My body aches, every inch of it, from the aching behind my eyes to the stiffness in my swollen ankle. The taste of iron is pungent in my mouth, doubtless from my busted lip, oozing blood. I try to swallow, my throat is so dry.
I'm on a soft surface. It feels something like a cot you would find in a hospital waiting room. I am grateful for this small comfort. The last few nights of my life have been hellacious.
I open my eyes and discover I'm surrounded by darkness and silence. My head is cushioned on a pillow, which is nice. Perhaps I am in a coffin.
I stretch my arms up, my palms touching nothing. I have not been buried alive. My body responds to my commands lethargically, but this does not startle me, given the circumstances.
Although it is something that I wish desperately, I am not safe at home in my dark bedroom. I stopped hoping for that because I know it's not possible. It's hard to believe that terror like this and pain like this is real. I have been experiencing both since the moment I was brought here. Has it been a week? I have been fighting for my life for so long, I've lost track of everything else.
This place does not fit the surroundings I have been accustomed to since my arrival
I can hear nothing, nothing but the beating of my heart and my ragged breath. There are no screams for help, no wicked shouts of triumph as savage aliens kill my neighbors and coworkers. No psychotic man trying to rape me in front of countless spectators.
I see nothing, nothing but darkness. I see no blood, no space ships hovering threateningly. No soldiers plundering my home and burning my world.
I smell nothing. I do not smell gasoline, or singed hair or roasting flesh.
I feel tired.
The days before my abduction are sad. I've gone over them countless times in my head. If only I'd followed my instinct. I was not entirely ignorant of the attack I feel. I had heard reports from several connections inside West City's government base. I should have taken them for what they really were, real threats, not conspiracy.
If I had planned and considered the warnings as reality then maybe I'd be in hiding right now, as part of the "resistance." But that's a laugh. I could only dream at that. As if earthlings could pose any kind of a threat to these creatures.
If that were a reality, though, they would find me to be a very valuable asset. Individuals as smart and as gifted as I am would be more than appreciated.
But I am really here, in this moment. I have really been taken prisoner from my home planet and am trapped aboard an alien vessel. What is the purpose of my being here?
I am a woman. I am attractive, beautiful even. Or so the rest of the world says. "BuIma Briefs, Goddess Divine," one magazine article read after a social function in which I represented my father's company. I thought this flattering at the time. All of that seems so far away now, as I sit here alone, bruised, bloodied and unable to move.
I couldn't hope to have been taken for my knowledge and expertise, or for my international connections and the many languages I speak. It occurs to me that my captives do not negotiate with speeches and treaties, only violence.
I am scared. Even now, I cannot believe all of the things I've taken for granted. All the security I thought I possessed was separated from me like chaff. How stupid could we all be? As a nation we knew there were being not like us. We knew because of cases like Piccolo, a Namekian man who had come to Earth, fleeing from caustic authorities of his own planet, from trumped up charges and battalions of troops gunning for him to lay down and die. He sought refuge on Earth. And we gave him protection, in the hopes of learning. Of what good is it to learn when we will not put into practice?
We were aware of humanoids, Namekians, like Piccolo. We knew of our neighboring planet Namek. We also knew of a few others inhabited by other alien life forms, though these were not hostile like the Namekian planet.
Why did we not think there could be a greater threat?
We were not prepared for what happened. We had never seen anything like the elite of Lord Freiza's forces. Most of these elite were large, ruthless beings. They killed without consequence, without forethought. It's hard to imagine such cruelty. But, in these beasts, it's embedded deep.
Earth had slowly and systematically been taken over by aliens of all different races, acting under one force. One: Lord Freiza. I have yet to lay eyes on him.
But my little corner of Earth had been ransacked by the captains of the elite. Some group of male fighters called The Ginyu Force. I don't know much about them as a whole.
I remember the man that took me though.
He was gigantic. As tall as he was wide, wearing a unique alien armor I had never seen before in the colors white, navy blue and gold. His skin was fuchsia. The brightest and most luminescent of the color I had ever seen. It was almost mesmerizing. He reminded me of the deep sea angler fish. His forearms and scalp were covered in short, stubby horns. His eyes were yellow, his lips a deep, bloody purple. His fingernails were black, long and filed to a point, like claws. I could only imagine the feeling of those claws shredding through one's flesh. I wondered to myself how many screams I had heard that day because of those talons, and shuddered.
I know the name of this elite because of the man that gave him the order to take me back to the ship. This is the man I fear the most. His stare was cold. His whole body radiated violence. I could see in his gait and manner of speaking that this was his chosen way of life. He not only did this as an occupation, violent and ruthless is what he had become, and gladly.
This alien was addressed by the large one as "Lord Zarbon." High ranking. This man radiated power.
Taller than any human I had ever seen before, he stood at about 6' 10" and built of solid muscle, thick bands of it lacing his arms and legs. His skin was also a different color than the traditional pigmentation of Earth. His skin shone like the reflection of an emerald, casting a light green hue to every part of his body. He was wearing similar armor to his pink counterpart, adding a dark purple cape that reached the ground.
This is what I remember.
"Well, what do we have here?" Dodoria had asked. Rhetorically of course, he did care if I responded and I was in no position to answer.
I was leaning against a crumble of a wall that was still left standing, attempting to staunch the flow of blood coming from a gash in my shoulder. I did not have the ability to run, I was too dizzy from loss of blood.
The explosions surrounding me made all noise sound like I was hearing it from under water. To my left and to my right I noticed people running out of smoke-filled buildings, or what was left of them. With everyone screaming at once in such close proximity, it made me hear a constant, shrill pitch.
Dodoria took quick, decisive steps towards me. The way he moved could be likened to a hippo about to charge and swallow me whole. Without a second thought, he grabbed my injured arm and yanked me away from the wall.
I don't know if I screamed or even made a sound. My shock had not worn off, I don't remember the pain. I remember trying to blink away what I thought to be a nightmare.
I tripped and stumbled along beside him, he seeming not to notice. I would have been dragged had I not complied with my stumblings.
As I was being led forward I noticed the Lord Zarbon grimacing at everything around him, like my planet was a piece of garbage waiting to be disposed of. Dodoria's lumbering movement caught his attention though, and that attention was quickly focused on me. Nothing in his posture hinted at surprise, or interest, other than a raise of the eyebrow. Dodoria tromped by him without hesitation, but I could still feel Zarbon's dark eyes on me.
Up and to the right, there was a large gathering of people at the base of the stairs to the local mall. The shopping center itself was one of the first buildings in the southern part of West City to go, and there stood only a smoke filled, blood encrusted hollow of what it used to be.
The people were screaming and moaning loudly, the ring in my ears I could not dampen that sound.
Another alien elite, this one the color of denim and every bit as tall as Zarbon, appeared suddenly in view, floating in mid-air, and dropped a man in a business suit into the pile of humans. He landed on a heavyset woman that looked to be in her fifties.
Dodoria thought this funny.
"Way to round them up Burter!" He shouted at the man, who was still in mid-flight, his fist held high.
I realized now where I was being taken.
But before Dodoria could toss me as carelessly as Burter had dropped his victim, Zarbon returned in view, with a restraining hand on the large, pink alien's shoulder.
"Why waste something so beautiful?" Zarbon asked condescendingly, as if Dodoria were a simpleton. Perhaps he is.
Dodoria indeed looked bewildered, shocked at his lord's reproof.
"I did not think her to be of any use to us, my lord." He explained quickly, his breath whistling noisily through his large nostrils.
Zarbon shook his head back and forth twice, and clicked his tongue. "Now Dodoria, she is obviously a gorgeous specimen, surely you can see that?"
Dodoria pulled me around to study me. I lowered my head immediately, regaining some of my composure. I did not want to look at these monsters. I wanted them to go ahead and kill me, get it over with. They were delaying the inevitable.
Evidently Dodoria took too long to answer, earning him a disapproving scowl from Zarbon.
"I've been getting reports from your lesser superiors that you are doing more pillaging than plundering. I'm beginning to think my sources are correct. Perhaps we need to send you through Lord Freiza's training courses again?"
Dodoria dropped my arm, which now throbbed earnestly, and replied with a plea.
"No my Lord! Please accept my apologies. I will do well to check myself sir, and inquire unto you, until I have earned back your respects." He crossed his left arm over his chest and ducked his head in a salute.
It seemed an eternity before Zarbon replied, "Very well, Dodoria. Get back to work."
Dodoria bowed again hastily. "Yes sir! Right away my Lord."
"But take this with you back to the ship first. Make sure she is very well confined, I would not want to lose something so valuable to these other barbarians. Not all of Frieza's men respect boundaries set by their betters." He lifted my chin to stare into my hate-filled eyes. He stroked the side of my cheek possessively, and with a sigh, he led me back into the arms of Dodoria.
Dodoria flung me over his shoulder like luggage and shot like a bullet into the air.
As the vice president and scientist of my father's company, I had built rockets, but had never been inside them. I had created the plans for and built the parts for several hovercrafts and flying devices for Capsule Corp. But I had never once been brave enough to test them myself.
My shock was quickly dissipating.
When my eyes took in my surroundings and my stomach dropped, I let out a high pitched screech and actually clung to this monster with all the force and adrenaline I possessed. Shortly after which he unceremoniously knocked me unconscious.
When I awoke several hours later I was alone. I was extremely grateful for this. The space that I was enclosed in, contrasted significantly with the one I am in currently.
This second holding was about an 8' 8' space, and as white as any hospital room. I likened the space to that of a second clothes closet I had back home. The brightness of the room was ridiculous. The fluorescents in this room were the brightest I had ever come into contact with, at least twice as bright as the ones used on earth. Or perhaps it just seemed that way because of my unconscious state.
I was laid out on a hard piece of metal, jutting out from the side of the wall. It was strapped to the same wall by thick chains, the surface suspending about two feet off the ground.
When all the images from the day before came rushing back to me, I sat bolt upright with a shocked expletive, frantically squinting around me, expecting to see Zarbon or Dodoria.
There was no one in the room. I was indeed alone. I sighed loudly with relief.
My eyes were getting used to the light, slowly but surely. I waited a moment to stand.
I stood on wobbly legs, and clutched the chain suspending the bed for support. The floor was cold on mu bare feet, like a cell. I examined my surroundings with dismay, as I realized there were no apparent doors.
I rubbed my injured arm absentmindedly; it was now wrapped with a thick, white bandage. When I looked down to examine it, I noticed I was still wearing my clothes. The ones I had worn the day it all happened. When I went out to do my shopping, I wanted to remain focused, especially when I hit my bookstores. I dressed down, so I would not be recognized. I wore dark jeans and a plain white t-shirt. The jeans were mostly in tact but my shirt was a ruddy soot color from the smoke damage. One side was tinged with red from my injury.
While I examined my injuries with my medical eye, I noticed that one of the walls inside my cell was not bright white. In fact, it was a dark gray, almost black. I could clearly see my reflection, but only that.
It occurred to me that perhaps I was being observed. The thought made me back wildly away from the gray wall. I sat back down on my makeshift bed and pulled my knees up to hide my chest. I then wrapped my arms around them and put my head down.
I couldn't tell you how long I sat this way. I felt a million eyes on me. Alien, curious, lustful alike. I wanted to cry.
I eventually became tired and turned my back to the gray wall. I assumed the same fetal position I was sitting in previously.
On the second day, they decided to feed me. Something bland that tasted like wheat. I ate without protest and gladly drank the water they provided. My throat ached from smoke inhalation.
I wondered again at my purpose for being here.
The last day I can remember was disastrous.
When it was mealtime in my cell, the soldier that distributed my food, a different man every day, was evidently not having a good day. I heard him enter the room and I sat up on my cot expecting food and water.
He set my food beside me and the glass of water with it. During my stay in the white room I had refused to speak to anyone that entered. Some of the soldiers had made snide remarks in all sorts of languages. I could tell by the tone and laughter. This man, however, appeared to be human. Maybe a prisoner and slave himself.
Except for the fact that he was wearing what I recognized as Saiyan armor.
He smiled at me pointedly, enjoying his traitorous status as Freiza's underling.
His face I would never forget, because of the scars that marred it. He had one giant "X" mark over one eye, and another on the left cheek. The slashes were well-passed healed, which made me think he had earned them before the invasion.
After he set my things down, he kneeled in front of me, putting his hands on both my knees. I was so shocked that at first, I did nothing.
He looked into my eyes with both hunger and disdain. "Well hello there," he said huskily.
I said nothing.
He smirked and gave my leg a light squeeze, I winced. He smirked, "I've been hearing good things about you."
This was not true. I had neither said or done anything but eat and sleep since my arrival.
When he realized that I had no intention of speaking, he began to monologue. "You know, it really isn't fair that you're fought over among these aliens, when you, a human girl, clearly should belong to the humans here employed. Why should races mix? You are obviously a weak female, too weak perhaps for these stronger men." He moved his hand up my thigh. "You need someone tender..."
My eyes widened in alarm as he leaned in to kiss me. Out of sheer reflex I reached over and grabbed my glass of water. I heard a crutch as the glass splintered over his skull. His head snapped back from the impact.
I scrambled towards the dark grey part of my cell.
I pounded the walls with my fists and for the first time in days, I screamed. I screamed so loud that I saw the man's reflection in the glass cover his ears with both hands.
I closed my eyes and tried to scream louder. After some time passes, it slowly registers that this scarred servant is not pursuing me.
I turn swiftly around only to see no one. He's gone.
There is no door left ajar, nothing. There was no sound loud enough to hear over my desperate cries, my plea for help. The only thing I cared about was the disuse of my body. I would have rather died a thousand deaths than to have that bastard touch me again.
I shifted hurriedly from left to right, a sob escaping my lips. It was all beginning to get to me. I thought I was going mad. My psychiatric training told me that truly insane people do not rationalize that they might be losing it.
It was the stress, the pressure. I could take no more. I was cracking.
And then all of a sudden there was blackness.
I didn't hear anyone coming into my cell. I couldn't even see my hands in front of me.
My breathing came in gasps and my heartbeat accelerated. And then I felt a strong hand encircle the nape of my neck, latching on to the nerve clusters there, and again knocking me unconscious.
And now here I am. In unfamiliar territory, and the territory is already alien to me.
I hear footsteps off to my left. Someone was coming. My heart beats again wildly.
Someone was coming into this room with me. I could hear a door opening. A dim light floods the room and I squeeze my eyes shut. A shadow casts over my face. I hear shuffling, light objects falling to the floor. My mind registers that it sounds like someone is undressing.
Not again. Please not now. Not ever.
There's more movement, a shift in weight as the figure sits down next to me.
He's touching me now, brushing my hair out of my face.
"You need to calm yourself. I can hear your heartbeat out in the hall." The voice is deep, rough. I cannot know if he intends to sound menacing.
Despite my best efforts a tear escapes and slides down the side of my cheek. I am afraid. I only have one thing left these people can take from me. And I would rather die.
The person makes no motion to undress me, or touch me anymore. In the back of my mind, I wonder if he'd prefer the lethargy to wear off first, to have me fight him. It's apparent these ruthless men prefer a bit of a struggle or resistance. I try to steel myself, and prepare for the onslaught.
I slowly open my eyes, and take in the half-naked man sitting next to me. To my shame, my first thought is how handsome this young man is. The second, how can he be impossibly human?
His posture relaxed, he looks at me calmly with his black eyes. A predator's eyes. I gaze back, caught in his stare.