One's native land.
A region or territory that is closely identified with a particular people or ethnic group.
"Vegeta, Bardock, Latis, Paragus, and Umber. Five of the planet's mightiest clans, and still you poor fools struggle. Can you not see that all this is pointless? Why struggle against me when you could work with me? Warriors of your calibre are wasted on this planet; why not earn the respect and fear of other races? Why do you detest obedience so? Why must you test my leniency?" smirked the figure, clawed hand still keeping a vice grip on the child's trachea.
The five clan lords knelt silent, obedient in their bonds to not give into the sugar coated poison of the small snake's words.
"Is this truly what you Saiyans want? More bloodshed on your own soil? More deaths of clan and kin alike? Are you really that narrow minded?" seethed the figure, his grip tightening on the child.
Vegeta bolted upright in his bed; small rivulets of sweat clung to his brow and danced upon the small of his back. The pressure within his temples; threatening to burst forth like a sluice gate. It was the third time in a month that dream had disturbed his slumber. It was always the same; he always played the role of a speechless spectator re-watching the never changing scene play out. Not once did the figure announce his name nor did he ever reveal his intent. He just stood there questioning, almost mocking the five lords of Planet Plant, and as always it would end with the figure tightening his hold on the child's neck, and as always Vegeta would awake sweating and with a burning fire in his temples.
Vegeta caressed his aching head with some vigour, it only ever lasted for but a few minutes. The dull pain that thudded its way from his head all the way down to his toes, the monotonous sound of his blood pumping inside his eardrums only causing Vegeta annoyance. Foregoing the ache within his head, Vegeta stretched his legs over his quilted bed and onto the worn floor of his sleeping quarters. "It's certainly no bedroom..." Vegeta thought to himself. The walls were bare, not a coat of paint in sight. They still had the pinkie hue of degrading plaster. A lone shaft of light pierced through the slit in the wall that was classed as a window.
Vegeta ambled his body to the slit, the ache in his brain slowly subsiding. He gazed out of the window onto what was his home. In the distance, snow-capped mountains dominated the far off landscape, a long winding river stretched from within a crevice that jutted out of the mountain. The river wound its way down from its icy home into the green hills that surrounded Vegeta's home, then from the hills into a small stream just outside the perimeter wall where farmers were toiling in the fields, working on the year's crops.
Vegeta's gaze then dropped into the courtyard, the outer wall towered high and foreboding over the landscape, a towering slab of stone gaunt and grey. Parapets filled with small squads of men were spaced periodically along the breadth of the wall. Their main task was overlooking the workforce and making sure none stepped out of line, and their other was to ensure the defence of the fort. Below the main square was full of life: traders selling a multitude of wares, ranging from the latest trends to high end defensive weaponry. The square's buzz and warmth of life however, couldn't reach Vegeta where he was.
"If only they knew what they had coming to them, I wonder... would they run for their lives or stay and fight?" Vegeta thought to himself. The clinking and clunking of tumblers rolling and deadbolts unlocking stirred Vegeta from his observation. The rush of escaping air blew dust from the walls and clouded the room, causing Vegeta to cough and splutter; the dust rubbed at his eyes blinding him causing him to back into the only corner of the room not engulfed in dust.
"So young prince," a shape in the cloud called. "It has been three months, fourteen days, seven hours and thirty minutes since the last time you moved in a space larger than an eight by nine holding cell. Tell me are you still unwilling to atone for your crime yet? Or are we still as witty as ever?" asked the figure, its shape coming into view.
Through his half-closed eyes Vegeta could barely make out a swishing ponytail.
"Oh yes Zarbon, I am sorry," coughed Vegeta, his lungs wheezing.
"Finally the young monkey wishes to see the sense in his own madness," chuckled Zarbon, his blue skin barely coming into view through the dust cloud.
"Yes Zarbon, I am sorry, I am truly repentant…"
"Well such charm is rare from you Veg-"
"That such a toad of a being, a snivelling boot-licker and ass-kisser ever had the gaul to place even his toe on my home planet," smirked Vegeta, his eyes having adjusted to the room.
Lunging forward with a burst of speed; Vegeta flung himself at the alien standing before him. His elbow cocked back ready to force into Zarbon's face, his knee primed and ready to anticipate Zarbon's counter. Even in the time it took for Vegeta to cross the room, Zarbon had already dodged out of his way as graceful as a dancer. Pirouetting on one leg, and sending his heel into the back of Vegeta's head with the other leg. Zarbon's heel connected with a deafening crack as Vegeta's world slowly faded to black.
The world was silent. Everything had become muffled as if Vegeta's senses had failed him. It was the same dream: the lords, the figure, the child. But it was off... Vegeta was no longer a spectator in the onlooking crowd. His throat was tight in the grip of the figure, its grip continuing to squeeze by the second. Vegeta looked into the cold gaze of his attacker, the violent violet gaze...
Vegeta awoke to find himself in shackles, bound tightly by the heavy steel of the collar that had made its way onto his neck. A short chain bound the collar merely a foot from the floor. Vegeta no longer found himself in his cell... no the cell was paradise compared to this. No longer was he surrounded by the dull pinkish hue of his previous quarters, instead imprisoned in something akin to steel coffin. Stretching his arms outward,s Vegeta felt the space around him. Before he had even extended his elbow, his fingertips brushed against the cold steel wall of his new prison, and a flap opened up basking the cell in a harsh white light.
"Thought you could take a swing at the governor and not pay the price?" asked the jailer from beyond the flap. "You might be Lord Vegeta's son but there are still laws in place. You should count yourself lucky chimp. The only reason your head isn't on a spike is because your dear old man begged and grovelled before the governor. Oh and how he pleaded! Please don't kill him he's only a child! Oh yes and how he begged. But the governor's mercy isn't a cheap commodity. Oh no you have to pay a price for treason one way or another... would you like to know your price little lord?"
Vegeta tried to respond but the words crashed against the crippling dryness in his throat... How long have I been out for?
"Your price is one week in the vault. Oh don't look so worried. You will be fed and looked after. We're wardens, not murderers here,"smiled the jailer.
The vault had been built for one reason: to remove the opposition. If one was too look through one of the armoured hatches, they wouldn't find a killer, a rapist, or a psychopath. No, they would find council members who had been shouting too loud and too long about another member who was in the king's pocket. They would find a teacher whose views opposed the norm and was seen as poisoning childrens' minds, a threat to the crown. Mostly, they would find the ones who had been in the wrong place at the wrong time, the ones who had seen dangerous things, and whose deaths would be suspicious. Like many, they would be smuggled away in the dead of night, hooded and drugged so their eyes would fail them, their other senses couldn't accommodate.
The vault had been one of Zarbon's more twisted machinations; it was simple, yet born from the mind of a sociopathic maniac. Why make space for a bed when there can be but one prisoner to a cell? Why not make the cell the bed and cut the space so many can be placed in the same tiny hole. This was Zarbon's twisted ingenuity. Instead of the standard eight by nine, each cell would be long enough for a seven foot male to lie down in. And a foot of height and width meant they could move somewhat freely depending on their size. In the space it had previously taken to house one criminal, there was now room for forty eight. The prisoners were shackled and could not move. The heavy collars kept them rooted to the floor of their cell and the shackles stopped them from reaching out and attacking wardens.
"Oh yes, young lord! You are our celebrity inmate and as such you shall be fed like one!" shouted the jailer, snorting back phlegm and swiftly spitting it onto the tray in his hand.
The tray appeared from beyond the hatch covered in what could be classed as various eviscerated meats, the sheen and putrid smell of which made it clear the food had been left in the hot sun to go off for some time. Along with the tray, Vegeta received a shallow saucer of water, which was also was off somehow as the smell of sulphur twinged Vegeta's nostrils. Vegeta reached out towards the tray, not caring that it was slop unworthy for the hounds, not caring that they could have laced it with an assortment of drugs or poisons. His gut was growling and his instinct to ingest something no matter how terrible was driving him along. The shackles rattled as Vegeta extended an arm toward the tray, the heavy bracelet weighing on his already atrophied arm. The chain on the shackle was slowly getting shorter and shorter as Vegeta struggled to reach out to his horrid salvation, but before he could place a greedy fingertip on the tray his arm stopped. Vegeta tugged against it to see if it had become wedged between himself and the floor, it was not. The jailer had cruelly placed the tray just outside his reach; he had known that while Vegeta had been previously incarcerated, he had been starved for his disobedience.
Vegeta again tried in vain to reach out towards the tray, pulling on the shackles so that they cut into his skin and spilled crimson down his forearms. The chains reacted to the amount of force Vegeta was applying, reeling the chain back so that Vegeta's arms were pinned to his side. Sucumbing to the weight around his neck and the strain he had put into reaching, Vegeta allowed his head to sink to the floor, the collar clinking slightly as it connected.
So this is what they meant when they said they would rather give up their left arm then be in the vault.
The wind howled and whistled amongst the snow capped peaks, whipping and breaking against them causing drifts to dislodge from the peak and crash further down the mountain. A warm glow emanated from one of the mountain's many crevices. Inside a small fire was struggling to crackle and spit as the two Saiyan lords huddled around it.
"So he made you beg? You actually allowed yourself to beg to that beauty queen of a governor... I don't know if I should be insulted or disgusted," said Bardock, his nose turning up at the notion of seeing Zarbon's boots.
"What would you have me do, let him kill the Vegeta family heir? Most of us don't have our next-of-kin halfway across the galaxy doing god knows what, Bardock!" said Lord Vegeta, clearly exasperated.
"For all I know, my family could be gone tommorow," Bardock answered solemnly. "With Raditz dead and Kakarot either the same or worse, my family ends with me. So when the time comes, the false king only has me to worry about. Makes you think though... Zarbon must be getting paranoid to put him in the Vault of all places. The one place where more of his opponents are held than anywhere else, and he imprisons your son there. He's either getting complacent in his old age or he actually is starting to crack up," said Bardock scratching the back of his head.
"Time is beginning to run short for us, Bardock, and they know it. They're making arrangements, adjourning matters and here we are in the middle of a tundra, prattling nonsense. It's time the Saiyans made their arrangements. We must assemble the five lords," said Lord Vegeta, frozen breath trailing from his nostrils.
"You know what you talk of is treason in that tyrant's eyes! The lords are forbidden from conversing with one another. And have you thought of who our allies and enemies are in what is to come? Time is a cruel mistress, Vegeta, and the lords have borne the brunt of it. We might not be able to call them all brothers in arms anymore," said Bardock, kicking snow onto the fire, quenching its flame.
"Still, I will start making preparations brother, gods be good," said Vegeta, offering his arm to Bardock.
"Gods be good," said Bardock reciprocating Vegeta's offering.
So there we have it homeland chapter one over and done with.
As always i have to thank kanotari for beta reading this, she is awes