Namek Saga - Part Six: Cinderella Man
"Well, it's been a long time, hasn't it, Dodoria?"
Clutching his head, the armored soldier known as Dodoria turned around, curious to see just who it was that even dared to mock him. The blob was in no mood for fun and games...people had continued to ruin his plans for far too long this day.
"Hey, who did that!?" yelled the spike-covered creature, a vein making its way to the front of his forehead. The fact that someone had the nerve to creep up and pull a sneak attack on him like that was ridiculous, and they would pay.
"Hahaha, you don't remember me?" the voice laughed in a sinister tone that carried over the small wasteland.
The blob's eyes showed a mix of anger and confusion. "Remember? The only thing I'm going to remember about you is that you chose to sneak up on the mighty Dodoria!"
More laughter from the stranger, wherever he was. "Mighty? There's nothing mighty about being a coward, Dodoria."
Suddenly, something moved in the corner of Dodoria's eye. He may not have been the most athletic or fit looking specimen, but he had extraordinary vision - such talents were heavy in each member of his race.
"Come out, come out, wherever you are! I'm not joking!" yelled Dodoria, lifting his arm up. Snarling, the beast's spike-covered hand began to radiate blue as an energy blast formed in his palm. Dodoria shifted his head right to left, desperately trying to find the idiot who had thought the idea of playing tricks on him was smart.
What Dodoria wasn't expecting, however, was the so-called 'idiot' not to be in either direction. Rather, the mysterious stranger was in the sky, desperately rushing towards Dodoria with speed unrivaled in the galaxy. Poor Dodoria - even if he had a working scouter above on his face, he still wouldn't have been able to detect what was about to happen.
Having been one of Lord Frieza's elites for many years, it seemed that no one had gotten the upper hand on Dodoria in forever. How could they have? The last time Dodoria had even gotten himself into a real 'fight' was twenty-five or so years ago, back when he had crushed the insubordinate Saiyan monkeys on a far off planet.
This time, however, things were much different.
"Ugh!" Dodoria hacked, crumbling to his knees loudly. The armored soldier, breathing rapidly as a result of the severity of the hit, involuntarily spat purple blood onto the blue grass that he laid above. A bead of sweat sprinted down Dodoria's face, making its way to the extended tongue dangling from the blob's mouth.
"As I was saying...it's been a long time, hasn't it, Dodoria?"
There was that voice again. It was one thing to mess with and attempt to intimidate him, but once you dared to lay a hand on him, that was when one crossed the line, Dodoria felt. Granted, his heart was black, vile, and evil, so whether he truly had an understanding of the term crossing the line was debatable.
After all, this was someone who murdered, pillaged, and raped for a living, so it was hypocritical for Dodoria to even think of what this stranger was doing as 'over the line.' But, there was no time for the bubble gum-colored alien to dwell on this; he had to discover who had dared to insult and attack the mighty, powerful, Dodoria-
"You've had your head bowed for about a minute or so now, and I haven't chosen to blast a hole in it…yet. Now, look at me, and tell me if you recognize me," the voice demanded, loud and boisterously. It may have been extremely warm on Namek, but that didn't stop Dodoria from shivering as if he were in a blizzard.
But, it wasn't the temperature that made Dodoria shiver. It actually was the fact of the matter that someone, amazingly, had the stones and the guts to insult - let alone threaten and attack - him.
The behemoth that was Dodoria finally raised his head, swallowing to prevent another chunk of blood being ejected from his mouth. Slowly, the pudgy soldier's deceitful, onyx eyes traveled upwards until they made contact with the apparent attacker: the stranger who had dared to lay a finger, or in this case, fist, On him.
Something seemed...familiar, about the man standing in front of Dodoria. Dressed in a blue fighting outfit with a green undershirt beneath, a look of terror and hatred resided on this warrior's (at least, Dodoria assumed he was a warrior, judging by his attire and his chiseled muscles) face. Carbon black, palm tree-like hair sat on his head, while an embedded X-shaped scar, appearing as if it had been there for decades, struck a level of intimidation into the fat blob.
Above his fierce onyx eyes was a headband, crimson to the point where one would think it had been colored red solely from blood. Black armbands, appearing to be a bit tight, lined the man's arms. In the back of Dodoria's mind, he could feel that something was familiar. What it was, Dodoria had no idea.
"You're giving me a blank look," the man in blue pointed out, a small smirk coming to his face. What bothered Dodoria the most was this smirk...it wasn't a playful one, but one of cockiness, almost as if the blue-attired man was better than he, Dodoria! "If I didn't know any better, I'd guess that you had no idea who I was."
Now, it was Dodoria's face that displayed a smirk - a sly one at that. "I'll admit, you do look familiar, but I can't place the name." A laugh bellowed from the spike-filled man. "That doesn't mean, however, that I'm going to give you the pass for sneaking up on me. You're going to wish you had minded your damn business, fool."
The stranger in blue grinned, then faded out of sight.
"W-what? Where'd you go?" orally exclaimed Dodoria, blinking to make sure his eyes weren't deceiving him. Whoever this stranger adorned in blue happened to be, he sure was succeeding in irritating and getting the best of Dodoria. Now, Dodoria would never admit this out loud, of course, as the PTO general had too much pride to risk.
After waiting a couple of seconds to see if the stranger would reappear, Dodoria was confused to realize that his adversary was gone, seemingly never to come back. The mysterious man had completely disappeared; it was almost as if he had never been there to begin with.
"Weird," the vulgar commander muttered, bringing his fat finger to the emerald-colored scouter over his eye. Just because he couldn't find him didn't mean that his handy, dandy, scouter couldn't!
In this scenario, his Lord Frieza would surely have preached - well, really ordered - patience, but that was a virtue Dodoria lacked. "Come on!"
When the scouter found nothing, a sigh of disbelief and frustration escaped the soldier. Dodoria's terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day seemed to just keep getting worse and worse, sadly. "I just don't get how someone could vanish like that...it was like he used some damn magic. But who was he? That guy wasn't Namekian. If anything, he looked like a-"
"A what, Dodoria?" the man in blue asked, driving his fist right into Dodoria's solar plexus, ending the blob's thought process. Whoever this stranger was, there was no denying that he was fast. It was unreal how quickly the blue-covered being had appeared in front of Dodoria; he had moved quickly enough that the blob couldn't even defend himself from the oncoming attack.
As the two made eye contact once more, fresh, blood-filled saliva dripped from Dodoria's mouth. Smirking, the man in blue twisted his outstretched fist, causing more agony to come to Dodoria. "A Saiyan? Was that what you were going to say!?" the mysterious man suddenly screamed, clenching the fist that wasn't now buried in Dodoria's chest.
Dodoria feebly nodded, humiliated by how easy it was for the man in blue to detain him. With a loud grunt, the blue-man brought one fist forward, unclenched it back into a palm, brought it to Dodoria's chest, and sent him to the ground with an explosive Kiai.
"Of course you'd think that," the man laughed, tightening the red sash around his gi. "Now," he continued, as Dodoria slowly got up off the ground again, writhing in pain. "I may as well tell you who I am.
Time seemed to freeze momentarily as Dodoria awaited learning the name of his opponent. The man in blue took a step forward, crossed his arms, and spoke:
"Hello. My name is Bardock. You killed my Saiyan comrades. Prepare to die."
Far off from the site where Dodoria and Bardock clashed, two streaks lined the sky at speeds faster than the human eye could detect. His arms pressed forward, Tien Shinhan exhaled, the signs of stress that had appeared on his face disappearing.
After it appeared that the horrific nightmare that was Dodoria seemed ready to feast upon his prey, that being Tien, Gohan, and the Namek boy that they had rescued from the village - all of whom were on the verge of being captured and probably killed - they luckily ended up being saved by Bardock; without him suddenly appearing in the sky above them, those running away would have been killed immediately.
Thank God for that, Tien thought, the third eye on his forehead closing. The past forty-five minutes or so had been eventful for the triclops because, by all means, the bald earthling shouldn't have been alive.
Not only had they been able to sneak into a Namekian village where that demon, Frieza, had ended up being, they had been witness to savage ways of brutality and torture. It had been difficult for the former Crane School student to keep himself composed, having been forced to watch innocent Namekian children have their heads severed and the warriors cut in half by the blob, Dodoria's, power.
While they watched, unable to divert their eyes from the show of horror below, the triclops lay on his chest, inching to find a position not of comfort, but protection. Every second that he watched the massacre unfolded, Tien prayed that Frieza and his goons wouldn't discover that he and Gohan were hiding.
Gohan...it had been the young half-Saiyan that had both saved them and propelled them into trouble at the same time. When Frieza and his lackeys murdered a child who had wandered out, completely unaware of the fact his brethren were in the next dimension, that was the straw that broke the camel's back for young Gohan.
As had happened several times before, Gohan snapped when he had gotten too angry, any chance of self-control gone and thrown out the window. Tien Shinhan had done all that he could to keep the son of his best friend calm, but it had failed once the burning, bloody corpse of an innocent Namekian child fell to the blue grass below.
His eyes going completely white for a split second, Gohan had ended up saving a couple of the Namekians by letting his hidden power and his anger take over; the boy shot right at the spike-covered creature, hitting him square in the head and forcing the alien to the ground in the process.
Then was when the problems truly started…
"Stop it!" cried Gohan, stepping in front of the Namekians - the living ones, that is. The hatred and fury radiating from the small boy, one would not have imagined would be possible from a child that was only five years old.
"Damn it, Gohan!" Tien muttered, landing beside the boy. "What'd you have to go and do that for?"
It was then that Tien flinched, the stench of death hitting his nostrils head on. The Namekians may have been of a different species and different genetic makeups, but the cruel smell that radiated from them was the same of an earthling; wherever you went, death remained the same.
Severed heads of Namekian children lined the blue grass. Burnt, crisp bodies of elders leaned against the white buildings they called home. One Namekian warrior, who had been bold enough to take on three of Frieza's soldiers at once, had his body sliced in two, his Namekian entrails surrounding his rapidly rotting body. Tien and Gohan both resisted the urge to puke, although it was becoming increasingly more difficult by the second.
Tien couldn't count the death total in this village, but he assumed it was in the twenties or so based on the bodies he had seen. There remained only four living Namekians - two children, a warrior who had been wounded, and an elderly Namekian, one who was older than the rest, but still not as old as Kami.
The Namekians behind Gohan stopped shaking, slowly realizing that for the time being, they were safe, all thanks to the mysterious orange-clothed boy. For a split second, the green creatures were able to forget about their fallen comrades, it seemed. One of them, the oldest and probably the village elder, opened his mouth to speak, but no words would come out.
"Hey," Gohan said without turning to look at the Namekians, instead directing his eyes at the stunned soldiers in front of him. "If I were you guys, I'd get out of here. This is way too unsafe."
He's just like his father, thought Tien, taking note of the shocking similarities between father and son.
CLAP! CLAP! CLAP!
Tien's silent thinking, along with the Namekian's attempts to thank Gohan, were interrupted by the sound of applause. Loud applause. The monster in the chair that was Frieza pressed his hands together so loudly, one would have thought that he was at a performance.
"Ah, what do we have here?" the demon questioned, grinning like a Cheshire cat. "I may be wrong, and by all means correct me if I am, but it seems that we have some meddlesome troublemakers!"
"Well, that's one way to put it," remarked Tien, the three eyes on his head glaring intently at the horned beast. On the inside, Tien felt a heavy sense of fear standing in front of the 'almighty Lord Frieza' - it was impossible not to - but the triclops did his best to remain stoic and calm, for his sake and for Gohan's.
For a second, Frieza closed his eyes, seemingly thinking something over. "You and the boy, you're not Namekians."
"Actually, I am. Just a lighter skinned version of one - an albino, if you will," Tien sarcastically shot back, his blood slowly beginning to boil at the sight of Frieza.
Frieza chuckled, his red eyes showing amusement. "Funny. The three eyes you possess would make you a triclops, but the boy...what is he?"
Gohan and Tien both froze, each realizing that if Frieza were to find out Gohan was a Saiyan, there'd be big trouble for the two. "That's none of your damn business!" Tien growled, stepping in front of Gohan. "All you need to know is that this boy is an amazing kid, and you won't lay a hand on him!"
Frieza's eyebrow slowly shot up. "Protective, are you?"A quiet roar sounded from Gohan, and his tail - that had been tied around his waist - sprung to the sky, wagging around quickly.
"T-that's a tail!" a teal-skinned man screamed, distaste showing on his face as his eyes widened to the size of saucers. Judging by his proximity to Frieza and his cape, Tien deduced that this man must've been the tyrant's second in command.
"Yes, it is, Zarbon. The child appears to be a...Saiyan." Frieza's eyes grew big as well; the Arcosian seemed intrigued at the brown appendage the boy possessed. The rest of Frieza's man gasped, evidently amazed that there was another Saiyan out there.
Tien cursed internally as his face turned red, angry that Frieza had been able to deduce their secret so quickly. The triclops quietly put a hand behind him, inching closer to protect Gohan.
"Well now, I thought that the Saiyan race was extinct," Frieza mused, turning his head to his subordinate. "Zarbon, do you remember the longhaired weakling that was always with our friend, Vegeta? The, how did they phrase it, 'grunt'?" Frieza queried, met with a quick nod by Zarbon. "Would you mind telling me what his name was? I seem to have forgotten it."
Zarbon pressed his lips together, as if he had to think very hard to remember the name of the Saiyan warrior. "Raditz, my lord."
"Raditz...yes," Frieza murmured, closing his eyes briefly. "He resembles Raditz, does he not? Perhaps this is his offspring."
"He does, my lord," came the laughing reply from Zarbon. "I just wonder who would be so stupid as to mate with a weakling like Raditz."
Frieza smirked at the quiet growl he heard from Gohan. "So, you are Raditz's son. Well, I hope that you're familiar with an old proverb - the sins of the father shall be bestowed upon the son." Frieza stopped to see Gohan's reaction. To the Arcosian's dismay, there were no signs that the boy would attack. "My boy, your father was not a nice man, so it is only fair that you suffer for the problems that he caused-"
"I'm going to have to stop you right there," Tien cut in, stepping in front of Gohan once more. "Sins of the father? Really? He's not even Raditz's kid!"
"Ah, but you know of this Raditz. I admit, there's a small piece of me that applauds this selfless act. Not only do you defend the boy, you also had the nerves to attack my incompetent commander, Dodoria," now, Frieza glared at the sprawled out Dodoria, who currently was in the side of a Namekian household, "and that's not forgetting you even risked your life to save some worthless Namekians...that was very noble of you. It's a damn shame, however, that nobility is sorely overrated."
Tien shuddered, finally letting fear take over; this was the destroyer of worlds and self-proclaimed emperor of the universe that spoke down to him, after all. "You know about nobility? Shocking."
Another laugh from Frieza, who clasped his hands tightly on the edge of his….what was that? To Tien, the vehicle that Frieza sat in was almost like a bubble car. "Ah, a comedian! You know, now that I think about it, I need a comedian to come along with me, keep me entertained if I ever get bored with being immortal."
"This weakling as a comedian?" the blue-skinned alien - Zarbon - said, grinning. "He's too ugly!"
Gohan! Tien yelled telepathically, attempting to get the attention of his comrade. Having started to master telepathy by now, there was no look of shock on Gohan's face. To Tien's satisfaction, he boy kept the same glare he had shot at Frieza. Tell the Namekians telepathically to go somewhere that they know is safe!
Right! Gohan said back. His voice told Tien that he understood the goal perfectly, which pleased Tien greatly.
"Zarbon, my friend, if he has the ability to be a wonderful comedian, then perhaps looks do not truly matter," lectured Frieza, enjoying this entire scene in front of him. In his eyes, there was nothing more satisfying than toying with people before destroying them. In this case, it was Tien Shinhan who would meet that fate. "After all, Captain Ginyu is a horrifically designed creature, but he gets the job done."
"If we can, I'd like to stop talking about this 'Ginyu' person and my looks," said Tien indifferently, crossing his arms. "What's the point in talking about all of this?"
Behind Tien, the Namekians' shock-filled faces displayed even more surprise, something Tien saw from the corner of his eye. Tien figured Gohan had just spoken to them via telepathy and they had received the young child's message. He's a smart kid, the triclops said to himself, still somewhat amazed that this was the offspring of Son Goku.
"I'd be willing to forget this act of stupidity and give you a job as a comedian. You would travel around with me across the galaxy, meeting other cultures and proving yourself as a man of humor! What do you think?" Frieza questioned, suppressing a laugh. Even the Arcosian knew how pitiful the bold Earthling would be as a jester in his court.
Tien smirked as he sensed the energy levels of the Namekians start to rise. After what seemed like an hour, they were getting ready to leave this village. "Honestly?"
"I do not have time for games, good sir," Frieza said, the kindness in his tone momentarily disappearing. "Please, tell me what you think about becoming a comedian for me!"
"I think that you should look up there."
"Look up where?" Frieza and Zarbon said at the same time, their eyes moving to the green sky above. Frieza looked confused, which was rare - all that he was able to see in the sky were space birds and other animals that were getting out of there.
In one sudden movement, the four Namekians that remained alive took off, a white-colored aura surrounding them. So alarmed by the trick was Frieza that the playful look that resided on his face the entire time had vanished, replaced by one of anger.
"This was a ruse? You'll pay for that!" Frieza snarled, his white hands balling tightly into closed fists. "Make them pay, boys!"
"Hey, stop them!" one of Frieza's soldiers yelled. While the majority of Frieza's lackeys and grunts readied themselves to attack Tien and Gohan, it was Frieza himself who lazily lifted an index finger, a smirk returning to his sinister, jovial face..
"Your time is over!" proclaimed the tyrant, a purple-colored beam firing from his finger. Faster than the eye could see, the attack was on its way to the Namekians flying away from the village at mach speed. Frieza's plan was simple - kill one, make the others stunned by the death of their comrade, and brutally eliminate the rest for trying to get one over on him.
Even from a distance, Tien Shinhan could hear Frieza's attack go straight through one of the Namek children's legs. Any momentum that the green-skinned child had been halted, the flight pattern destroyed...along with part of his leg.
"DENDE!" cried the elder as the boy began falling to the earth, screaming and wailing as if death were approaching.
Hence why the Namekian known as Dende was screaming and wailing.
Just as Frieza predicted, the three other Namekians stopped short, their faces contorting into ones of horror; the shock rushing through the body of Namek's people was enough to keep them from rushing to Dende's aid. With his fellow Namekians stunned, Dende continued falling to the ground.
"Gohan, quick, grab the boy!" ordered Tien, raising his voice the way a father would to his son. Gohan loyally complied, jumping into the air with superhuman speed. Frieza's men, seeing their target enter their peripheral vision and line of aim, ready to fire at the orange-clad attacker.
Tien Shinhan, however, wasn't going to allow that. Not after he had allowed Chiaotzu to die on Earth, and not after he had established a strong relationship with Son Gohan.
As long as Gohan and the Namekians get away, that's all that matters, Tien thought to himself, fully aware of how important this mission was. If the triclops were to fail, but Gohan and the Namekians succeeded, then Tien could live with the consequence - death.
Keeping the fingers on each hand together, a vein made its way to the forefront of Tien's head as the bald fighter created a diamond shape with his hands, overlapping the index finger on the one hand with the pinky of the other hand, and finally creating bright-colored energy between his palms.
"CRANE TRI BEAM!" loudly shouted the triclops. As soon as their scouters detected the massive threat headed their way, Frieza's lackeys hit the ground quickly, desperate to avoid Tien's energy waves. They may have been just normal soldiers, but even a bird would have been able to realize that these energy attacks were dangerous. In fact, those that weren't able to avoid it in time were sliced by the attack - vertically, horizontally, or both.
"Move out of the way!" a crimson-colored soldier of Frieza's screamed before his body was vertically bisected brutally, two sides of his frame falling to the blue grass. The living soldiers could see his enormous brain leaking fluid, his face trapped in a moment of fear and horror as his life was quickly taken from him.
Another soldier, one with an elongated head, thought he felt a breeze in the back of his head. Turning his eyes back, the lackey was horrified to find part of his head was gone...and then came his life, as his heart stopped from shock.
The rest of Frieza's soldiers, those who were preparing to attack the human, stopped short, their jaws dropping at the sight of their comrades. As one soldier in close proximity turned to speak, a fountain of blood spouted from his neck; the soldier's head, with the exception of an eye, was completely destroyed by the blast.
"This is ridiculous," Frieza snarled, sensing the fear radiating from his soldiers. Based on the situation, it would have been easy to feel it even despite the fact the scouter he used to detect energy had been destroyed a short time ago. "I hope that you're ready to die, triclops."
Tien smirked, all three eyes glowing. "Sure." The bald-headed fighter shot his hands out again, closing his eyes in the process as he screamed, "SOLAR FLARE!"
The last thing that Tien remembered before the sudden rush of action was telling the Namekians to go someplace safe; he and Gohan would hold Dende for now. Then, the action truly started...
"I think we're safe," announced Tien, his boots lightly hitting the ground with a thud-like tap. Feeling that he had finally, truly escaped the clutches of Frieza and his men, the triclops let out a sigh of relief. Drops of sweat trickled down the face of the earthling, while a cough escaped his mouth.
Gohan was next to land, along with Dende,the Namekian child that he carried. "So what now, Mr. Tien?"
"Good question," murmured Tien to himself, all three eyes shutting briefly. Tien Shinhan took a moment to compose himself, trying to move past all that had just transpired. That was...that made King Piccolo look like an angel.
Sighing, the bald fighter turned to Dende. "How are you feeling? Can you walk?"
"Y-yeah, I t-think so," the boy replied, testing his legs out again. To his relief, and everyone else's, he could walk again with no problem. It was almost like he hadn't been harmed at all; such were the benefits of Namekian regeneration.
"What's going on? Why are they doing this?" Dende suddenly shouted, tears welling in his eyes and his voice cracking. After a second of hesitation, both Tien and Gohan realized just how upset Dende must've been. The Namekians were a peaceful race, and Dende, who looked to be around the same age as Gohan, had seen his friends and family slaughtered before his eyes.
Having had the same experience just weeks earlier, Gohan felt a sense of empathy for the pickle-colored creature. Awkwardly, Gohan patted the young Namek on the shoulder, squeezing it like his father would do to him.
"We're sorry…" Tien started, but trailed off upon remembering that he wasn't the most qualified to deal with emotional issues (hence why his relationship with Launch never worked out). Still, the triclops could at least attempt to help the Namek. "What's your name? I don't think I caught it."
Sniffling, Dende cleared his throat and turned to the green-clad warrior who had saved him. "My name is Dende," the child revealed quietly, his voice strained thanks to the crying and shouting from before.
"Well, Dende," Tien smiled, a rare sight from the normally stoic human. "I'm glad to finally know your name."
A slightly awkward silence followed.
"Anyways...what's our plan?" questioned Gohan, breaking the ice. The demi-Saiyan inched closer to Dende, whose tense stance was slowly starting to ease up, no doubt thanks to the kind visitor from Earth. "We have no idea where Bulma and Yamcha are, so should we try to find them, or what?"
Tien nodded, looking towards the sky. As much as he didn't want to admit it, there was a side of Tien that was worried Frieza and his men were on the brink of finding them. "We should head back to the camp that we set up so that Dende here can rest and we can make a course of action. Plus, standing out in the open when we have soldiers probably searching for us isn't the best idea if we're trying to survive."
"And then what? What happens if Frieza's men find us?" came Gohan's reply.
Tien pounded his fist into an open hand, scowling at the mention of that vile warlord. "Then we show them what we earthlings can do. Dende, can you fly?"
The Namekian shook his head vertically to signify yes. "Then let's head back. Stay close to Gohan...if Frieza's men do find us, they're probably going to target you to help them find the Dragon Balls." A white aura was created around the human as he prepared to take off into the sky once more.
"Wait!" cried Dende, grabbing the attention of his saviors. "Can you please tell me why they're looking for the Dragon Balls?"
"When we get back to camp, Dende," replied Tien, the shimmering, bright aura growing larger as the triclops prepared to fly again. "Now let's go. If there's anything that we learned from that, it's that wasting time is pointless."
At the same time genocide and murder was occurring on the peaceful planet known as Namek, a lone streak lined the sky. A figure adorned in blue, with jet black hair spiked impossibly, flew at full speed, his arms extended and a red scouter above his eye.
This was Vegeta, the prideful Saiyan prince who had just landed on the foreign planet minutes earlier.
Underneath the Saiyan's blue jumpsuit was black gauze, located specifically on his right arm above a cut made on Earth. Perhaps cut was the wrong word - it was more like a severe injury to the warrior's right arm. During the 'nap' that he took on his trip from Planet Frieza to Namek, the Saiyan prince was constantly reminded of the arm injury he had suffered from one of the scum he had met on Earth.
More importantly, the prince was forced to relive his failure at defeating the earthlings and annexing the half-breed boy into his group of Saiyan warriors. It had been, and presumably would stay, a day that Vegeta would regret for the rest of the days he walked.
"You won't kill me! You've gone soft, Bardock, and you're an embarrassment to the Saiyan race!" Vegeta scoffed as blood started to run down his chest. "If you want to kill me, then fine, kill me. You'll achieve nothing out of it!" the Saiyan prince now stood, and while at first he shook as knees threatened to give out, the blue-clad fighter stood firm.
"Fine. You can join your bastard of a father in Hell!" Bardock replied, putting his hand out in front of him, a blue ball quickly appearing. "Goodbye, Vegeta."
"Wait! Stop!" Goku screamed, making Bardock stop charging the attack and turn his attention to his son; everyone else followed and gave their undivided focus to Goku.
"Don't kill him, father! That'll make you just as bad as him. Besides," Goku coughed once more, clearly in pain. "I want to have a rematch against him, and fight him on my own. Then, I can truly win!"
"K-Kakarot…" Bardock stopped in place. The hesitation by Bardock, along with the prince's energy fully returning, gave Vegeta enough time to appear behind Bardock and try to shoot his opponent through the chest. The wounded Saiyan smirked as his right arm went right behind Bardock's chest at a place where when the energy attack went through and all went right, which it would, Vegeta's attack would go straight through Bardock's heart.
Yamcha, using stealth unlike any he had ever used before, took Yajirobe's sword and attempted to drive it through Vegeta's chest. But, fate, as Vegeta would soon learn, often has a cruel and twisted way of changing things.
In this case, the sword, instead of impaling Vegeta's heart, was driven straight through Vegeta's arm. Because he was so adapted in the usage of a sword from his days as a desert bandit, Yamcha was still able to cause Vegeta even more pain because, and little did either of them know, the sword cut several nerves that were in the arm.
"MY ARM!" Vegeta screamed, grabbing his arm and falling to his knees. Blood began to drip rapidly out of the hole in his arm and the prince grit his teeth, trembling. While Vegeta was no stranger to pain - serving in the Planet-Trade Organization for nearly two and a half decades meant you'd have plenty of pain along the way - this was pain he hadn't felt in a long time.
The pain wasn't just his arm being nearly severed, but also his pride being destroyed.
"Yeah, how you like that, Saiyan? I just showed you what a real warrior could do!" Yamcha taunted, holding the sharp metal sword to Vegeta's neck. "And now, you're going to pay for everyone that's been killed by the hands of you and your partner."
With no one in sight, Vegeta allowed himself to shudder at the memory of his defeat. The prince, arguably the most prideful man in the entire galaxy, still was affected mentally by how badly he fared on the day he visited the small blue planet known as Earth.
"If I ever see that longhaired fool again, he'll pay the price for almost destroying my arm," Vegeta muttered, looking at the arm that had been damaged. Just an inch or two more, and Vegeta would have lost his arm to a human, one who had barely been able to take down a Saibaman!
For now, the pain that had appeared in Vegeta's injured arm during his time on the planet once known as Kanassa had subsided, nowhere to be found. Perhaps, Vegeta thought, the decision to apply gauze found in his pod's medical kit helped take away from the pain.
"Time to find the Dragon Balls," the prince said, moving a gloved finger to the crimson-colored scouter he had been so hesitant to take on Planet Frieza. While the scouters were once only good for power levels and communication, years had shown just how amazing technology could be.
Now, with just a simple click, the prince would be able to find not only Frieza's ship, but also where the highest ranking soldiers were. Knowing the way that Frieza's empire operated, the Saiyan prince deducted that the Arcosian's elites were presumably at areas where the mythical balls were.
"Error! Scouter overloading. Please shut down or manually reset to prevent destruction," the scouter's voice said in a high-pitched, robotic voice. "Error! Scouter overloading. Please shut down-"
"Damn, the scouter must have automatically sensed Frieza," Vegeta realized, scowling and grinding his teeth. "Looks like the weakling soldiers weren't kidding when they mentioned these scouters would handle high power levels better. Those garbage old ones would've just exploded by now."
A bright grin quickly appeared on the fighter's face as an idea came to him. "Let's see if this works."
The prince closed his eyes, allowing his inner mind to clear up and his energy to focus. Any other thoughts that Vegeta had were cast away for this moment, and renegade Saiyan slightly grimaced, looking as if he was exerting much energy attempting this.
The man's fists clenched, tight enough to the point where the whites of his gloves started to turn a bright red color. A light breeze blew past Vegeta, allowing his hair to flutter in the wind.
"Well, I sense Frieza," bluntly noted Vegeta, as he continued to sense the powers of those on Namek. A slight tremor went through the Saiyan's body as he felt just a minuscule percent of Frieza's power - the scouter could only show so much. "Hmm, there are two power levels at about my level somewhere...Dodoria and Zarbon? One of them feels somewhat familiar, though."
Pausing for a minute, Vegeta's face contorted into one of relief. "It's Dodoria. If there's one thing I've learned over the years, it's that disgusting slime's scent. What else...there's about four power levels traveling, three of them in one direction."
Smirking, Vegeta turned on his scouter and activated the device's map. Just as the scouter was created to do, it located the highest power levels on the planet and their locations. Finding the cluster of three, Vegeta pressed another button that allowed him to get access to their coördinates - and where they were going.
"Looks like they're going to find the Dragon Balls!" the flame-haired fighter exclaimed, the look on his face not changing. "Unfortunately for them, those Dragon Balls are mine!"
The Saiyan prince took off in the direction of the three dots, hoping that when he arrived, the first Dragon Ball would be in his hands. Immortality will be mine, Frieza!
"Bardock?" Dodoria wondered, resting his bubble-gum colored head on his spiky arm. That name...it sounded familiar, which perplexed the creature.
"You heard me," replied Bardock, spitting a wad of saliva on the blue grass beneath him. "Years ago, on Planet Meat, you ambushed my Saiyan comrades and killed them. Had I not been stronger than them, I would have met the same fate as they did."
Planet Meat? Saiyan comrades? Killed? Suddenly, everything clicked for Dodoria, whose face contorted to one of disbelief.
"Y-you! I remember you now...you're the one I was tasked to kill years ago! Bardock...the Saiyan who stood up to Frieza as his planet was turned to space dust! Yes, you were an irritating pest, weren't you?" Huffing, the disgusting alien jumped to his feet, pointing a fat finger at Bardock.
"That's coming from the one who acts like a yes man and an ass kisser to Frieza, but still gets treated like dirt beneath the dirt," shot back the Saiyan, his fist clenching. "I've been waiting for this a long time, scum."
Dodoria took a step forward, hunching over in the process. "What are you doing here? I saw Frieza kill you with my own eyes! Why didn't you die with the rest of your filthy monkey brethren?"
"By all means, I should have," Bardock crouched, making his way into a signature Saiyan fighting stance. Dodoria could feel the hunger, the hatred, that radiated from Bardock's aura. "I'm one of the last Saiyans left...you're to thank for that."
You know, technically, I'm not even really supposed to be here right now. So fuck it, might as well make the most of it, Bardock thought to himself, fighting the urge to smirk. Feels good. Guess I'm lucky. Some of us don't get a second chance. But I ain't blowing this one. It feels like I can do anything right now.
"One of the last left? Impossible!" disputed Dodoria, remembering when the small, red planet known as Vegetasei was destroyed by Frieza's massive, flaming ball of energy. "We purged every one of those disgusting fools...well, with the exception of those we enslaved."
Just the mention of enslaving the Saiyans was enough to cause Bardock growl like a wild animal. "Yeah, I saw what you had done to Raditz after years of making him your servant. He wasn't a Saiyan anymore, it was like he was just another species that Frieza had manipulated for his own evil good."
Dodoria snorted loudly, once again disgusting Bardock with his impulsive actions. "Let me explain something to you, Saiyan. Just because you survived Lord Frieza's attack doesn't mean you can speak to me like I'm nothing…or like I'm a Saiyan."
The next thing Dodoria felt was a sharp jab to his solar plexus, followed by a left elbow to his cranium. Howling in agony, the blob fell to the ground, a noise sounding similar to an "oof" escaping his throat while his large mass connected with the earth.
As Dodoria locked eyes with his opponent, he was met with a menacing smirk from the time-traveling Saiyan.
"Well, what's this? It seems that Dodoria is nothing, just a tired waste of space," mocked Bardock when the bright pink colored soldier exhaled rapidly. "My, I wonder why Frieza would keep such an out of shape weakling at his disposal…"
Bardock levied his eyes at the lackey, internally grinning upon spotting an inch of fear on Dodoria's face. What would his 'illustrious' master Frieza say if he had been witness to the cowardice that his second in command had displayed thus far on this day?
Probably take a sip of wine, if the Arcosian was still the pathetic slime that he was.
"I can't believe this. The legendary Dodoria, a beast feared in so many quarters of the galaxy, is losing to a Saiyan, a monkey, no less," Bardock taunted, crossing his arms tightly.
Snarling, Dodoria reared his fist back and threw a jab at Bardock, intending for his closed palm to connect with the Saiyan's face. Based on the power Dodoria put into the punch, it was likely that Bardock's nose, and possibly jaw, would be shattered upon impact.
The twenty-four years that Bardock had missed out on, however, never seemed to impact his fighting ability. Utilizing his extraordinary power, Bardock blocked Dodoria's attack by grasping his fist mid-punch, squeezing hard on the bright-pink hand.
What Bardock couldn't stop, however, was Dodoria drawing his head back, with all his might, and headbutting the blue-clothed Saiyan.
"Gah!" cried Bardock, falling backwards from the attack. The time-traveler silently thanked the heavens that Dodoria's spikes, luckily, had barely missed out on colliding with his right eyeball. The sharp spikes did cause a laceration on the side of the fighter's head; blood started to leak from the open hole, surrounding Bardock's face in the process.
Bringing his hand upwards to feel the cut, Bardock was disappointed to find blood, fresh at that, appear on his hand. "That is the last Saiyan blood that will be spilled by you, Dodoria. You've been taking Saiyan blood for too long!"
As Dodoria started to comprehend the meaning of Bardock's statement, the furious Saiyan swung his right leg around, crashing it into Dodoria's massive armor. With Dodoria momentarily stunned, Bardock followed up with bringing his other knee up into Dodoria's jaw.
Time seemed to stop as Dodoria, who felt at least two teeth become dislodged from the collision, hunched over, gasping for breath. A quiet, but still audible, screech sounded from Dodoria; seeing a spot to strike, Bardock finished his attack with one last roundhouse, powerfully kicking Dodoria across the wasteland.
Once Bardock heard the loud noise of mass hitting ground, the Saiyan focused, trying to sense Dodoria. As the palm-tree haired man expected, the blob was alive, not to mention pissed off.
"You dumb monkey!" screamed Dodoria, gathering enough of his energy to run full speed at the arrogant Saiyan head-first. While Bardock casually remained impassive and indifferent at the early sight of his foe, in part because of Dodoria's speed, the Saiyan was unaware that the behemoth's agility was still remarkable.
Dodoria rammed all of his massive frame into the smaller Saiyan, knocking Bardock to the floor below the way Dodoria had fallen just seconds earlier. The blue earth cracked upon Bardock's solid body roughly colliding with the ground, earning a sly smile from Dodoria.
"There we go!" Dodoria exclaimed, emphatically pumping a fist in the air. The blob rarely showed any sort of emotion, but when he did, Dodoria was similar to a child in a candy shop. Years of harboring repressed feelings of satisfaction and self-confidence would be erased when the pink creature was excited.
Bardock cringed, feeling a pain in his side from where the spikes on Dodoria's cranium had hit him. The Saiyan time traveler could only assume he took on some internal damage when he felt a burning sensation in his chest.. "Ugh...fat bastard."
Chuckling, Dodoria began to slowly levitate into the air, extending both arms mid-flight. "I hope you're ready for some fun, Saiyan!" Once Dodoria was set and ready, the salmon-colored beast put both hands out in front of him.
"YOU'LL PAY FOR YOUR FOOLISHNESS!" Dodoria screamed, firing hundreds of bright, yellow energy blasts below in attempts to hit Bardock. The blob, confident that his attacks would be enough to destroy the Saiyan pest, moved from side to side to find a way to hit the time traveler.
On the ground, a giant crater was forming from the sheer intensity of the blasts. Dodoria saw it out of the corner of his eye, barely, and smirked - Bardock's time on this planet, and in this lifetime, was over.
"Die! Die! Die!" Dodoria yelled excitedly, exhilaration running through his bones. When the blob thought he heard a scream, Dodoria increased the speed and strength of the attacks, knowing that these attacks would cost Bardock his life.
As the smoke cleared, Dodoria was expecting to see the burnt, bloody corpse of the Saiyan who had been crazy enough to pick a fight with him. If that wasn't going to happen, then Dodoria would gladly take a dead corpse - Bardock needed to be dead for Dodoria to feel satisfied.
Dodoria began to slowly chuckle once his scouter was unable to pick up any readings from Bardock. Needless to say, when the blob turned around and saw Bardock standing there with his arms crossed, completely unscathed from the energy barrage, Dodoria panicked.
Then, Dodoria fell to the ground, a victim of a ruthless axe hammer courtesy of Bardock.
Once Bardock landed, his boots making a slight noise upon settling, Bardock felt something, and it wasn't coming from him. The fear he had momentarily sensed from his opponent seemed to be rising - he had Dodoria on the edge! Now, he could show off the power he possessed, and now, Bardock could end the playing.
"Now," Bardock took a second to spit a wad of saliva. "Are you ready now, to witness a power not seen for thousands of years?"
Uncrossing his arms, the Saiyan smirked once more as his hands clenched into tight-balled fists. A pale white aura surrounded the time-traveler, and once a howl emitted from Bardock, Dodoria's fear skyrocketed - just like the power that Bardock was giving off.
Bardock's hair, in its usual palm tree like state, levitated, while his pupils disappeared for a sudden second, leaving Dodoria to see just the whites of his pupils. The earth beneath the two shook, almost as if Namek was undergoing a cataclysm akin to the one many years ago that changed the planet. Birds, oblivious to the carnage and destruction that Namek's visitors were causing, took off for a new place to call home.
The ground below Bardock turned into a crater as the Saiyan's energy destroyed the land he stood on. Hit full on by the power of Bardock's aura, Dodoria was ricocheted back, nearly breaking his large neck upon collision.
For what was quite possibly the first time since he had been transported twenty-four years into the future, Bardock felt like he was truly back; the inner Saiyan inside of him had returned. It was only fitting that Dodoria, the disgusting hulk who had attempted to murder him twenty-five years earlier, would be the first to taste Bardock's overwhelming power.
"Come now, Dodoria," Bardock yelled, the sound of lightning cracking in the distance. Any sweat and blood that had been on Bardock's smooth face prior was erased, dissipated by the heat of his rage and anger. "It's time for you to pay for your sins!"
That's why they call me Full Power...I'm back, I'm back. God damn, it feels good to be back! What the heck is going on, readers on this fine site? Feel free to skip ahead to the Q&A part for answers to questions you may have, but the next few paragraphs are just a 'note' from me.
Man, the past few months have been crazy. To my younger readers who live in America, I'm going to put this in the best way that I can - junior year sucks. SAT...road test...drama...it's awful, haha. Especially when you're on honor roll, but I digress. I told ya'll I was coming back! I had a feeling I'd be Brett Favre-ing it (or to my music fans out there, I pulled a Jay-Z).
Right now, though, things are looking up. SC 21, obviously, is done, and I've been putting some hard work into SC22 - A Dish Served Cold - as well. While this chapter was going to solely be Bardock vs. Dodoria, with the chapter culminating in the conclusion of the fight, I realized that rushing it all into one chapter - and especially with all these other subplots - wouldn't be the best idea. SC22 is going well, and at the bottom of this chapter, I'll even include a little snippet for my readers. :D
I'm actually going out of town this week, then have SATs on the first Saturday of May, so while I can't exactly promise a date on SC22, I will say that I am working extremely hard on it and hope to have it up by the end of the month. Which, considering my progress in the chapter, should be possible. If not..well, I won't make you guys wait nearly five months again. I promise. I have the writing bug back!
FireStorm1991 came through in the clutch here, helping me not only beta, but make me want to get back to writing. You know what? I'm happy with what I've done with SC, and I look forward to what's to come. Also, I really should thank LucifVegeta, Mattix Ultimate, and SpiderLedgic for urging me on at points. It's good to have loyal friends..
And yes, the chapter name is taken from the movie Cinderella Man. Great movie, actually watched it a couple weeks ago. One of Ron Howard's best, but I think it needed some Hans Zimmer.
As always, a little question and answer time.
R: How doesn't Bardock know what the legendary Super Saiyan is?
A: He does, but if you're referring to the vision, he had no idea what an SSJ actually looked like in person. For all that Bardock knows, a SSJ could just be base form with bigger muscles (think False Super Saiyan).
R: really wish you'd stop cussing so much. other than that I'm enjoying this story. still, even the original Manga doesn't cuss this much...right? (I've only ever watched the anime which hardly ever cusses, even in Kai, as well as played a few games) the use of the F-word seems overdoing it a little, but other than that, I don't really have any complaints here, (except for a certain someone not joining the Kamehameha) and I think the story's great! just the cussing is a slight problem though I doubt anyone else minds.
A: Understandable, but I do think that there are times where the cursing is necessary (like this chapter). The next couple chapters will have some bad language, but after that, it should be toned down, at least until the Frieza fight. And who was the certain someone? Gohan? Krillin?
R: this has been a improvement since your last couple off chapters you put up I did feel like you was slipping abit but now its back to it old ways the only thing is that you made the human really weak when they should be abit stronger they are help abit and what you done with bardock cool will you do a special about how his relationship with turles is
A: Well, think about it this way - the humans haven't seen Guru yet. If they see Guru and he unlocks their power, they will be stronger. A Turles special? Very good possibility - I will not say definitely, but there is a chance we could see a special based on Turles because Turles will be in this fic and with a big role.
R: Hey, nice to see another chapter! So far, this is my favorite DBZ fic, and I hope it continues for a good, long while.
Anyways, I'm guessing that was Vegeta who smashed Dodoria into the ground. Bardock has the will and strength, but I doubt he'd really try to talk to him while fighting. More like grind his face into the ground while roaring in rage. Dodoria's elites did murder his old team, after all, and Dodoria himself works for Frieza.
Also, I think you make Bardock sound kinda old. That's just the vibe I get from him, is that he's an old, pissed off dude. Which is still cool, cause he still kicks ass. Just Saiyan.
A: Your favorite? Wow, haha, thank you. That means a lot, considering how many great fics there are out there. Well, as we see this chapter, it was good old Bardock who attacked Dodoria. It's not that I'm trying to make Bardock sound old, but in the grand scheme of things, he's a veteran.
R: Another thing I feel you need to rid yourself of is your constant reminding us of the situation at hand or of characteristics about the characters themselves. We don't need to be reminded that Gohan was "just a five-year old boy," nor did you need to comment on how Yamcha was hiding his true identity from Appule. Some things should be left to be inferred by the reader, as it's what allows us to read the story for ourselves. Sometimes I feel the way you write forces the reader to read a blunt version of your story instead of allowing us to dissect it ourselves, and that's something that I think you need to fix up the most.
A: Truth be told, that's my writing style, and while I will look into trying not to be so obvious at times, changing my writing style entirely because one person doesn't like it isn't the best course of action, honestly. I appreciate your constructive criticism and hope that anyone else that feels the same way as this reviewer will tell me, but also understand my distinct writing style.
R: As for the vision as well as who will become the SSJ first, I'm going to guess Bardock. In both cases because of word choice. In the vision it wasn't Goku's iconic "Hope of the Universe" speech, but instead the monster inside the Saiyans. It also probably isn't Vegeta because Vegeta would likely be gloating. As for Dodoria, the long time comment just made it sound like Bardock once again, since... well... it has been a long time as was said. Moreover it's just great opportunity for character development. Here is the monster that killed his crew, payback time. Granted, I definitely could be wrong on both accounts. Goku could have more pride in his heritage due to meeting Bardock and becoming a SSJ for the first time required some heavy trauma for Vegeta, so that could have made him snap to an extent. There's also no guarantee that Bardock got to Dodoria yet, even if it is likely.
A: It's a good guess, and I really like your reasoning. We'll see what happens, but I will say that your idea of the Bardock getting revenge in a good characterization moment was spot on. Next chapter, we'll see what really goes on with these two.
R: The respective interplay between Yamcha and Tien was done very well and it was funny as well. It's, again, nice to see a bit of expansion on these characters, with Yamcha certainly being shown to be more than just a joke character. I'm curious as to how his meeting with Appule will go - especially if Appule is not on his own. The introduction of Frieza and his minions was done differently as well and it was interesting to get into his head and see what motivates him (I don't know whether it was intended or not but I laughed at the irony that both Frieza and Vegeta have remarkably similar visions of what their glorious immortality future will be like). There is a minor typo though - 'vainness' instead of 'veinness', unless Zarbon has got very old very quickly ;p
A: Thanks for the correction buddy. Glad you liked what happened way back in chapter 20, and we'll see the continuation of that little subplot soon.
Snippet from SC 22 for any readers interested:
"Before I end your pitiful life, there's something that I want to know." Bardock snarled angrily, narrowing his eyes at the feeble creature that he called an opponent. As the Saiyan formulated in his mind the question he was prepared to ask, Bardock squeezed his hand tightly. "After all that's happened today, do you regret at all killing my...friends?"
Even with his face swollen and bleeding, Dodoria was able to snicker regardless. Just the fact that Bardock would even dare ask that was enough to make the blob roll over with laughter. "Regret it? What do you take me for? I'm happy I took the lives of four pathetic monkeys that didn't deserve to live. I especially remember one of them...the others thought of him as their leader. He was the last to die, and even though I didn't kill you that day, killing him was enough to satisfy me!"
"In fact, the only thing I regret is not making sure that you died that day."
Bardock's blood boiled at the way Dodoria talked about Tora. Bardock's comrade may have been dead for a quarter of a century, but it didn't give a pathetic scumbag like Dodoria the right to trash him the way he did. Stepping closer, Bardock grit his teeth as his onyx eyes locked with Dodoria's. "Don't worry, Dodoria, when I'm done with you, you're definitely going to regret not killing me."
FP out ya'll. Thanks for sticking by me...I love ya'll. Let's go.