"Servitude"

Chapter 7

I was aware of the sidelong glances that Nappa continued to cast in my direction, but I ignored them. He would know soon enough what it was I intended doing. The space pod was awaiting and I boarded it in silence, the hatch closed and seconds later we were cutting through the atmosphere towards the creature's orbiting ship. We docked and I exited the craft, Nappa on my heels.

Traversing the corridors of the ship I made my way defiantly to where I knew the evil being would be waiting. I didn't need to let him know I was coming; he already knew.

It was while I was traveling the corridors of the space ship that the final change in my being occurred. I could feel it happening and was powerless to stop it. Unfortunately it was a sacrifice I was born to bear and I had no say in the matter.

My mind was working overtime, reliving all the hardship, training and cruelty I had suffered at the hands of this alien. The memory of my parents and the childhood I had enjoyed, the lessons they had tried to teach me were all swept away, thanks to this being; buried somewhere in the vault of my mind, never to be unlocked. My emotions, dignity and humanity had all but been erased from my persona, worn down with the constant barrage of coldness, training, and the harshness of being a part of the mechanism that was Frieza's rule.

I finally saw what my father had seen and tried to warn me about; and my young mind could not cope with the revelation. It was with much regret that I now accepted my fate. Somewhere along the line the young, carefree prince was lost, placed in limbo if you like, maybe someday he would surface again. If and when, I cannot possibly know. I now slip into my new identity, the mask of arrogance which I easily cast upon my form suffices to hide the ache in my heart for my lost youth and carefree existence.

Nappa is still beside me, I can feel his irritation as it rolls off him, but I will not be swayed from my task. There will be time later to discuss my changed attitude, and whether he agrees with me or not I don't care. My father asked me to find a way to save our race and I swear upon the golden monkey I will do all in my power to fulfill that request.

The doors open and I am once more confronted with the form of the creature. I cannot help the cringe as he speaks. That voice, it grates so easily over my soul and sets my teeth on edge, but I will not give him the satisfaction of seeing he has rattled me. Instead I cross my arms over my chest and demand that he provide me with training that is more suited to my strength.

The fat, pink warrior that is always present objects to my attitude, as does Zarbon, but I can see the amusement in Zarbon's stance as well as his features. The green thing is not as dumb as he would have you believe. Despite the protests that fall from the fat lips of the pink one I continue in my push for better training. Zarbon doesn't say much, only relays my progress so far, but I can tell that he is interested to see what the evil one will do, especially given my arrogance.

Freiza appears to ponder the situation, sitting in that damn chair of his staring down at the planet below as it continues to revolve slowly on its axis. I note a subtle shift in his being as the pink one continues to protest my demands and am not surprised when Freiza silences him. The evil gaze from those cold eyes fixates upon my face and I manage to keep my body still, tail tightening around my waist while inside I am a mess of churning butterflies. I refuse to show any outward fear in front of this creature.

He questions me, my training, my goals and the like. I stumble internally with the answers, but somehow they come out clear and strong. I manage to create an air of confidence around me, blocking the fear and loathing from his detection. The answers I give must please him as I note the slight change in his eyes, a flash of approval maybe?

He finally comes to his decision, eyes narrow as he speaks and informs the room that I will be enduring more rigorous training and that an assignment will be allocated to me. I am to join another of the squads and tag along to observe what it is they do, assist them wherever I can and gain experience in the art of 'planet clearing'. The report of the squad leader when we return will determine whether or not I will be allowed to complete my own assignment.

It may not have been exactly what I was hoping for, but it is enough... for now.

The protests of the pink one are silenced and I cannot help the smirk that crosses my face. I bow with respect and exit the chambers, needing to get as far away from the vile creature as I can before my stomach turns itself inside out. I return to the planet and my quarters with Nappa in tow, knowing the explanations will be required once I am safe inside my chambers.

We pass by the nursery on our return, I hardly spare it a glance, the sounds of screaming though carrying to my ears and making me wince slightly. I pause and stare through the window to see what is making all that noise and am surprised to spot a solitary cub. His eyes are screwed up, fists clenched tight as he thrashes from side to side in the small chamber. My eyes flick to the chart.

Kakarott, son of third class Saiya-jin, Bardock. I snort when I scan the power level. This one will not be of much use in the future. Dismissing the cub I return to my quarters where I proceed to explain to Nappa what I have on my mind and my reasons for the change in plans.

#

I complete further training over the next several moon passings, my skills refining further as I am challenged by some of Frieza's best. For a youngster I manage to hold my own pretty well and even though I lose most of the battles I come away wiser, with better strategies and a stint in the re-juvenation tanks that sees my strength grow further.

I learn to accept the transformation that occurs with the light of the moon, although the first time it happened it frightened the living shit out of me. I had no clue as to what was happening and no memory of the ordeal. Waking up later, naked, bleeding and battered I found it hard to comprehend what had occurred. I hate it when I am unaware of what is going on. I demanded that Nappa inform me of this change in my body, the explanation given, but not satisfactory. "Why was I not informed of this phenomena before?" I seethed as Nappa tended my injuries; they were not enough to warrant taking up a re-jen tank for.

"My apologies, my prince. I didn't know that you would transform this young."

I quirked an eyebrow.

"Saiya-jin cubs usually do not have the ability to transform until they have been existing for ten orbits of the Genra sun. You are one of the exceptions."

"Obviously!" I snapped.

Nappa sighed. He was well aware of my irritation and chose to enlighten me further, explaining the changes, the increases in the strength as well as the power that accompanied it. He also tried to tell me how I could maintain a grip on my mind while the changes took place so that once I had transformed I would be able to control the beast I had become.

The next moon phase that came I was better prepared for. The transformation went a lot smoother and I was able to hang on to some of my mind. I couldn't completely control the beast, but at least this time I could recall most of what had transpired. It also planted the seed of an idea into my head.

This could be the way to defeat this being. If I could somehow gain enough support of the people and plan this idea out then come one of the moon phases we could all transform and take this being down, freeing our race from the imposed slavery he had put us in. The only flaw in the plan was getting lord Frieza to be on the planet when the moon was right. He very rarely came to the surface now, preferring his space craft.

I informed Nappa of my plan and to my surprise, he agreed. He would begin to spread the word amongst the people, recruit those who were willing to get behind me and support the idea. I left him to do that while I worked on setting the plan out, meticulously going over everything to make sure I had it all correct.

Strange how things never go the way you want them to.

I was shocked to discover that many of the race refused to consider the request, such was the power that the evil creature had over them. Not that I could really blame them though. They had witnessed the strength and cruelty of the iceling and his henchmen, not only with the demise of their Queen and King but also the annihilation of anyone that dared to stand and oppose the villain.

We did however manage to convince some of the populace to join us in our cause, I could only hope it would be enough.

Unfortunately before we had a chance to finalize the plan I was granted the assignment I had demanded a while ago. Before leaving I informed the followers that once I returned I would make the last of the plans and we would rid ourselves of this creature once and for all.

The planet I had been assigned to clear was a small one and the resistance mild. Nappa was the only accompaniment I had, and between the two of us, we quickly disposed of the population.

With the task completed all that remained was to report into Lord Frieza that the job was done and then head back to the planet Vegetasi... and hopefully the end of the cruel tyrant.

It wasn't to be though.

And so I sit here in the clearing, perched upon a rock forcing the food down my throat, schooling my features into neutrality while inside I am being torn apart. I chance a look at Nappa but he is standing away from me, lost in his own thoughts. What they are I cannot begin to even guess, but I doubt they are anything like my own. If he knew what was running through my head he would surely be afraid.

I close my eyes feeling the pain of loss burn through my veins, I might only be young in body, but my soul is ancient. I have seen more, suffered through more than anyone my age should have had to, and yet it is as if it was written in the stars that I would be the one to endure these hardships, my destiny mapped out before I was even born.

I take another bite of the energy bar and turn to face Nappa. "Are you sure?"

Nappa nodded. "The entire planet was destroyed, all who were there, perished."

I lowered my eyes again. A meteorite they said. I knew exactly what sort of meteorite it would have been; one that Frieza had concocted himself. Unfortunately the bastard was still alive. The pain in my heart would not diminish. Here I was, a young monarch without a kingdom, without a race, all having been torn from me in a matter of seconds by the whim of some mad alien. He must have gotten wind of what we were planning to do. Even he wasn't that stupid; he knew he wouldn't stand a chance against an army of apes.

The warrior in me could see the logic in his move, destroy the threat before it destroys you...

The tiny part of me that retained some emotion couldn't help but ache with the unnecessary loss of my people, many of whom were complete innocents.

The black hand of hatred closed tighter around my heart, squeezing all remaining compassion from within. I became as cold as the creature that had done this. Somehow, somewhere, I didn't know when or how long it would take, but I would take this creature down, I would make him pay and be free from him...

I forced the pain to leave me and stood up, my stance aggressive, the power swirling through me as I advanced on my pod. "Let us be leaving." My words were harsh and Nappa obeyed.

With thoughts of revenge running through my head I sealed the hatch and set the controls to take me back to Frieza's ship. I had no where else to go. With dejection as my companion I reclined back in the pod and steeled myself for whatever was to come until I could take this being out.

Speeding through space, course mapped for the east quadrant, I was totally unaware of the pod that passed several thousand kilometers away, bound for the north quadrant and a small planet called Earth.

~ oOo ~

Fin.