Disclaimer: I don't own it DBZ or any characters. Those are property of Akira Toriyama.
Chapter 1: A New Threat
"What is it?" Piccolo asked as the smaller man touched down behind him. The question wasn't referring to the other man's purpose for coming, but rather to the energies they both felt.
No greetings were exchanged. The man just stepped up beside him extending his senses, trying to get a lock on the power…rather powers…he was sensing.
"I'm not sure." He finally said, shoving his hands into the pockets of his jacket.
"Are they familiar to you?" His voice was low, as was his companion's.
"They could be." He said, before reluctantly adding. "I didn't learn to sense Ki until I came to Earth, so it's entirely possible that I'd have run across whoever they are before."
Neither man moved. To an onlooker, they could have been statues erected in the middle of the lonely, white tiled structure. The only evidence that they were, in fact, not made of stone was the billowing of the tall green man's cape and the subtle way that the smaller man's hair was carried in the occasional gust of wind.
"But you think it's something bad." Otherwise, why would this man have left his precious gravity chamber to venture all the way to the lookout? Though, Piccolo reasoned, if he were certain there was going to be a fight, the man would have probably put on his armor instead of coming in his "civilian clothes."
"Hn." Was the only answer he got.
A moment later, a third person appeared—literally—behind them. "Hey guys…you feel that?"
This new arrival always seemed to carry with him excitement and energy. This time was no different.
"Of course we do, Kakkarott!" His voice finally raised above its low pitch.
Before Vegeta could add an insult, Piccolo asked the new man. "Do you have any idea who it is?"
"No." Goku shook his head. "But they don't feel that powerful. Above average, maybe. But we could take them. Are we even sure they're bad?"
"We're not sure of anything, yet." Piccolo said.
"We should probably meet them when they land. Y'know. Just in case." He looked to Vegeta. "Do you have any other brothers who might be paying a visit? Or a sister maybe?" The idea of Vegeta having a sister had an odd effect on the man, as he was apparently torn between imagining a female saiyan who looked like an earth woman and a female saiyan that looked exactly like Vegeta.
"It's not my sister."
The response was just vague enough for Goku to ask. "Umm…do you have a sister?"
Vegeta didn't answer. The answer wasn't important anyway, and he enjoyed making Goku itch from time to time.
"Quiet!" Piccolo snapped, cutting off Vegeta's tirade about the abbreviation of his name before he'd even started it.
"Hi everyone." The three warriors turned, seeing Dende. The young guardian looked troubled. "A foreign presence is entering the Earth's atmosphere." He informed them.
He shook his head regretfully. "I'm not sure."
"Can you tell who it is by chance? What race?" Vegeta asked.
"They're not of any race I'm familiar with." He answered, hanging his head. "I'm sorry."
A new arrival caught their attention. "Hi guys. Good to see you again."
"Hey Krillin!" Goku called cheerfully as Piccolo and Vegeta both gave hardly-perceptible nods in greeting. "Yea it's been a while hasn't it?"
"Not since Hercule's party, so…uhh a few months ago."
"Gohan!" Gohan and Videl had just landed on the lookout. Vegeta and Piccolo both cringed at their Saiyaman costumes and turned away.
Suddenly a soft jingle could be heard. Piccolo's ears twitched, as Vegeta dug into his pocket and pulled out his phone. "That's your ringtone?" Piccolo asked with a smirk.
Vegeta scowled. Trunks had thought it would be funny to make a children's television show's theme song as his ring tone. Vegeta couldn't figure out how to take it off and couldn't swallow his pride enough to admit that his ten year old son knew more about something than he did, nor could he bring himself to ask Bulma to fix the situation for him. "Shut up." Was all Vegeta said before flipping the phone open. "Aren't you supposed in school?" Was the first thing he said.
Piccolo would never admit to being an eavesdropper. After all, it wasn't his fault that his excellent hearing allowed him to pick up on the other half of the conversation anyway.
"Dad what's that energy? Goten feels it too." The voice, which was obviously Trunks', asked. "Is something going on? Why's everyone all together? Is there going to be a fight. Is—"
"Trunks, I can't answer any of your questions if you never pause to breathe, son." Vegeta said. "We don't know who it is. They don't seem that powerful. Yes everyone is together, but we don't know if it's a threat. We're going to check it out. And. No, you are not allowed to leave school to come with us."
"Nope." He said in a way that was slightly gloating. "And I assume that goes for Goten as well. We'll tell you all about it later." With that he flipped the phone shut, and looked to Piccolo. "Shall we?"
"Yes. Are you done wasting time?"
Vegeta cocked an eyebrow but didn't say anything. Levitating a few feet off the lookout he looked back to see that the rest were following his lead. "Keep your energies low for now." He ordered them before taking off in the direction that the energy was coming from.
The area from which the energy was emitting was a rocky area, full of steep slopes and flat, grass-covered plateaus. The ship had landed somewhat precariously close to a sheer drop off. There was no crater around the ship, no trees were uprooted. Even the grass upon which it sat looked relatively undisturbed. A river flowed peacefully, making no noise.
When they got fairly close to the place where they felt the energies, they dove down to land on a bluff overlooking the ship. They ventured the rest of the way on foot and then crouched down behind some rocks.
"What the hell?" Vegeta mumbled peering over the rocks toward the ship.
Piccolo, who'd heard the comment, turned to him. "What? You know them?"
"The ship." Vegeta said, in some confusion. "It's a Tauran Cruiser. But those…those people are not Taurans."
"Umm…Vegeta?" Goku called gaining the prince's attention. "Well uhh…who are the Taurans?"
Vegeta looked back. "The Taurans are a warrior race, not unlike the Saiyans. They fought to expand their empire until they ran up against Frieza's empire. After several fierce battles, the Tauran empire was swallowed by Frieza's empire. The son of the Tauran emperor was given to Freiza as collateral."
"Oh. Kinda like you?"
Vegeta's eye twitched. "Kakkarott, stop asking questions!"
"However, their empire was much smaller than the Saiyan empire and they relied much more on technology than we ever did. Frieza nearly wiped out the Tauran warrior population, including the emperor's son, but he kept the scientists. Only a few years before Frieza's empire…collapsed…there had been a scientific breakthrough. There was a machine that could…" He paused as if trying to remember. "It blocked Ki." He finally said. "Frieza kept the project highly classified. He used Ki after all, and without it, he was nothing. I managed to find out about the project, but I couldn't get much information it. It was only at the very end of the empire that the technology reached its testing phase. I hadn't heard about it since then."
"But wait." Krillin interrupted, flinching back a bit when Vegeta's gaze was turned on him. "Umm…I mean…well…"
"Spit it out!"
"Well, are you saying that these people have the power to block Ki blasts before they hit them? We could just fight them hand to—"
"No that's not what I meant." Vegeta said, casting a glance back at the ship. "The machines suppress your ki—keep it inside you. You can't power up, and you can't even throw a ki ball."
"What?" Goku and Gohan flinched back in horror.
"Don't worry just yet. We don't even know that they have one of those machines with them. And besides from what I hear, it's just a gun. Don't get hit with the beam and you'll be fine."
As he turned back, Piccolo saw his scowl. "But?" He prompted.
Vegeta glanced at him. "But…I just wonder how the Tauran empire managed to expand quickly enough to have Juergan and Minan fighters."
"Ask me nicely."
Piccolo scowled. Before adding the most insincere "please" that Vegeta had ever heard.
"Minans are from the same region as the Taurus, but they are notoriously good fighters—particularly with swords. Even Frieza had trouble taking their planet. He lost squadron after squadron, and finally he had to subdue them himself. There has never been a Taurus who could rival Frieza in power. It seems illogical that the Minans would have been defeated by them."
"Is it possible that they joined willingly?"
"They're not trusting enough." He said simply.
Piccolo nodded in understanding, and then glanced to the other three fighters to see that they were all engrossed in Vegeta's explanation. "And what about the other ones?" Piccolo asked.
"The Juergans?" Vegeta looked back at him, and Piccolo could see that the presence of these people perplexed him the most. "They're from a different quadrant entirely." He said. "For the Taurans to have gotten to them, they would have had to go through at least 50 other planets. Federated planets no less. How could they have done that in so little time if they didn't have some kind of ace?" The last part was said more to himself than to anyone listening.
Piccolo frowned. It wasn't like Vegeta to be worried about an opponent. Particularly an opponent with so little physical energy. Still, Vegeta was the only one who had any idea of what they might be up against.
"So what do you suggest?"
The man grinned evilly. "Well, we'd just as well go meet them at this point."
"What?" Piccolo nearly yelled. "After all this talk about how dangerous they could be and you want to just run in swinging blindly?"
"I agree with Vegeta." Goku piped up. "We'll never know what we're up against until we see for ourselves."
"Actually, I wasn't thinking of fighting." Vegeta said. "It isn't unheard of for people to get stranded or to make a pit-stop on a planed for repairs or fueling purposes. I'm sure you'd know all about that, Kakarott."
"Heh heh." Goku rubbed the back of his head with a sheepish grin. "Oh yea. With all this talk I forgot that we didn't know if they were actually a threat or not."
"Typical." Vegeta mumbled before standing. "Well…?"
The other five stood as well, and the six warriors flew the short distance to touch down before the ship. The aliens had apparently sensed them and were waiting patiently for their arrival.
"Is one of you the ruler of this planet?" One of the aliens, a burly, dark-blue Minan, said without waiting for introductions.
"No." Piccolo said taking the initiative. "May we ask your purpose here? If you seek respite and hospitality, then you are more than welcome." He let the implication hang that if they were looking for trouble they were most certainly not welcome.
"We are representatives of the Tauran Intergalactic Kingdom. We wish to speak to the leader of this planet."
"We are his emissaries." Vegeta cut in. Of all the warriors assembled it was clear that he knew the most about how to deal with intergalactic empires. "We must know your intentions before taking you to our leader." He crossed his arms, ignoring the odd looks the other fighters were giving him. "I'm sure you understand."
"Our intentions?" The Minan pressed a button on a machine on his ear and numbers flashed onto the eyepiece. He smirked a bit. "Our intentions are to make this planet part of the empire."
"For what purpose?"
"This planet has much needed water, and it is a prime location for transport and servicing checkpoints."
"And a base as well I suppose."
"Why yes, in fact."
Vegeta nodded knowingly. "Just one more question. What is to become of the population?"
"They will be screened." The Minan said.
"No deal." Vegeta spoke immediately.
The Minan raised an eyebrow and the other aliens chuckled. "Oh?"
"Vegeta, what are you doing?" Piccolo whispered. "What is 'screened?'"
"Hold on." Vegeta held up a finger to the gathered aliens and turned to the earth fighters. "'Screening,'" he said, "is a standard process when taking a planet into an empire. This is not a purge. They do not operate on selling planets as Frieza did, and so they don't need to kill the whole population. However in order for their empire to function, they need to be…practical…in choosing their subjects. In taking a planet, they don't want to be taking on an economic burden. Hence the process of 'screening.' They plan to sift out all the unfit, uncooperative, or disloyal earthlings and kill them. And 'fitness' is judged by their standards. Undoubtedly, 90% of the Earth's population will be exterminated. The most intelligent, talented and strong will be kept for service to the empire. Men and women judged, 'beautiful' will be employed as concubines or sold as sex slaves. Children too, will be sold as pets or slaves."
There was a round of "oh's" and the Z fighters turned back to the aliens.
"Yea." Vegeta said, crossing his arms. "No deal, sorry. I guess you came all this way for nothing."
The aliens laughed again. "With a power level like that, you don't think you can make us leave, do you?"
It was the Z fighters' turn to laugh.
"Who said these were our full power levels?" Piccolo asked. As one, the Z fighters began powering up, with Gohan, Goku, and Vegeta all going super-saiyan.
The aliens, horrified, backed up. Their eyes were wide. One of the aliens said something to the leader and then ran back into the ship.
The z fighters finished their power-up and stood in all their glory before their home planet's invaders.
"What are you? Is this the power of the Earthlings?"
The z fighters chuckled again. "Only two of us are earthlings." Goku informed them, indicating Krillin and Videl. "My friend, Piccolo, here, is a Namekian. And we," He motioned to himself, his son and Vegeta. "Are saiyans."
"Saiyans!" The aliens exclaimed. "Impossible. They were all killed except for…" His eyes locked on Vegeta. "Prince Vegeta! It can't be!"
Vegeta just smirked. "I'm flattered that you've heard of me."
"How is this possible? You died on the planet Namek! The reports were broadcast throughout the universe!"
Vegeta just shrugged.
Goku stepped up beside him. "We'll give you one last chance." He informed them. "We only want to be left in peace. Please, leave this planet and its people alone, and don't come back again."
Suddenly, the Z fighters felt their power drain from them.
Trunks' head shot up, and he looked in panic out the window as if he might see something. What on earth is going on?
One minute he feels his dad and the others' power increase dramatically, and the next minute, those powers disappeared.
He couldn't stand not knowing. "I feel sick!" He yelled to his teacher, jumping out of his seat. Without waiting for a response, he high-tailed it out of the room, down the hall, and to the stairwell.
"You felt it too?" He asked Goten upon noticing that he'd beaten him to the school's roof.
Goten nodded solemnly. The serious look that the young boy was now sporting was unfamiliar, even to his best friend.
"What's going on, Goten?" Trunks asked, hoping that by some chance Goten will know more than he does.
"I don't know." The younger boy responded. "But Trunks…"
Trunks looked over.
"…I can't fly."
That gave Trunks pause. "What? What are you talking about? Of course you can fly."
"No I can't! I tried!" The younger boy was looking panicked now. "Something's wrong with my dad and Gohan, and I can't even get to them!" The boy started wailing. "I can't fly! I can't even go super-saiyan."
Trunks stared, wide-eyed. What had happened to his friend? On a whim, Trunks tried to levitate himself. "Oh no." He said, when his efforts proved futile. "No, no, no, no! Goten, I…I can't fly either. What's happening to us, Goten?"
Goten didn't answer. He was still crying loudly in the way that was usually reserved for the times that he didn't get the treats that he wanted.
"Goten…Goten." Trunks tried to calm his friend down. If this went on much longer, they were going to get caught. Finally, Trunks had had enough. "Goten!" The shout was emphasized by a right hook to the boy's jaw.
"Ow Trunks!" The younger boy whined, rubbing the sore spot on his face. "What'd you do that for? That wasn't very nice."
"Goten, just shut up will ya? Crying never solves anything." Now that it was silent, Trunks could finally think. "Goten, call your cloud, and I'll call my dad."
"Oh right!" Goten said excitedly before shouting to the sky. "Kinto-kun!"
Trunks rolled his eyes and pulled out his cell phone. He quickly dialed his dad, but Vegeta didn't pick up. After at least 12 rings, he hung up and turned to Goten was still staring at him wide-eyed. "He's not answering." Trunks was starting to feel worried. After the traumatizing experience two years ago of waking up to find that his father had died while Trunks himself was spirited him away from the battle, Trunks was terrified that that might happen again. If his father was going to die, it would only happen after Trunks had done everything in his power to prevent it. "We have to go help them!" He said, more to himself than to Goten.
A small cloud landed in front of them, its fluffy contours shifting slightly in the wind. Goten hopped on and Trunks climbed on behind him.
"Where are we going Trunks?" Goten asked.
"To the battle, duh!"
"But your dad said…"
"My dad is in trouble Goten. Yours too! Do you want to let them die again?"
Goten looked horrified at the idea.
"Now let's go!" Trunks ordered.
"What the…?" The three saiyans lost their golden glow, and all six earth fighters were all left with the power level of a moderately strong human.
The Minan smirked at them. "Oh, I forgot to mention that we had a backup plan. Now that we've seen how powerful you really are, I'm sure you'll make fine additions to his Excellency's army," he glanced to Videl before adding, "and harem."
"That's it, power or no, we're not going to take this!" Gohan yelled, rushing him. Gohan's sudden anger surprised the Z fighters more than the aliens.
The Minan braced himself, then sidestepped Gohan's attack, plowing his fist into the young demi-saiyan's stomach. Gohan hunched over and slid to his knees before collapsing completely.
"No! Gohan!" Goku started to move, but the aliens were faster. Before anyone knew it, the Minan had a weapon that much resembled a gun, pointed at Gohan's head. Vegeta grabbed Goku and held him back. "Stop Kakarott." He calmly ordered. "If he fires, it'll kill him."
"Surrender this planet!" The Minan yelled pointing his weapon at the gathered Z fighters.
"Kakarott, can you use your instant transmission?"
Goku closed his eyes for a second. His whispered curse was all the answer Vegeta needed.
"Fine, you take the leader. I've got the bigger blue guy. Namek, you take care of the bull-looking one. You," He hadn't figured out an appropriate nickname now that Krillin had grown his hair out. "Get the woman. Disarm them first. Girl," he turned to Videl." Get Gohan."
"Right." The Z fighters, figuring that in cases like this it was better to trust in Vegeta's judgment and ask questions later, sprang to action.
The aliens, weren't counting on the gathered warriors' sudden attack, nor were they counting on their speed. Before they knew what was happening, the Z warriors were upon them.
Vegeta quickly reached his opponent, ducking under the hastily fired, poorly-aimed beam. He popped up, grabbing the larger fighter's firing arm with one hand, and using the other to snatch a sword from the warrior's belt. It didn't take long for Vegeta to realize that in his current state he was no match for the warrior's strength. So before the warrior could recover from his shock, Vegeta unsheathed the blade and chopped his hand clean off. The gun clattered to the ground. Vegeta ducked again and rolled backwards, bringing the blade up before him. He preferred not to fight with a sword, and only rarely touched the things. However, he was quite skilled in swordsmanship. Especially since Trunks had developed a fondness for them, Vegeta had picked the art back up in order to teach his son proper technique. Teaching his son had inadvertently sharpened Vegeta's own skill in the art.
The alien was reeling from shock, clutching his severed wrist. Vegeta grabbed the gun and looked to see the states of the other warriors. He disliked using guns. If he was forced to fight with something other than his own two hands, he preferred for it to be with a sword.
The other earth warriors all seemed to be holding their own, even if they were struggling a bit. There was no point in firing into one of their matches though. He could risk hitting them. Tossing the weapon to them would likely only distract them. And he couldn't keep it with him. That would only give the alien the opportunity to get it back again. Deciding that his options were severely limited, he turned to the only warrior that was capable of using the thing. "Videl!" The young woman turned, surprised that he'd called her. Seeing that he had her attention, Vegeta stood and threw the weapon to her. He vaguely recognized that that could have been dangerous if the thing had gone off and hit her, but didn't have time to consider it.
His opponent and gotten up and was rushing at him. Vegeta readied himself.
Krillin had rushed in, but stayed on the defensive. As he was not as fast as his Saiyan allies, the aliens had already been alerted to his coming. The woman was ready for him by the time he arrived. The only solace he had was that she probably wasn't as strong as the other ones his friends were fighting. After an initial scuffle which had sent him sprawling on his backside, Krillin settled on using his small stature to his advantage. He slipped between his opponents legs and popped up behind her, putting her in a strangle hold. The woman dropped her gun in an effort to get him off, but was having little success.
While he was technically not losing, he was stuck at a standstill. If he let her go, she would grab the gun again. He looked around to see how his opponents were faring. Piccolo was missing an arm already. He would provide no help. Vegeta had somehow managed to disarm his opponent and had even chopped off the blue man's hand.
Goku, of near equal size to his opponent, couldn't seem to get close. He'd initially been mostly concerned with protecting Gohan and Videl, and that had kept him on the defensive. Being so close to the Minan while not being able to get close enough to disarm him was hindering his ability to fight. In order to distract the Minan from his son and Videl, Goku had taken to dodging beams from the man's gun, getting just close enough to make sure that he had the man's full attention, and then backing away to a safe distance. The strategy was working, but it wouldn't work for long.
Krillin had looked just in time to see one of the beams graze Goku's backside. Goku jumped into the air with a yelp, holding his rear-end.
The momentary distraction nearly cost Goku his life. The Minan trained his weapon straight between Goku's eyes.
The quiet hiss of the shot sounded through the battlefield, Goku jumped to the side only to realize the shot hadn't come from the Minan. It only took him a split second to realize what was going on. The Minan was stumbling backwards. His chest armor was cracked and smoking. Goku lunged forward grabbing the man's hand and wrenching it around behind him. One hard tug, and the weapon was pulled from the man's hands. Goku held it out in much the same way as the man had trained it on his son. The Minan, bleeding from his chest but in no way down for the count, glared at him but didn't move.
Goku grinned. "Alright Videl!" He cheered on the young woman who'd just saved his hide. "'Atta girl! Wow! What a woman! I'll tell ya Gohan," He looked over at his son who had recovered and was now training a gun that he'd collected from the feet of Krillin's opponent at the bullish woman in question. "You sure know how to pick 'em!"
Gohan blushed in embarrassment at his father's antics.
"I've got it from here, Videl." Goku told her. "And it looks like Vegeta's clear too. You might want to go give Piccolo a hand. That bull guy looks pretty mad."
"Yea, sure thing." The young woman said, sounding clearly exhilarated at the rather large role she'd just played in the battle.
Vegeta meandered over calmly, despite the large amount of purple blood splashed across his face and shoulder. "I take it you're the leader of this little troop?" He asked the Minan at Goku's feet.
The Minan spit at him.
Vegeta frowned, wiping the spittle off his shirt. His eyes narrowing, he leaned over, conspicuously eying the series of striped and dots on the chest plate of the Minan's armor. "A sergeant are you? Aren't we flattered."
"Vegeta…" Goku started. Something about his friend's tone was unsettling. But Vegeta was already walking toward the woman that Krillin and Gohan were subduing.
"Tell me woman," He started. "Did you join this circus of your own accord?"
She was silent. Vegeta wrenched the gun from Gohan's grip and trained it between the woman's eyes. "Will you swear your loyalty right now to the Tik emperor? At the price of your life?" She didn't speak. "Or is it someone else that you're protecting?...Well?"
Piccolo and Videl approached the other fighters, both of them eying the scene with rapt attention. Gohan backed away toward his girlfriend. "Gohan, what's going on?" Videl asked quietly.
"I…I'm not sure."
"Come on, girl! Tell me! Are you a slave?"
The last question set her off. "I am not!" She yelled. "I am a free woman and I joined this squadron of my own accord. I fight for his excellency and for the greater good!" Her chest heaved as she drew a frustrated breath. "You can do as you wish with me. You filthy saiyans deserved all of what happened to you! Especially you, you treacherous—"
The blue beam entered her face right between the eyes and exploded out of the back of her head.
"Vegeta!" Goku yelled.
"Oops." Was all Vegeta said, shrugging off the situation entirely.
"That was uncalled for." Goku argued.
"Oh was it?" Vegeta asked, seeming sincere. "Oh well, there's nothing to be done now. Did you handle the cow?" He asked Piccolo.
"Good." He turned to the Minan Sergeant. "And now to test your loyalty. Do you stand with your friend? Or will you denounce your great emperor and accept to fight against him?"
"So be it." A second shot was fired, but this one only entered the man's leg. "It would be nice if you answered a few questions for us." He crouched down to be eye-level with the man. "And don't think you're going to avoid answering. Frieza taught me all about tickling answers out of people." He gave the Minan a twisted grin which seemed to turn his face even bluer. Vegeta took the sheathed sword that he'd been carrying and leaned in heavily on the open wound in the man's thigh. "Question one. How many ships are waiting in space just outside our atmosphere?" The man screamed at the applied pressure. "I'm waiting."
"And with how many soldiers?" Vegeta's voice was almost sweet. A sickly sweet that let the Minan know that he was enjoying every minute of what he was doing. The Minan cracked under Vegeta's deranged look.
"Range from three hundred to four thousand."
Vegeta cold hear Videl asking Gohan what was up with the numbers.
"How many will they send down next?"
"I…I don't know!" Vegeta brought the barrel of the gun down onto the man's other leg in a silent promise.
The man nearly squealed. "I really don't! More than four. Probably six! They could all come at once!"
"What kind of fighters are they?"
"Mostly Minans and Juergans. There are a few Tulacs."
"Any special abilities?"
"The Tulacs are healers!" He gasped as Vegeta's hand gave a small twitch. "Please don't!"
"Don't give me orders now Minan." Vegeta said in a deadly calm. "I enjoy disobeying them." He smirked evilly. "Now…where were we?…oh yea. How large is the…let's just call it the Tik shall we? I'd heard the term in a bit of chatter a while back and was wondering what it was all about."
"I…uh…somewhere between four and four hundred fifty planets."
"Four hundred?" Vegeta seemed honestly taken aback. "Who is the leader of this empire?"
"Hui Se! His name is Hui Bao Feng Yu."
"Why the hell has he got four names? Just who does he think he is?"
Vegeta chuckled at the fact that the man had actually answered his rhetorical question. "He's really a Tauran?"
"How powerful is he?"
"Incredibly powerful. No scouter can read his power level. Kurenai Kali herself can do nothing against him."
"Kurenai Kali?" Why did that name sound so familiar? Vegeta was silent for a moment as he thought. "Kurenai Kali the daughter of the Krimzon Emperor?"
"You fool! You really have been holed up on this planet for way too long!" Vegeta blinked at the man's sudden audacity. "Kurenai Kali is the Krimzon Emperor. And Krimzon Empire and the GP are now one in the same."
"Hm." Vegeta cocked an eyebrow. From his few dealings with Kurenai, she was a fairly impressive person in her own right. And what was this about the GP? Since when does the Galaxy Police join forces with an empire? "What kind of empire is this?" He mumbled to himself.
"It's the empire to end all empires." Vegeta stared at the man with a frown.
"Shut up." He snapped half-heartedly. "I didn't ask for your dogma. Oh yea…I thought of another question. You're really lucky. You're living a helluva long time." Vegeta smirked at the man's sudden fear. "What is keeping our powers low?"
"Is that the machine the Taurans created?"
"I thought it was a gun."
"It was…at first. But that proved ineffective. People could just dodge the beam. Now it's a net, cast from space over an entire planet."
"The entire planet!" Goku finally interrupted.
"Kakarott, shut it!" Vegeta turned back to the Minan. "How can you maintain your power while we are drained?"
The Minan grinned. "All Tauran soldiers are fitted with a chip to counteract the Meiyochi waves."
"Where is this chip?"
"In our brain."
"You have a chip in your brain." Vegeta deadpanned. He frowned and looked back to Piccolo. "Any more questions?"
"No. I think you covered everything."
"Good." Vegeta raised the gun and blasted the Minan soldier through the chest.
"Vegeta!" Goku yelled again, finally jumping at the other saiyan and wrestling the gun from his hand. "This is uncalled for! He's not a threat to you!" Goku glared at Vegeta. "Let him go!"
"Kakarott, you really are naïve. How can you say that he's not a threat when his power level is easily twenty times our own? We were lucky to take them all down as it is."
"It doesn't matter, Vegeta. Killing him now is senseless."
"What? You think if you show him mercy, he'll just go back and convince this man-with-too-many-names to be a good person?"
Goku scowled, moving in front of the wounded Minan. "I won't let you kill him Vegeta. We gave you a second chance. He deserves one too. Let him go."
Vegeta glared. He hated when Goku shoved his "second chance" in his face like this. "Fine!" He swiveled on his heel and marched away. He stopped at the edge of a sharply-sloped hill and pulled out his phone. Seeing that he had missed several calls from both Trunks and Bulma, he flipped the phone open. He called Bulma first.
"Vegeta!" Bulma screeched as soon as she answered. Vegeta pulled the phone away from his face so fast that he nearly dropped it. "What have you been doing? Trunks is frantic! What's going on? Why haven't you answered your phone?"
"Give me a second to answer, woman!" He saw Piccolo walk up beside him, but didn't turn. "We're in the middle of nowhere, right now. A ship landed and—"
"What? Are we being invaded?"
"Dammit, woman! Let me finish!" Vegeta said. "No we are not being invaded, yet." Vegeta finally turned to look back at what was going on. Goku was heading toward him. The Minan fighter was slowly limping back to his ship.
"We will be soon"
She let out a nervous chuckle. "You're kidding right?"
"No." Goku finally reached him. Vegeta didn't bother to look over to see the disappointed glare his fellow saiyan was casting his way. If Goku had seen half the things Vegeta had seen of galactic empires, he would have shot the Minan too.
"I need you to come to where I am now. There are some scouters here that you might like to have a look at, and several bodies with chips in their brains. I need you to take the chips and see if you can figure out how they work."
"Just come out here, and I'll explain it. Where's Trunks? Why has he been calling me?"
"He's on his way to you. He said he can't fly anymore and that he thought you'd been hurt. Vegeta, is everyone ok?"
"Yes, yes, everyone's fine. The Namek lost an arm but it should grow back any minute now."
He could feel Piccolo's glare searing the side of his face.
"Hey look!" Gohan called from somewhere behind them. "Is that Goten?"
Vegeta turned to see where the young demi-saiyan was pointing. Sure enough a small, yellow cloud was flying overhead.
"Trunks is with him." Goku pointed out.
"Trunks is here." Vegeta spoke into the phone.
"Oh good. All this business of aliens got me worried."
Vegeta rolled his eyes and was about to politely remind her that he himself was an alien when the low hiss of a Tik gun firing could be heard. Vegeta's eyes instantly shot up to the cloud where his son was coming closer only feel the proof a second later that the shot had actually been fired at him. The thin blast hit him in the back, entering and coming clean out of his abdomen. In complete shock he didn't dodge the second shot which went straight through again, only this time exiting his chest.
Wow. So it's been several years since I've put a story up. I hope you enjoyed that. This is just one that's been floating around in my head for a while. It's the beginning of a much longer story.
I've already got the story line for the story worked out, but for fun, I've decided to be a little flexible and ask for reader input for help filling out minor details. So here's reader input question number 1: Should Vegeta have a sister?