A/N: After a bout of re-editing, I couldn't exactly leave this out!
Disclaimer: I own Tundra and that's it. Everything else: Akira Toriyama, Toei Animation and Bird Studios.
/italics/ - denotes telepathy.
Shoddy defence, shoddy defence.
Despite her efforts to reshape him into the ultimate warrior, he still had a tendency to sprawl out unevenly. A quick sweep with her tail resulted with the young fighter landing on all fours; his body heaving in pain as the effects of the blow wore off.
Although he had entered the fighting ring relatively late in life, the changeling on his hands and knees before her had proven himself to have a formidable fighting ki, even greater than those of his brother or his father. But power was nothing without the correct training, which only she could provide.
At the age of fifteen, Frieza was still relatively young for a fighter, but he was at the same time one of her eldest students. The mistakes that had been made with Koola would not be repeated. At seventeen, the eldest son of Koruudo Ou was too spoilt and pampered to truly understand his potential, much like his father.
Like most changeling males, Koruudo and Koola treated her like shit. Indeed Koruudo had once told her that had she not been such an impressive warrior, he would have destroyed her once her ki rivalled his sons. Koola had not spoken a good word to her after the time she had beaten him into a bloody mess for his smart mouth. Frieza however…
Frieza was different. Oddly for a male, and even more oddly for a member of the royal family, he treated her with a strange kindness; respect almost bordering on reverence. While Koola spent his time being pampered and lavished with affection by the other females in the palace, his younger brother had dedicated himself to his training and the strengthening of his abilities.
Though admittedly, his defence posture could really use some work.
Still gasping from the blow, Frieza raised his head from the dojo floor to stare up at his sensei. Tundra existed in her final form. The delicate face and petite body belied her true strength. Many of her former opponents had been driven to distraction by the shapely form encased in white metallic armour; violet crests embedded in her forearms, legs, chest and forehead. Jet coloured eyes studied his winded body as a small smile lit up her features. She was the only person he knew who could smile sincerely.
She offered a hand to her young pupil. Despite the mistake at the end, he was more than capable of giving her a good workout. He gratefully took the pre-offered hand and stood up firmly as she pulled him to his feet.
'You're still holding yourself too rigidly. Relax; try to sense my movements with your spirit. Don't always rely on your eyes; I could have easily used my powers to distract you.'
'You would have cheated to win, sensei?'
'Possibly, but it would have been dishonourable to fight using telekinesis. Never use your abilities to give yourself an unfair advantage. Only use them when the situation calls for it.'
'But how can you be sure that an adversary will not use his powers when sparring against you?'
'You can't. But if he is a true warrior, he will fight with honour, and will fight as an equal to your strength.'
Walking out of the dojo beside his sensei, Frieza silently absorbed what Tundra had told him. It was perplexing. His father had always told him to use every scrap of ki in order to win a battle, and had also told him to never be afraid to cheat. It was their race's way. Backstabbing and deceit had been an integral part of the changeling heritage for over five millennia, and was not likely to change any time soon. His father and brother were ruthless killers. Under the guidance of Tundra, he hoped to become the strongest in the universe, something Koruudo and Koola could never hope to be.
Even stronger than the Saiya-jin who would soon be arriving on their planet.
One year previously…
Surprisingly the throne room was empty; normally Koruudo would be reclining in the oversized obsidian and white marble throne, idly sipping a glass of wine while one of his many lackeys would bring him reports on his latest conquests. Frieza 037 was an ice planet; well suited to be the Koruudo family's base. It was also well named; it had been the birthplace of Koruudo's youngest heir, while 037 stood for 3,700; Frieza's ki level at birth.
Her pupil and friend standing beside her, Tundra swept her gaze around the room, searching for some evidence of where the king had disappeared.
'If you're looking for daddy dearest, he's not around.' A lazy, unpleasantly familiar voice spoke up from the back of the room. Koola swept out of the shadows, clad in the fighting armour of the royal family, identical to Frieza's outfit.
'He's gone and he's left you to look after things here? Huh. Then he's as stupid as he is heartless.'
Unfortunately Koola had never been one to ignore an insult. The changeling prince immediately adopted an attack stance, his features contorting into a snarl.
'You dare insult my father, female?!'
The elder fighter rolled her eyes. 'Yes, I dare insult your father. But I think he would also be pretty interested in hearing that you physically threatened me earlier…'
She could almost see the cogs turning in his brain as he analysed the situation. Eventually he backed down, though the snarl still remained on his face. It was too easy and too much fun pissing him off, though she knew she wouldn't be safe forever. Someday one of the two idiots would lose their temper and try to obliterate her, even though they were significantly weaker than she was. But whoever said she would be facing an honest death anyway?
'So where is your father? And answer me without that look on your face.'
Koola fought to keep the disgust from his features as he answered her. 'Diplomatic mission. He's opening trade discussions with a mercenary race that are supposed to be even stronger than the Drovanites.'
'Who are they?'
Frieza spoke up angrily beside her. 'Those insignificant monkeys? Father would never soil his hands by bringing them into the Planet Trade!' He shot a filthy look at Koola.
'Hold your tongue little brother. They're reputed to be dangerously powerful, though of course they're no match for us.'
Tundra raised an eyebrow. 'Or so you say Koola. It's pathetic how your acclaimed wisdom only consists of the scraps of knowledge others have left behind. And before you even open that smart little mouth of yours, just remember who taught you everything you knew before your father intervened.'
Koola glared at her, and then swept out of the room with his dignity still relatively intact. Shaking her head, Tundra walked gracefully over to the giant window to gaze out at the whirling snowstorm. Frieza joined her wordlessly, sensing her irritation at something, presumably at his brother. He watched the storm for a few moments, turning his gaze back to the female as he felt a warm hand on his shoulder, turning him round to face her. He realised only too late that Tundra's irritation was directed at him as she slapped him across the face.
'Have I taught you nothing Frieza? Haven't I always told you never to make hasty judgements about other races, especially if Koruudo believes them to be strong? Never make assumptions about others before fully understanding their true potential. That was one of the first lessons I taught you when you were young.'
The elegant female's expression changed from anger to regret as she regarded her young pupil. A purple bruise was already starting to bloom on his cheek. His eyes remained downcast, full of anger and injured pride.
She placed her hands on his shoulders and squeezed slightly, enough pressure to make him look up at her.
'Your brother and father have the unfortunate tendency to make rash assumptions. You may be the heir to the Koruudo Empire, but at the same time, you are one of my best students, and thus possess wisdom and experience far beyond that of Koola or Koruudo. Don't let your pride be your downfall, child.'
The changeling prince's ego reared up at the comment. 'I'm not a child!'
'You are a child until I say otherwise. Now go. Your training is over for today.' The sensei watched her charge leave, her own anger at Koola and Koruudo threatening to overwhelm her.
Somehow, Tundra's criticisms had always hurt far more than any insult or rebuke from Koola or Koruudo. Rolling over in bed to stare at the far wall of his chambers, Frieza mentally reviewed what his sensei had said after that first argument.
His pride was what made him what he was. Pride in himself, pride in his father, pride in his race, even pride in his older brother. But his greatest pride was that which he held for Tundra. Why was it that his pride and respect for those he cared about could one day bring him down?
He already knew Tundra wasn't infallible, but somehow it had never occurred to him that one day, he could lose her and her respect for him. The thought actually scared him. He would have to make certain that they would never be separated. Maybe that was what she meant.
Casting the unpleasant thoughts aside, he rolled over again before finally resigning himself to the fact that he would not be getting any more rest. Not that he had the luxury of extra sleep today. The diplomatic mission his father had been carrying out for the past year had so far been successful. The king of the Saiya-jin would be arriving today to finalise the agreements before signing the accords leasing them to join the Planet Trade. He, along with Koola and Tundra, would be required to play host to a hoard of idiotic monkeys, something he was loath to do.
No matter. The Saiya-jin were just brainless mercenaries, hardly intelligent or powerful enough to pose a threat to the mighty Cold empire.
So why did he feel so uneasy?
She didn't mind diplomatic missions. If successful, there would be a banquet held in 'honour' of the race foolish enough to join the Planet Trade. If unsuccessful, Koruudo would normally be so irritated he would shut himself away for a few days in anger. Either way, she got a small break from his ego.
But the Saiya-jin though…
The Saiya-jin weren't a race of great thinkers, from what she had found out. However they were highly skilled and honourable warriors. Tundra scanned the data on the vidscreen as a steady stream of biographical and cultural details of the mercenaries were selected from the empire-wide information net.
Possessed the ability to transform into Oozaru at the time of the full moon…originally a race of nomads…physically unremarkable; monkey tail, permanent hair length…
Something caught her eye near the bottom of the DataStream. Two items in particular. One, when a Saiya-jin was badly wounded and he survived the injury, his ki level would increase. The other was a little more obscure…an ancient legend, nearly as old as the changelings. The tale of a warrior so great, he was known as a Super Saiya-jin.
According to the legend, one Super Saiya-jin was meant to be born every three thousand years; the potential to transform existed exclusively in the royal bloodline. This warrior's ki was so great he could only maintain his status in his Oozaru form. Eventually his uncontrollable ki destroyed both him and the planet he had been fighting on. Someday, a new Super Saiya-jin would be born, one who would take revenge for the damage done to his race by the evil ones.
She deactivated the vidlink and sat back in her chair, reviewing the data she had discovered. The Saiya-jin were a proud race, self-sufficient warriors with a dangerous streak. Why in the name of the gods would they want to ally themselves with the likes of Koruudo? The only way this could happen was if Koruudo and the Saiya-jin monarch had agreed to a future trade.
She didn't want to think about what, or who, was to be traded.
The two generations of the Cold family were assembled in the throne room, clad in ceremonial armour. As the highest-ranked female in the empire, Tundra was dressed in velvet robes, marked with the royal seal. The tight black material mainly served to show off her body, but the robes were cut in such a way that they displayed her lean muscles, emphasising her status as a fighter. Her primary status as a female meant that she had to stay in the king's presence for as long as she was ordered, but fortunately this wasn't normally a great deal of time.
The high steel doors opened and the palace guards marched into the room, surrounding the King and Queen of the Saiya-jin Empire. Out of the corner of her eye, Tundra could see Frieza recoil slightly, as if trying to put some distance between him and the ape monarchs. She poked him in the side with her tail and glared sideways at him as Koruudo stepped forward.
'I welcome you to my humble palace, King Vegeta. I trust you will be comfortable here?'
The Saiya-jin king bowed his head respectfully at Koruudo, but his expression was one of mistrust, understandable in this situation. Koruudo existed in his secondary form, meaning that the Saiya-jin barely reached the height of the changeling's chest, including the spiked brown hair. Tundra could sense his ki from the back of the room; it was an ability she possessed that no one else knew of, not even her dear Frieza. She scrutinised the warrior as he stood back and nodded at Koruudo.
'It's an icy planet, but I am certain you are more comfortable here than on Vegeta-sei.'
To his credit, Koruudo rejected the bait and instead opted to introduce his heirs. 'My sons, Koola and Frieza. The female beside them is known as Tundra.'
She flushed and graced the Saiya-jin monarch with a small smile as he looked over towards her. For a ruthless warrior, he was certainly handsome. Taken aback slightly, he returned the favour, and then gestured to the slender armour-clad female beside him.
'My mate and Queen, Kitara.' He stood back so that the Koruudo family could better see the female.
Unusually for a Saiya-jin, Kitara had pure white hair with less pronounced spikes than her husbands. It fell to her shoulders, surrounding a lean, angular face. Dark brown eyes swept over the changelings, finally coming to rest on Tundra. It was clear from her bearing and her compact figure that she was an excellent fighter, her ki as high as her husbands'. The Saiya-jin regarded most females as equals. Many were dangerous fighters and accomplished tacticians.
Tundra's own gaze fell on a small bundle of blankets in the queen's arms. No children had lived on Frieza 037 ever since Frieza's birth, and Koruudo had not allowed children on the planet ever since; no rivals for his youngest son except for Tundra.
She returned back to the present as Koruudo swept out, Vegeta by his side, Koola and Frieza following. Tundra was left with Kitara in the gigantic throne room. Apparently Koruudo did not view the Queen as being his equal, no matter what the Saiya-jin believed.
'I don't trust him.' The changeling jerked her head up at this statement.
'If it helps, I've never trusted him. He doesn't trust me either. We have a special understanding.'
This earned her a relieved smile as the Saiya-jin queen relaxed, though she still held the bundle of blankets close. 'The fact you were able to bring your child here is proof that Koruudo's acting different than normal.'
'He didn't have much of a choice. I gave birth during the negotiations and Vegeta didn't want me to remain behind alone on Vegeta-sei.' Kitara was refreshingly frank, an intelligence and character she had never encountered before.
The two females left the throne room and walked through the corridors to the guest quarters. It was more than obvious to Tundra that Vegeta adored Kitara, especially if he had been able to convince Koruudo to let his family stay on the planet with him. Staring out at the surface of the ice world from her quarters, Kitara hugged her child close to her, Tundra standing beside her. A tiny cry uttered from the bundle of blankets, prompting the changeling to look at the baby.
Kitara pulled the blankets apart and hugged the child before sitting down on the bed with her son in her arms. The baby Saiya-jin surprised Tundra. He looked like a chibi image of his father; a dark mass of spiked hair standing straight up from his tiny head. She could clearly sense his ki. Even for the child of a Saiya-jin, the prince had an astonishingly high ki level, almost half as high as Frieza's had been when he was born.
The queen kissed her son on the forehead and carefully handed him over to Tundra. The baby squirmed slightly in the stranger's arms before opening his eyes and staring straight up at the changeling. She was amazed to find herself unnerved by the directness of his gaze. It was as if the baby had sensed his mother's distrust of Koruudo and was trying to exact his revenge on her. The dark eyes closed again as Kitara took him back from her and placed him into the crib at the foot of the bed, gently stroking his black hair.
Tundra moved to stand beside the crib; carefully taking one of the baby's tiny hands and feeling the minute fingers close around her thumb. 'He looks just like his father.'
'He's just as stubborn as his father, that much is certain. Same looks, same personality, even the same name.'
'So this is the Prince Vegeta?'
'It was a vow my husband made when we were married; our firstborn son would be named after him and our home planet. Saiya-jin ego.'
'Better a Saiya-jin ego than Koruudo's or Koola's egos. You're lucky to have someone who cares about you and your son so much. I have no-one except Frieza, and even then he cares more about being the ultimate warrior than he does about me.'
She stared down at the Saiya-jin prince, her feelings of loss drowning her as the baby squeezed her thumb in his sleep.
He was a fighter first and foremost, but he still had a highly juvenile habit of ending up in fits of jealousy.
Especially after what he had seen.
He already disliked the Saiya-jin, but seeing Tundra being so courteous towards the queen had served to increase his loathing of the mercenaries. And then, seeing her holding King Vegeta's son…
The anger and jealousy coursed through him. Frieza span round and started taking out his frustration on the training area. Sparks of ki flew out from his body in every conceivable direction, slamming into the walls, ceiling and floor. He tightened his fists and screamed in rage as a purple aura surrounded his body, causing the fallen masonry to whirl into a hurricane of metal and mortar.
Outside the dojo, Tundra sensed his rapidly increasing ki. She didn't even need to guess why the prince was so angry. Well, it was his own problem if he couldn't be civil to Vegeta and Kitara.
Koruudo and the Saiya-jin king were still in discussions regarding the space forces. Koola had left on a mission the previous morning with no indication of when he would be back. With no-one left to irritate, she had spent most of her time with Kitara and Prince Vegeta, both of whom were as bored as she was. They had actually become good friends, and despite having given birth only three months ago, the Saiya-jin female was an impressive fighter, although she was still significantly weaker than her changeling opponent. They often trained together in the dojo while little Vegeta sat and occasionally slept on the sidelines. Mostly he watched in fascination as his mother and the other female exchanged various ki blasts.
The noise inside of the dojo stopped abruptly as Frieza managed to regain control of his rage. She took that opportunity to leave; she didn't want him to know she had been listening to his tantrum. She felt his ki drop back to normal as she walked away towards the Queen's quarters.
Standing in a pile of rubble, the changeling prince took several deep breaths, trying to get air back into his exhausted body. Turning and striding out of the dojo towards the sleeping quarters, Frieza smouldered in anger and disgust. Tundra was too polite for her own good. Being kind, even amiable…towards a Saiya-jin…
The mere idea nauseated him. They were Koruudo's subordinates; she was the highest ranked female in the Koruudo Empire. What the hell did they have in common?
A noise from the guest quarters interrupted his reverie. He silently peered into the room and was once again revolted by what he saw.
The Saiya-jin queen was leaning against the window frame while in front of her on the desk, a communications monitor was activated. One of the royal advisors on Vegeta-sei was sending updates of military progress and the financial expenditure of the army. This was nothing unusual though. Since the king was still finalising the trade agreement with Koruudo, Kitara was temporarily in sole command of the Saiya-jin Empire. What truly disgusted the changeling prince was the sight a few feet away from the Queen.
Tundra was standing beside the crib at the foot of the bed, keeping watch over the prince while his mother was occupied elsewhere.
As Frieza watched them, the baby started to cry out for attention. The changeling female carefully lifted the child out of the crib and held him against her shoulder, slowly rocking him back and forth until his cries subsided. Satisfied that there was nothing else aggravating the baby, Tundra placed him back in the crib and tucked the blankets around him. She gently rubbed his stomach until the little Saiya-jin's eyes drooped shut and he sighed in his sleep. The foot-long furry brown tail twitched occasionally beside him as he rested, a strange contrast to his rigid jet-black hair.
Ending her communiqué with her advisor, Kitara crossed over to the crib, standing beside Tundra as they watched the tiny prince sleep. The two females both conversed in low voices, not wishing to disturb the baby. Trying to control his ki, Frieza left as quietly as possible.
Only when he reached his quarters did he let out a howl of rage. She was treating that…thing like…it was her own child. Protecting it like a mother. Like it meant something to her.
Maybe even more than he meant to her.
He stared blankly out of the window of his sleeping quarters, staring straight past the view of the icecaps outside. Somewhere inside of him, he allowed a small part of his long-hidden grief to finally emerge.
The misogynistic tendencies of the changeling race meant that the royal family had never had a queen. However, it was also illegal for any changeling to be born outside of the family unit; his mother and Koruudo had been enjoined, but the only times Koruudo had ever shown his mate anything resembling affection were when she had produced him his heirs. His mother had raised both Frieza and Koola until the age of four, and then they had been taken away and raised by Koruudo. Tundra had started their training when they were both five years old, meaning to finish when they were eighteen, but after Koola had been beaten for answering back to his sensei, his training had halted immediately and Frieza's training had been prioritised.
Many of his earliest memories were of his life with his brother and father, but if he searched back long enough, he could vaguely remember his mother. The main characteristics he remembered about her were her strength and love. She was a great warrioress, fiercely devoted to her two sons, but she had detested the king; her bitterness towards her mate turning to pure hatred after Koola was taken away from her. After her first loss, she had turned all of her attention to her youngest son, protecting him and raising him to be a fighter. But after the king had intervened a second time, she had disappeared forever. Tundra now existed in his mother's place.
It still hurt too much to remember her. Some things were just better left buried.
His mind was now drawn back to the earlier encounter.
The baby Saiya-jin in Tundra's arms…Vegeta, that was his name. Named after his father and thus his homeworld. King Vegeta often spoke of his son during the negotiations. From what he had heard, it was clear that the monkey king was intensely proud of his baby boy. Born with a high potential ki level, the prince was destined to be a warrior, to rule over his people with no possible equal. Vegeta believed his child to have the potential to be a Super Saiya-jin, whatever that was. He didn't like the sound of it though.
That baby in his sensei's arms had the potential to rival even him, even without following an idiotic prophecy. However…
Control of the Saiya-jin Empire was now officially held by Koruudo. By passing his consent to rule over to the changeling monarch, King Vegeta had just signed away most of his authority over the mercenaries, until he was left with merely ceremonial powers. It had been decided in the final stage of the treaty that Frieza would have ultimate control over the entire race when he entered his eighteenth year. Until then, he would have jurisdiction over the Saiya-jin, but he would still be subordinate to his father.
A small, malicious smile spread slowly over the changeling's face as he remembered some of the more choice terms of the treaty. It was a trade agreement after all; therefore the Saiya-jin would need to trade something back to the Koruudo Empire.
And he had just decided what the Saiya-jin king would be required to sacrifice.
The explosion rang out beneath his…feet? Once perhaps, but where his legs and most of his torso had once been, there now existed a maze of bio-organic circuitry and dense, dull grey amicite metal. His right arm also consisted of the artificial matrix, while half his face was encased in black micro-fibrous flesh and light refracting LED particles. His brain was now part organic/positronic and sub-nucleic matrix, which channelled detailed information about rival ki powers to the rest of his part robotic body.
He had fired a death ball into the planet…some idiotically simple name…Earth, that was it. But somehow that boy… not only had he managed to catch the gigantic sphere, but he had also been able to deflect it from the planet's surface. Firing a small charge, he had detonated the oversized red bomb. The resulting explosion had enveloped the teenager, but somehow the boy had survived yet again and had aimed an attack right at him and his father.
The boy had claimed to be a Super Saiya-jin. Such idiocy was too sweet and too rare in the universe. He had only ever seen one, the youngest son of the radical Bardock. The boy couldn't be a Saiya-jin. All of them bar Prince Vegeta, Nappa, Raditz and Kakarott had been exterminated over twenty years ago. Counting Kakarott's, or rather, Son Goku's, half-human son, there were only five Saiya-jin left. One thing was certain; the Saiya-jin, if that was what he claimed to be, was an excellent fighter. He would be exterminated fast.
He swung his head around and upwards at the sound of the war cry. The boy…he was in the air above him, his sword drawn and an expression of rage and justice on his too-familiar face. The changeling was paralysed as the teenager bore down on him.
The blade sliced through his flesh and metal body with sickening ease. The sensation…it was pure…pure, agonising, screaming pain.
That face…those merciless green eyes…they were worryingly familiar… As his body was split in half by the boy's sword, his last remaining thoughts were of Vegeta…
For that boy…was his son.
He woke with a start, shaken by the intensity of the nightmare, and was deeply relieved to find his body still in one piece. Outside the window of his sleeping quarters, Vegeta-sei revolved slowly on its axis.
He had been in complete control of the Saiya-jin for over five years now, and at the age of twenty, Frieza was a dangerously powerful fighter, honed to perfection with the help of his sensei. The training with Tundra had ended two years previously, with him becoming over ten times stronger in his primary form than his sensei could ever be in her final form.
Tundra had been assigned as an advisor on Vegeta-sei for the past two years. After the training with Frieza had ended, her role as his sensei had ended too. She was now in charge of medical facilities on the Saiya-jin homeworld; he had believed it to be suitable for a female, especially for one who had cared more about Prince Vegeta than she did about him. It was one of the various petty ways he exacted revenge on the Saiya-jin for taking Tundra away from him.
He still cared about her though.
Still yearned for her approval of his every move.
Still needed to know she was proud of him.
Still needed to know she loved him.
Her post as Head of Medical Facilities on Vegeta-sei kept her busy. Every day, warriors from the farthest corners of the Koruudo Empire returned from battle, bloodied and beaten. Several hundred catalogues of injuries existed for the low-level soldiers alone. Medics worked around the clock repairing and rebuilding the isolation chambers in the medicine bays in barracks planet-wide.
Busy but utterly boring was how Tundra would have described her work. A desk job was no life for a warrioress, especially not the former sensei of Frieza. The Saiya-jin treated her with great respect and vice versa, but since they knew how she and Frieza were connected…
The examination of the facilities took her past the maternity ward and viewing room. She always loved this area, but she couldn't help but grieve every time she walked past. Queen Kitara had died in here two years ago; an unforeseen complication during labour had resulted in her passing away before she had even seen her child. To make the pain for the King even worse, the baby girl had been stillborn; it had been choked by a loop of the umbilical cord during the fifth month. They had decided to tell the prince of his loss, and Vegeta had never asked about his mother since.
The sight of the newborn babies always made her forget her grief though. They amazed her, just as Vegeta had done when he was younger. Calling up a list of names and stats, she quickly linked each name up with its owner.
The viewing room was mainly empty; only six babies had been born in the previous week. The three Saiya-jin in front; Aprii, Kaliflo and Turnii, all slept peacefully. Behind them, two of the babies rested comfortably, but only Nectu was oblivious to the cries of the baby in the middle. The Saiya-jin boy, a black-haired chubby little thing, screamed desperately, awakening his crib-mate in the cot next to him. The smaller child watched the bawling one with a look of fear on his tiny face. His features scrunched up into a traumatised howl as the former continued to cry.
She called up their names and stats. The smaller child was known as Brolli, but his ki level…there had to be a mistake. According to this, he was more powerful as a newborn than Prince Vegeta was presently as a child.
She tapped her scouter to register the baby's ki level. 1,542
She could only speculate what would happen to this little one. King Vegeta wouldn't want any rivals to his son to exist, especially if they were from a third-class background.
The stats on the other child beeped before her.
D.O.B: 233/497, Year 737
Place of birth: Tarsus sub-continent, Vegeta-sei
Mother: Celari (deceased)
Ki level: 2
Hardly impressive stats, but somehow that name was significant. She wasn't sure how, but that baby was a great deal more powerful than his ki level stated.
An immense ki signal approaching down the hallway attracted her attention. A Saiya-jin male was sprinting down the corridor towards the viewing room. Clad in battered black armour with a blood-red bandanna tied around his forehead, his face was instantly recognisable.
Third-class Commander Bardock, Kakarott's father.
The two Saiya-jin were identical, right down to their messy jet-black hairstyles. Tundra backed away slightly as Bardock halted outside the viewing room, scanning for his son. Spotting the child, he tapped the scouter mounted to his face. His expression was one of disgust as he registered his son's minute ki level. He muttered something under his breath, and then took off back up the corridor.
She bit her lower lip as she watched Bardock sprint away. He was normally quite courteous towards her; something serious must have happened in order to make him ignore her. The changeling moved back to the window and stared down at the babies. Her gaze moved over the tiny Saiya-jin until it rested on Kakarott. She felt a chill run down her back as she watched the baby cry.
His father's agitation had something to do with Frieza.
Vegeta had been shipped off to Meat with Nappa the previous day; they wouldn't know of the cataclysm until it was too late. Raditz, Bardock's eldest son, was busy on Turusu, but being a low-level soldier, he was nothing to worry about. Zarbon and Dodoria had confirmed the attack as having originated from Vegeta-sei, serving to strengthen his misgivings towards the Saiya-jin. Over the past two years the mercenaries had fast become pests, and like all pests, they needed to be exterminated.
His intense dislike of the Saiya-jin was the main reason for contemplating mass murder, but to an equally great extent, the legend of the Super Saiya-jin…
Vegeta and that radical Bardock were too dangerously powerful. Admittedly King Vegeta had been killed remarkably easily, but the other two both had the potential to become Super Saiya-jin, something he had always tried to prevent happening. It would be relatively easy to destroy the planet, but there was still the matter of one person.
During the past two years, his sensei had increased her work with the mercenaries, working mainly with the soldiers and newborns. She commanded an remarkable amount of respect from the Saiya-jin, respect they did not bestow on him. Because of this, she returned the warriors' admiration and treated them with great courtesy. She was now too much of a liability; he could not be sure if she still retained her loyalty towards him. Now, unless she proved otherwise, she would be destroyed along with the Saiya-jin.
She thanked the gods that they had bestowed her race with the ability to breathe without oxygen as she sped through the atmosphere. As soon as she had heard of the rebellion, she had ordered the rest of the babies to be shipped out before leaving the planet to find the rogue Saiya-jin. He had little idea that Frieza had the power to destroy Vegeta-sei, and would most likely attack as soon as Bardock appeared before him.
She just prayed she could reach the rogue warrior before Frieza committed genocide.
She flew towards a dense cluster of footsoldiers gathered near Frieza's ship. Many of the assembled troops were from other races, but scattered here and there were Saiya-jin troops. Locating her target, she descended towards the leader of the rebellion. Sensing her approach, Bardock immediately powered up a ball of ki and aimed it towards her, powering down as soon as he saw who it was.
'My son is safe?'
'He was shipped off the planet a couple of hours ago. You have to let me talk to Frieza.'
'Why should I, changeling?'
'Because if I can't reach him, no one can. Please, Bardock.'
Scrutinising the female, Bardock nodded and turned towards the ship. 'Frieza, show yourself! We're not scared of you any more!'
The hatch atop the ship opened and inside a travel pod, the dictator of the Saiya-jin emerged. Bardock smirked as he recognised the form. 'That's it. Face the music…'
He looked back towards the troops massed behind him.' Don't be afraid of him men. I'd rather be a free man in my grave, than living as his puppet, or his slave.'
The changeling prince spotted his sensei among the assembled throng. He reached out and spoke to her telepathically.
/Why are you here?/
/Frieza, don't do this. It's genocide; I didn't train you to be a killer./
Beside her, Bardock started to charge up a ki ball and levelled it at the changeling prince. 'C'mon…'
She glared at him. 'Would you shut up?' Turning back to Frieza, she spoke again.
/You were trained to be a warrior, not an instrument of destruction./
/The Saiya-jin are a liability. They're pests…/
Bardock took the opportunity to attack before Frieza could retaliate, and threw the ki ball at him. Spotting the pathetic attack coming towards him, the changeling laughed maniacally and raised a hand. A death ball appeared at the tip of his finger, growing to insane proportions. Bardock's attack was harmlessly absorbed as the red and orange sphere grew in size. He gasped at the sight. 'No way!'
/…And pests have to be destroyed./
The ki ball left his hand and slowly burned a path towards Vegeta-sei, decimating the troops. Tundra's flesh burned as the death ball hit her, Bardock and the other troops. The warrior's body was weaker than hers and would be destroyed much faster. Being significantly weakened by this attack, the eventual explosion of the Saiya-jin homeworld would be more than enough to kill her. She managed not to scream as she heard Bardock's last words before he was burnt to dust before her eyes.
Her skin bubbled and melted away from her body as the death ball impacted on Vegeta-sei. With her last few agonising moments of life, she directed her thoughts towards the malicious being in the travel pod above the dying planet.
/…Your pride will be your downfall…What you have…done to this race will…never be forgotten…You are no longer part of me…and I…am no longer…part…of…you…/
As Vegeta-sei exploded hideously into a ball of rock and magma, Frieza continued to laugh insanely, watching the destruction of Saiya-jin race unfold before his eyes. The pod moved out of the debris, heading back to the ship. He scanned over the remains of the planet and finally looked away as he spotted the burnt remains of Tundra's body.
'Three millennia ago, the ultimate fighter was born.
A warrior so great that his ki was unrivalled in this universe, and unrivalled by any of our race.
Three millennia ago, a Super Saiya-jin was born.
Even as an Oozaru his ki was uncontrollable, eventually destroying him and the mighty Saiya-jin homeworld.
This power still exists through our mighty race, and one day, a new Super Saiya-jin will be born.
He will harness those unfathomable powers, and he will take his revenge for the damage done to our people by the evil ones, the shifters who sought to destroy us.
He will lead our race to a new beginning, and throughout the four galaxies, the Saiya-jin race will once again be recognised as the most powerful force ever known in this universe…'
Oran's Prophecy of the Super Saiya-jin, circa P.D. 258
Somewhere inside of him, Koruudo Frieza's grief was left to emerge one final time.