coola stood still in his full powered state, his arms folded and his fingers drumming impatiently across a purple bicep.
"Frieza is as irritatingly foolish as ever, Father," Coola muttered resentfully. "He's insistent on continuing to shame our name with his idiotic antics. I had hoped that he would have learned from my fight with the Super Saiyans, but he insists on ignoring the truth."
Cold smiled slightly. "Yes, he does. Have you shown yourself to him, yet?" he asked suddenly, causing Coola to jerk in surprise.
Coola frowned and turned his head away slightly. "No, I have not."
"Then he assumes that he is still stronger than you. It's inexcusable, of course, but it is wholly Frieza." A slight frown creased the giant Ice-jin's brow. "Perhaps it is truly seeing is believing with Frieza. I understand he under-estimated Tettuce's power on Jynn-jin 13, but that was not even enough to convince him of their danger. The Saiyans…Hm. I'm beginning to think I should regret not destroying them myself decades ago. We certainly would not be in this predicament if I had."
"We wouldn't be in this predicament if Frieza had not acted so foolishly, Father. But these Saiyans will not defeat us. We will crush that female Super Saiyan, and eradicate every last one of the remainders from the universe." Coola unfolded his arms and held his fists up in a show of might.
Cold smirked and glanced down at his eldest son. "I admire your certainty given you've faced down not one, but three Super Saiyans. Though now that they've appeared, even more will begin to appear. A dangerous case of monkey-see, monkey-do." He looked back to the glass in his hand. His eyes narrowed slightly and the surface of the liquid was disturbed by a continuous surge of ripples. "One ripple is all it takes."
"But ripples eventually fade, Father."
"Not these, Coola." He tore his concentrated gaze from the liquid and the ripples faded almost instantly. He adopted his passive stare as he looked upon the sea of stars spread out before him. "You fought two dying Super Saiyans and one inexperienced female. You were lucky. Next time…" he smirked and lifted his glass to take a sip from it. "Practice caution with these Saiyans, Coola. If you and Frieza heed my warnings, you may just prevail."
"You can be sure that I will heed caution from now on, Father," Coola said as he folded his arms again. "But I do firmly believe that we will crush these Super Saiyans in time. Provided Frieza does not exacerbate our current situation," he added with a grimace.
Cold frowned. "Yes, your brother does tend to make a mess of things. He's rather good at it, actually."
"Unfortunately. What is he doing right now?"
"If he hasn't decided to disobey me, he should be overseeing the defense of Omega Territory in the Northern Quadrant. That system is very valuable to us, as I am sure Frieza realizes. If he knows what's good for him, he'll remain there until I summon him."
Coola frowned in confusion. "Uh, how exactly is Omega Territory valuable to us? That system is mostly uninhabited."
"True. But within the Territory there lies a very important planet. You see, we do not currently know the whereabouts of the renegade Saiyans. But…" Cold trailed off and smiled thinly, his eyes narrowing with a sinister gleam. "Bardock and Seripa have a son named Kakarrot, and he is currently hidden on a planet known as Earth and it lies somewhere within the heart of Omega Territory. Also, I've tracked the renegade Gylderians hiding Lady Aurah to the Terriory, which leads me to believe that they are on Earth, as well."
"That's odd." Coola frowned. "You don't suppose that's where the Galactic Band is hiding, do you?"
Cold didn't answer, but he smiled.
Coola took that as an indication that he had guessed what his father was thinking and fell silent.
Seripa dashed across the rain-soaked landscape, the ground exploding in her wake as she just barely outran rapid-fire ki attacks. Her red-hued aura raged as she sprinted, pushing her body to its limits against the intense gravity of S.S.T.G. 5. She watched the ki attacks out of the corner of her eye, her focus mainly limited on where she was going and where Bardock was located.
As he was the one delivering those powerful attacks he was her ultimate focus, but she currently had to evade his sudden attack. He'd almost caught her with this one and had quickly put her on the defensive. But she'd find an opening. She'd find an opportune moment to go back on the offensive and beat the crap out of him.
The ground several meters in front of her suddenly exploded, momentarily diverting her attention as she skid to a stop and flared her ki to propel her as she flipped to the side quickly. She looked up towards Bardock to suddenly find him almost on top of her.
She grinned fiercely. "Close quarters?! Really?!"
He returned the grin. "Yep!" he cried as his fist shot around towards her face.
She danced back out of the way of the first punch; her hands flying up to quickly deflect each of the next ones he threw her way.
"Come on, Bardock! I know you can do better than this!" Seripa crowed as she shot backwards, deflecting every punch he launched at her.
Bardock smirked as he charged after her, his fists cracking through the air like lighting. "Maybe. You've gotten a lot stronger, you know!"
"Are you saying that I've surpassed you?"
"I don't know. Have you?"
She suddenly caught his next two punches, stopping instantly and jarring him roughly. Before he could react she released him and jumped up to deliver a kick to his jaw, only to watch in dismay as he ducked under her leg, firing a ki blast into her exposed stomach in the same instant. It didn't immediately explode, instead carrying her backwards for several dozen meters before exploding violently, throwing her roughly into the dangerously craggy ground.
Bardock grinned as he looked over the crater her landing had resulted in. "This planet's gravity is amazing. How powerful have we be-" He stopped as he realized that Seripa wasn't lying in the middle of the crater, and hadn't been for several seconds. "What the hell?"
"Way too transparent, Bardock!" He spun around, but suddenly found himself on the wrong end of a massive red ball of ki.
"Shit!" He uttered just as it impacted, exploding much more violently than his. The resulting crater overlapped and dwarfed the one he'd left behind, with him lying where they met, his blue and black armor almost completely obliterated, and his underarmor all-but shredded from his body.
But his arms were crossed and his legs were tucked close to his torso.
Seripa arched an eyebrow as she hovered over her fallen mate, her entire body soaked with sweat, her hair plastered to her forehead. She was breathing heavily as she smirked down at him.
"Come on! You're not done already are you?"
Bardock uncrossed his arms and straightened his legs out as he slowly opened his eyes. He stared up at her with a grin, his chest heaving heavily.
"Not quite!" He cried as he suddenly jumped to his feet. He casually brushed some dust from his arms. "That was incredible, Seripa." He smirked up at her. "If we keep going like this, we'll be Super Saiyans in no time."
Seripa grimaced and dropped down to stand in front of him. "It doesn't work like that, Bardock. We don't just become Super Saiyans. We have to find the trigger for the transformation. Haven't you been paying attention to Seluri?" she asked with a scowl. Surely he had. They'd only had to listen to her lectures every morning for the last few weeks.
"Yeah I have," he said with a slight grimace. "I meant the damage you dealt me. At the rate our powers are increasing, I think we're eventually going to push one another over the edge." He grinned. "We'll trigger it that way, too."
"You'll just be wasting energy," Amotto said as she suddenly appeared between them, hair golden and emerald hues locked sternly on him.
Bardock blinked. It'd been weeks since he'd last seen the elusive female. "Well, well. If it isn't the reclusive Amotto." He smirked as he crossed his arms. "What brings you to speak to us lowly peons?"
Seripa struck him across the back of his head hard enough to make him yelp and clutch his head. She glanced at Amotto to see her eye twitch as the corner of her mouth lifted in a slight smile.
Amotto bowed her head slightly and grinned. "I figured it was time the goddess addressed the mere mortals on how to ascend."
Seripa blinked in surprise at her friend. It'd been weeks since she'd seen her, and the last time had been less than pleasant. Bardock always seemed keen on making some smart-ass remark towards her, which often resulted in Bardock getting beaten into unconsciousness. So her playful remark was surprising, to say the least.
Bardock scowled at Seripa before glancing curiously at Amotto. "You've finally pulled your tail out of your tw-"
"BARDOCK!" Seripa screeched as she jabbed an elbow into her mate's ribs, earning herself a reproachful yelp. "Cool off will ya?!" she growled at him, narrowing her eyes.
Bardock scowled down at her. "What's the big idea? She's the one who's had the damn attitude! Why can't I respond in kind?"
"Need I remind you that she's put you into a rejuvenation chamber once already thanks to your smart-ass remarks?"
"What's your point? She hasn't killed me."
Bardock and Seripa both glanced at Amotto with arched eyebrows.
"What does that mean?" demanded Bardock as Amotto smirked.
"It means I may still kill you. Now shut up. Both of you," she added with a glance towards Seripa. "The plan is to fight the Cold Family, right?"
"Yeah, that's the plan," Seripa said with a glance exchanged with Bardock.
"Good, because it's going to take all of us as Super Saiyans to pull that off. I thought I could take Coola on by myself, but I see now that I wasn't strong enough. And I'm still not." She smiled despite the hopelessness of her words. "But that's fine. This isn't solely my war, after all. You've lost just as much as I have to the Ice-jins, so it's only right that you should fight them on even footing. So I think it's time you two became Super Saiyans."
"Past time if you ask me," said the mysterious Mejai as he suddenly appeared at Amotto's side. Seripa blinked between Amotto and Mejai as they exchanged glances, their eyes revealing an unspoken conversation between them. She arched an eyebrow in confusion.
Turles took it all in. The blue sky with wisps of white clouds, the crisp air, the lush greenery, and the towering mountaintops; he allowed his senses to become awash with the beautiful brilliance of this uncharted paradise of a planet. With a name like Earth one would never expect such raw and magnificent, untold beauty.
He stood on a sharp, jutting ridge overlooking an endless expanse of treetops. Just on the horizon, little more than jagged edges of his vision, he could see the distant peaks of a range that stretched across the landscape, growing larger as it curved back towards the very mountain on which he stood. The wind whistled up the side of the mountain in a steady stream, his hair waving a continuous rhythm.
Beside him, Etapa raised a hand to shield her eyes against the sun as she peered out over the forest. "Sure is big. No wonder it took so long to walk through." She glanced at him with a mock sour glare. "It'd taken less time if you hadn't insisted on not flying."
"It'd taken less time if you'd let me just blast us a path," he countered with an arch of his eyebrow as he looked at her.
"And destroy the homes of countless native organisms? Not a chance!" She said with a laugh as she took to the air, rising rapidly towards the peak of the low-lying mountain.
Turles rolled his eyes and shot after her.
He'd lost track of the time they'd been on Earth. Once he was free from the ship, Turles took it upon himself to set out and find his nephew, Kakarrot. Raditz had wanted to accompany him, but he'd felt the boy would be better off staying behind.
He really didn't want to be slowed down by a kid. Of course he'd had similar objections when Etapa declared that she was accompanying him. He protested, but she was stubborn. Eventually he caved and allowed her to join him, knowing that she'd end up slowing him down.
As it turned out she kept up with the pace he set just fine, so his sour mood brightened pretty quickly.
They'd started the journey by flying and just looking over the landscape, but eventually they took to wandering by foot. Turles didn't say why, but he'd wanted to experience the land the way the natives did. And though he had suggested blasting a path through the forest for them, he'd meant it as nothing more than a joke. After seeing the planet the way he had he would have never desecrated its beauty in such a violent fashion.
Just a few weeks and he was feeling like a soft-hearted fool. But as he ascended, skimming over the face of the mountain, he was grinning ear to ear at the sheer joy of just being alive. Something about being on Earth just made all of his anger, tension, and frustration just evaporate. Little more than a month on world and he was ready to believe that his people could actually find peace on this rural planet.
He reached the mountain's peak at the same time as Etapa, and they both came to an immediate halt as they caught sight of the landscape beyond the massive valley. Rolling hill-like mountains rose from low-lying clouds that concealed much of the terrain from view.
What had stopped them, however, was the sight of a monstrous winged beast with a triangular head resting in a massive nest on a ridge just below the peak. It gave a startled squawk at their sudden appearance, flapping its wings in indignant protest.
Turles and Etapa quickly ascended away from the creature just as it snapped its beak-like maw at them.
"That's a new one," Turles said as he watched the creature curiously.
"It sure doesn't like being snuck up on," Etapa added with a grin. "I say we leave it alone."
"Hm." Turles tilted his head slightly. "Yeah. It doesn't seem like it could put up much of a fight anyway." He shrugged and started forward, heading towards the rolling mountains. Etapa followed.
Once they were far enough away from the flying beast they began to descend into the thick clouds. They dropped through them for what seemed an eternity before they broke through into a vast green landscape dotted with rolling hills, meadows, and thick wooded areas. Well-trod paths wove a meandering course across the quaint landscape.
As they made their away over the land, they began to spot signs of primitive habitation. Usually hut-like houses, but occasionally they spotted what Etapa called farms. Turles couldn't quite grasp the concept she explained to him, so he took her at her word. They flew on, ignoring the startled exclamations of the natives as they shot overhead.
Eventually they came upon a low-lying range of craggy mountains interceded by a roaring river that quickly became a steep, crashing waterfall.
Turles suddenly came to a stop as he spotted an ancient rope bridge stretching across the misty emptiness halfway down the waterfall.
"What a pathetic excuse for a bridge," he noted as Etapa came to his side.
She blinked down at it and frowned. "Yeah. See that old man with that infant starting across? Either he has complete faith in the bridge, or he's very negligent."
Turles looked to where she pointed and his focus immediately became intense. He narrowed his eyes as he tried to get a good look at the infant. He began to drift closer to better able discern the distant details. "I'm not sure, but I think that's Kakarrot!" He was finally close enough to make out the tell-tale wild hairstyle that seemed to curse the males in his lineage. He suddenly shot towards the bridge "It is him!"
Etapa quickly followed with a cry of "Are you sure?!"
"Pretty damn sure," he responded with a smirk.
As they swooped in towards the bridge, the infant suddenly stretched out from the basket he was riding in on the old man's back, swiping at a fluttering insect that passed close to him. But not close enough as he suddenly toppled out of the basket and over the side of the bridge. The old man saw him go, but he was too slow as he made a grab for the boy, barely missing the boy's suddenly-exposed tail.
"GOKU!" the old man cried despairingly, clinging to the side of the bridge as he could only watch helplessly.
"Shit!" cursed Turles as he put on an extra surge of speed, rocketing past the old man in a flash. He shot into the mist, immediately catching up to the falling babe. Turles smirked in amusement at the startled expression on Kakarrot's face.
"Hey there, kiddo!" Turles crowed as he scooped the infant out of the air and came to a stop.
Kakarrot looked all around in wonder, his eyes wide. Turles grinned. The kid couldn't understand what had happened, but he was definitely aware that something weird was going on. Evident in his constant glances to Turles' feet.
"Yeah, we're flying kid." Turles quickly shot out of the mist and landed lightly on the bridge in front of the startled, but otherwise grateful, old man.
"Oh thank you, young man! Thank you!" He reached for Kakarrot, tears glistening in his eyes and staining his thick, white mustache. "If I'd lost little Goku, I don't know what I would have done!"
Turles arched an eyebrow, but made no move to give up his nephew.
The old man blinked and looked up at him, suddenly gasping in astonishment. "My word! You look just like him! You're not his father, are you?"
Etapa laughed as she landed behind the old man. "Lucky for the kid, no."
Turles scowled at her. "Watch it, woman." He looked at the old man and shook his head. "No, I'm his uncle. My brother Bardock is his father, and I'm sure he wouldn't be too happy about what just happened."
The old man smiled pleasantly. "No harm, no foul. Goku is unscathed, thanks to you."
"His name is Kakarrot."
"Kakarrot, eh? So that's it, alright. You kids are aliens, right?" the old man suddenly said.
Turles blinked, arching a brow slightly. "You figured that quickly. Is it obvious?"
"I did find the rascal in what I thought was a spaceship, so I'd say so." The old man laughed, and adjusted the basket on his back. "Name's Son Gohan. Who are you?"
"I'm Etapa, and he's Turles."
"Alien names for sure," Gohan mumbled amiably, his moustache twitching with his mirth.
Etapa couldn't help but to grin at the old man. He was friendlier than anyone she'd ever met in her life, and she couldn't help but to be swayed by his demeanor. "We're Saiyans from Planet Vegeta."
"Saiyans, eh? Y'all surely look human enough to me. Though it is true that my eyesight ain't what it used to be." He chuckled. "Age is a funny thing, but I'm quite positive little Goku and yourselves look mighty human to me. Save for the tails, of course."
"Is that your way of saying we're welcome here?" Turles asked dryly.
The old man hesitated before shrugging and saying, "In a sense, I suppose. 'Tis true that most humans aren't exactly acceptin' of differences. Lookin' human-like works in your favor."
Turles snorted and glanced down at his curious nephew. "That why you took in Kakarrot? Because you thought he was a human infant?"
"Oh, no. I knew he wasn't human. The spaceship and the tail were dead giveaways." Gohan chuckled wheezily. "I just thought it was a shame that the little fellow was all alone in the wilderness."
"Right. Well we'll be taking him off your hands. His parents will want him back among his own kind."
"Wait, wait! Just like that?" Gohan exclaimed in surprise.
"Yeah, just like that," Turles said flatly.
"Won't you at least let me visit with him for a little while longer? At least come by my home for supper! I'll do all the cooking."
At the mention of cooking Turles' ears twitched, and he glanced sharply at Etapa as his stomach rumbled faintly.
Etapa smirked and winked at him, to which he responded with a scowl. She stuck her tongue out at him and he rolled his eyes.
"Yeah, I guess we can spare enough time for…supper, was it? Yes, supper."
"Oh wonderful news, just wonderful. Come, come. Follow me, my house is just over the next few hills. It'll take no time at all." He hummed jovially as he made his way past Turles and across the bridge.
Etapa grinned as she stared at him. "He certainly is friendly. And it seems like he's been taking good care of Kakarrot."
Turles eyed his nephew carefully. "Yeah, I think I'd have to agree. Other than letting him fall towards what would have most likely been death, of course."
"Oh, please. If he's really got any of your blood in his veins then I think his head would have been hard enough to save him."
Turles shot her a reproachful look as she laughed.
Leta stood on a balcony overlooking the pristine courtyard of the People's Palace, as the natives of Earth called it. Her mind, for once, was devoid of thought or anxiety. True the natives had been suspicious of them upon their initial arrival. Turles and Etapa dashing off into the sunset hadn't helped their situation either.
They had landed the ship near to what they had, correctly fortunately, ascertained to be the capital of the largest continent. They had no way of knowing if the planet had a one-world government, or if it was split off into factions. They knew the planet held an advanced society, though primitive to galactic standards, so the Saiyans and Gylderians didn't know if they'd achieved world-wide unity.
They quickly discovered that Earth was a divided mess when the King approached and asked which "country" they had come from.
Turles had responded before either Leta or Surah could grasp his question, indifferently telling the King they were from space. He'd been out in the field so he'd encountered, and eradicated, races that had been divided in similar fashion. It was an altogether alien concept to Leta and Surah.
The King and his army were on high alert after that, all weapons in the vicinity trained on them. Leta smiled at the memory as Turles had walked to an oddly-shaped armored vehicle with a cylindrical protrusion pointing at him, and effortlessly bent the protrusion so that it pointed skyward.
"We ain't your enemies," Turles had said. "And if we were, we're capable of much more than what I just did. You'd stand no chance against even this small group."
After making his declaration, Turles and Etapa had then taken to the sky and simply flown away. He had mentioned to her, briefly and in passing, before landing that he'd want to set out in search of his nephew soon. Leta just hadn't known it'd be quite that soon.
The cool night air whistled through her short hair and she smiled blissfully. It had taken some time, though in truth it was still taking time, to gain the trust of the natives. Surah privately commented that she believed the only reason they'd given them hospitality in their palace was because Leta had promised she could end war forever on Earth. The King had been especially interested in that, as well his military leaders, and quite obviously for different reasons.
There were daily discussions with the King and his council, as well as a team of top scientists headed by a man named Dr. Briefs. They usually consisted of requests and agreements. Leta and Surah put forth the request for refugee status, and asked that their people be granted sanctuary on Earth. They wanted their people to be allowed integration into normal society, so that they would find peace and happiness.
They, of course, explained their situation and their reasons for the request. They told them all of the intergalactic war that had been waging for centuries without disturbing their tiny, rural planet. Calling Earth rural seemed to offend some of those present, although Dr. Briefs merely seemed amused by it, while the King displayed obvious concern. They explained everything, even telling them about the Ice-jins and how their power was overwhelming, even to the Saiyans and Gylderians. This fact greatly disturbed the natives, as they could just barely fathom beings with the strength Turles had displayed. To learn that even he was outmatched by a something even more monstrous…It was obvious that the natives were learning just how tiny and insignificant all their earthly problems and petty disputes were.
To Leta and Surah's delight, the natives quickly began to outline plans to introduce their world to the Saiyans and Gylderians. They even began plans to begin planning trade with other planets, even though up until the renegade's arrival they'd believed they were alone in the universe, and had yet to be contacted by any other planets for such interaction. The natives really liked planning, and apparently really liked trading.
So Leta got the King in touch with Zarbon, taking that opportunity to inform him of her 'hostage situation' with Jeice. Of course the Aotian wasn't the least bit perturbed by the revelation, seeming to be amused instead. This did nothing to allay any of Leta's suspicions regarding him, and even irritated her. But it also did nothing to determine whether or not he was a cunning enemy.
All in all things seemed to be going better than expected. A few of her people had already managed to become part of the Earthling society, getting jobs in various fields that they were qualified for. Lessbru and Peppa, for instance, were high-ranking officials in the military within two weeks of their arrival on Earth.
Leta, Surah, and Jeice had become sort of ambassadors for the different people they represented. Leta, the Saiyans; Surah, the Gylderians; and Jeice, the Galactic Band. His presence presented a major problem in that he was a Ginyu. His prolonged absence would, and had been, noticed. Zarbon solved that issue by releasing false information of Jeice's pod being destroyed in a space battle. The news traveled quickly and eventually reached the Ginyu Force, because soon after word reached them of Major Ginyu searched for a replacement. Although he wasn't Major Ginyu anymore, as they learned he'd apparently been promoted to Captain.
But it all seemed to be working out for them. Maseselyo's Flazerian forces, and Zarbon's Galactic Band had been making ground in their confrontations with the Ice-jins' forces. Each week Leta learned that more of the Ice-jin territory had been won by the combined forces of the Galactic Band and the Flazerian forces. This did disconcert Leta in that two of her once mortal enemies were working against another enemy.
"The enemy of my enemy is my friend, I suppose," she found herself muttering. But she smiled, nonetheless. For through it all, Earth's location, if not its existence, remained a mystery to the Ice-jins. Her people were safe here, and could live in peace. And neither Zarbon nor Maseselyo knew the location of Earth either; neither did they object to not knowing. There were bigger lizards to fry, after all.
As a month slipped by, and her day to day routine of meeting with the King and his council horde, as well as the scientists, Leta still thought of Turles and Etapa. Their departure was fresh on her mind, because she had not forgotten her promise to Seripa of finding Kakarrot. But with Turles looking, and bound to find him, she felt that it was best left to him. She yearned to take the sky as he had, though. But she, unlike him despite his extraordinary power, was weighted down by responsibility. But as time wore on, she felt her responsibilities lessening.
She was even beginning to contemplate forgoing joining the galactic war effort; however, it was a whimsical, if tempting, notion at best. Maybe someday she could have the peace and quiet she so yearned for, but she was obligated today and tomorrow to the cause of stopping the Ice-jins. Now, more than ever, the universe needed dependable leaders. People unafraid to stand against Cold and his followers were needed to bridge the gaps between the peoples of the universe. Unification was necessary to stop the Ice-jins.
Leta could not abandon the cause, not now. But she could enjoy the peace of Earth for a bit longer. At least until it came time for her to leave.