A/N: This is an alternative universe story taking place in a universe where the Kold Empire and their Planet Trade organisation rule the greater part of the galaxy. This fanfic is adapted from the RPG, Duel of Fates, and is therefore co-written by several authors and edited by yours truly. If you want to join this story, please contact me and I will direct you to the RPG forum. Hope you enjoy!

Namek Quest

"Our experts describe the human race as an appallingly dull, unimaginative species: generally spineless, no sense of humour, tedious company and with an irrepressibly drab sense of style." Zarbon snapped the datapad shut and without shifting his gaze, held it aloft towards a soldier who skittishly jumped forwards to retrieve it from him.

"Come now, Zarbon, you are too harsh on humans. In most professions such qualities would be considered drawbacks, but in slave-dom they are a positive boon." A sardonic smirk lit the Ice-jin prince's pale face as he gazed through the viewport. "I hear Earth is a reasonably attractive planet - perhaps I will conquer it as a birthday gift to myself." He chuckled. "Sometimes I'm amazed by my own thoughtfulness."

"Really, my Lord," Zarbon pressed, "I see no point in wasting valuable resources on invading this planet."

"Valuable resources, Zarbon?" Frieza laughed. It was not at all an endearing sound. The Ice-jin eyed his Adviser over the lip of the crystal wine glass in his hand. "Surely you cannot be referring to the Kold Army, that disposable gaggle of rancid sycophants?"

Before Zarbon could reply, the doors to the bridge slid apart and two guards hauled an old man into the room. Zarbon raised one perfectly shaped green eyebrow, a faint sneer on his face.

"What is this?"

The two guards released the elderly man who stumbled to his feet, pushing his long white hair from his face, which was more wrinkly than a bag of prunes. Zarbon sneered with slight disgust. Other than his downright ugliness, there was something instantly dislikeable about the man; something rat-like in his countenance and expression.

"Lord Frieza, Lord Zarbon," said one of the guards, with a quick bow, "this is Dr Gero. He claims to be the one who contacted you regarding the Rebellion's whereabouts."

The blood in Zarbon's veins froze, but his expression remained perfectly still, even as the wrinkles at the corners of the elderly man's mouth stretched, pulling his lips into a foul smile.

"Lord Frieza. It is an honour," said Dr Gero, inclining his head towards the Ice-jin's throne.

"Likewise, I'm sure," replied Frieza, the smile never slipping from his face for an instant, but Zarbon knew by his tone alone that the doctor only had moments to convince the prince of the legitimacy of his report. "Not to cause you undue anxiety, Dr Gero," Frieza drawled at a leisurely pace, "but I do hope you have proof of your convictions. You see, Zarbon here believes we are wasting our time invading Earth and as he is rarely wrong about such things I tend to agree with him. I would be most aggrieved to discover we have come all this way for no reason. In fact, I believe I would be so enraged I might take leave of my senses and be forced to blast you into oblivion, which would be most unfortunate." He sipped his wine. "I've just had the carpet shampooed."

Dr Gero's rat-like smile remained unchanged by the prince's threatening monologue, his gnarled hand slipping into the pocket of his lab-coat to reveal a datapad. "I believe, my Lord, that I have ample proof of Earth's connections to the Rebellion. Indeed, all the proof you need…"

The invasion of the planet was one Zarbon had prepared countless times before. As he watched the scene play out before him in the company of Dodoria and the royal Ice-jin warlord, Zarbon's gaze slid towards the prince. Despite the carefully positioned mask, crafted out of his clever little witticisms, cultured upbringing and fine wine, many called Frieza a madman, but he was much more than your average psychopath. Frieza was not playing a casual game of dice with the galaxy; the game was of his own devising and as far as he was concerned, everyone else was merely a pawn.

Like spectators at a match, they watched the Kold Army systematically attack the capital cities of the blue planet below and Zarbon knew in the pit of his stomach that going against the Empire was like gambling in a pitch black room for infinite stakes against a player who held all the cards and smiled all the time.

The Rebellion still held a couple of aces up their sleeves of course, but while Zarbon was thankful that one ace was none other than himself, he was not so thankful for the other.

Neo Vegeta always had been a royal pain in the arse.

A/N: Please review! I'd love to hear what you think of the prologue.