[A/N: This work of fiction deviates from usual Dragonball Z canon. Instead of Vegeta being wished back after the demise of Majin Buu, he remained in the Home for Infinite Losers for a time, and was granted a pardon by the Supreme Kai due to his defeat of Janemba with Goku shortly after. Another notable difference is that Bulla is born much earlier than in the series, almost immediately after Vegeta's return to life.]
Dragonball Z - Odyssey
-Chapter 1: "Warlord Onaka"-
The Southern Galaxies had become a war-torn quadrant in recent times, with constant battles raging on almost every inhabited world. The Seyorian Empire was flexing it's metaphorical muscle, seizing world after world in one-sided battles, crushing any and all who opposed them. As the cataclysmic confrontation spread further and further, it was time for divine intervention. At the behest of the South Kai, a trio of the most powerful men to ever live in the Southern Realm were granted passage back into the plane of the living, in an attempt to sever the iron fist of the Seyorians and end the strife threatening to engulf the quadrant. It hadn't been an easy task for the South Kai to secure the help, but in the end, he had convinced the Grand Kai that if allowed to run unchecked, the Seyorian Military would not just seize his galaxy, but perhaps all of the known universe.
The three warriors chosen were the three greatest warriors ever to ever train under the South Kai. Jallargo, a lithe, teal skinned humanoid who was one of the fastest fighters in Other World. Be'dar, a scorpion-tailed insectoid battle mage from the planet Decitania, whose bizarre powers had saved an entire solar system from impending doom by containing a supernova threatening to wipe out all life in the system. And rounding out the trio, Telravan, a bull-horned and reptilian juggernaut with enough sheer strength to crack a small moon in two with a single strike from his immense fists. Aided by an army of lupine warriors from the nearby world of Halletona, they laid siege to the very heart of the Seyorian Military, their goal to decapitate the titular head of their monarchy; a powerful War Lord named Onaka.
And, in the early stages of the battle, the South Galaxy's Task Force seemed to be emerging victorious.
On the burnt plains bordering the forbidding fortress of Seyoria, the Halletonarian Armies warred with Onaka's dragon-like soldiers under a sky scorched with blackened clouds. The golden tridents of the Seyorians burned with a savage radiance, shimmering in the light of the exploding ki blasts which filled the heavens, and the dying screams of the fighters clashed discordantly, adding to the symphonic cacophony of war.
Above the battlefield, Be'dar hovered high in the air, his black hooded cape fluttering out in the high wind whistling through the jagged peaks behind the fortress. The insectoid fighter's energy flowed around him in a deep jade aura, dotted with glistening crystalline sparks flowing across it's opaque surface. Guarded from all sides by a troupe of lupine warriors, the battle mage slowly raised his arms, his scythe-tipped fingers flexing and stretching. The swirling energy around him took on a fever pitch as he opened four vividly yellow eyes, the mandibles protruding from his mouth clicking in fervent concentration. His long arms moved in complex patterns, an orb of mana-infused Ki springing to life between his circling, encompassing palms. "Disruptor Wave..." he clicked, hands moving faster and faster. "HA!"
An elegant beam of violet rings erupted from the orb, speeding towards the mountainside castle, and the transparent protective bubble emanating from the spires and turrets glowed a bright golden in colour, the sound of an immense, eye-watering gong booming out across the warring masses. Be'dar's arms shook with the force of concentration, channelling more and more power into the beam of rings, and they began to stretch, skimming across the barrier's surface. "Disperse!" Be'dar snapped his clawed fists closed, and the barrier exploded, breaking into a million tiny shards, which smoked and dissipated as they fell to the Earth.
Down below, the hulking granite-grey Telravan released a berserker roar as he drove a massive fist into the ground, a powerful shockwave radiating outwards around him, sending the troops attacking him flying to all points of the compass. Taking advantage of his hunched position, the speedy Jallargo sprinted up the reptile's back, leaping into the air, and unloaded a volley of potent ki-orbs into the approaching ranks. "Jallargo!" Telravan bellowed in his ogre-like voice, scattering another troupe of would-be attackers with a flurry from his powerful fists,shrugging off a volley of blasts from the regrouping Seyorians. "We need to move before the barrier regenerates!"
"Tell me something I don't know!" the teal warrior shouted over his shoulder, his sly features twisted in annoyance as he hovered in the air, his arms pumping back and forth as he fired continuous energy waves towards the advancing Seyorians. "Clear a path for us! I'm doing no more than holding them off here!"
The brute rose to his full and formidable twelve feet in height, rolling his broad shoulders. "Gladly!" Telravan lowered his head, the ground shaking as he took off at a sprint, using his trunk-like arms to ram his way through the lines, crushing the dragonish warriors beneath his rampaging feet. Grinning, Jallargo zoomed along in his wake, his hands facing outwards to either side, continuing his barrage of waves, as they twisted through the air, impacting the Seyorian ranks and broadening the path created by Telravan's charge.
Up ahead, five Seyorian Elites came sprinting through the stone archway marking the outer wall of the fortress, dressed from head to toe in gleaming armour. The leader of the quintet brandished an ornate trident, roaring encouragement to the troops defending the brief rise from the battlefield to the compound proper. "Hold them back!" he screamed. "Don't give them a single in-" His mouth fell open, aghast, as the very rear line of soldiers exploded outwards, and the horned head and elongated snout of Telravan hurtled towards him. Letting out a snort or rage, the reptile drew back his fist, the elite letting his trident fall to the ground with a clatter, and Telravan slammed his fist into the armoured soldier, sending his helmeted head soaring clean off its shoulders, impacting the inner wall of the castle's courtyard hard enough that it exploded upon impact. The five elites were quickly trampled, or blasted apart as they fled in fear of Telravan's might. Together, Jallargo and the giant burst through the archway, and a moment later, Be'dar landed upon the arch's precipice, dropping to a knee to brace his descent.
At that moment, the protective barrier sprang back into life around the fortress, sealing the trio of heroes inside. "Can you bring it back down, Be'dar?" Jallargo asked, the sounds of battle now dim and far-off to their ears.
"With enough time." the insectoid replied. "But there is no need. Not now. We are inside."
"They wouldn't phase the War Lord." Telravan grumbled, cracking his stony knuckles, flexing the muscles of his scaly, bare chest. "Only we can defeat him. And with his honour guard dead, he's made all the more vulnerable. The odds are in our favour, Jallargo."
"Until Onaka is dead, I won't be stacking the odds on us." Be'dar muttered darkly with a shake of the head. "He's far more powerful than any of us have ever fought before. It explains why Lord Kai sent three of us, instead of just one."
"Well, this monster won't eradicate itself." Jallargo tugged at his black and white knuckle gloves, loosening up the sleeves of his navy blue trench coat. "Let us find him, and end this once and for all."
"You needn't find me, gentlemen. Look no further than here." The trio spun rapidly at the sound of the deep, gravelly voice, their collective gazes alighting on the dark and evil figure standing on the other side of the barren stone courtyard. Standing at a formidable seven feet in height, dressed from neck to toe in obsidian, spiked armour, the monstrous Lord Onaka smiled a cunning, fanged smile. Unlike the reptilian Telravan, Onaka was almost human in appearance, aside from the ram's horns protruding from his head and the bat-like wings jutting from his shoulder blades. His skin was a deep charcoal, eyes a blistering crimson, rows of minute spikes covering his bald head. "I must commend your efforts." he called, raising a hand to the skies, an orb of Ki bursting into life, elongating and solidifying into an immense war hammer. "Only the most extraordinary of fighters could penetrate my defences. A shame, that you came here as foes. I could have used warriors like you."
Telravan bared his fangs in a snarl, a guttural growl passing between his jaws. "We would never fight for you, tyrant! We came here to destroy you!" His tail slammed down on the ground to punctuate his comment, cracks running out in a spiderweb around the impact site.
"Your reign ends today, Onaka." Jallargo taunted, removing his coat with a flurry and tossing it aside, revealing his ruffled white shirt and dark trousers. "We're putting you down, like the rabid dog you are." Be'dar simply allowed his aura to flash out menacingly, his mandibles clicking within the shadowy folds of his hood.
"You are most welcome to try." Onaka replied nonchalantly, tightening his grip on the hammer. "More powerful than you have failed."
"We'll just see about that!" Telravan released an animalistic roar like a giant predatory dinosaur, the very earth shaking at the tumult. Clenching fists the size of boulders, the reptilian charged forwards, launching a punch with enough force to level an entire city. To the horror of the giant's companions, Onaka uttered a bored sigh, swatting Telravan aside with a lazy backhand, sending the towering beast crashing through a wall. Jallargo sprung into action a split second later, his arms lined with shining blue Ki as he launched blurred combinations in quick succession. The war lord was up to the task, ducking and weaving between the attacks. Shouting in concentration, the humanoid swung a blistering roundhouse kick towards the taller monster, but Onaka caught the fighter's leg in a gauntleted fist, driving a punch into his stomach and slamming him face first into the ground.
All the while, Be'dar remained where he landed on top of the stone archway, forefingers pressed to his temples, beams of circular radiance emanating from the centre of his forehead. When Onaka's eyes locked with his, he shouted his attack to the heavens. "Mind Barrage!" The dragon came to a complete halt, as a blue light exploded inside his head, the radiance from the attack bursting through his eyes, ears and mouth. The attack was, as the name suggested, an assault on the mind, and Be'dar was flooding Onaka with hallucinogenic visions of past tragedies and future defeats, all the while sending a jolt of ki through the monster's system. Be'dar, however, could feel Onaka's will struggling with his own for control, and after a mere few moments, the war lord released a bellow, his aura exploding as he drove the insectoid from his mind.
Before he knew what was happening, a powerful hand had seized him, vice-like, around the throat, and slammed him downwards through his perch. He hit the ground, hard, and was yet again dragged into the air by the armoured fist. "I admire your abilities, bug." Onaka growled, tightening his grip on Be'dar's throat. "You shall be granted the honour of a quick, painless dea-"
"HIYAAAA!" Jallargo was back in action, driving a high, spinning kick into the side of Onaka's horned head. The surprise attack caught the tyrant off-guard, and he was sent reeling through a wall of the compound, tonnes of bricks and debris cascading down on top of him. Jallargo landed lightly, adopting his fighting pose, bleeding profusely from a savage wound to the skull, but the light in his eyes blazed like an inferno. "This isn't over!"
From away to the right, the rubble shifted, and Telravan dragged himself out of the wreckage, stomping over to where Jallargo stood. "Not by a long shot." he growled, smashing his fists together.
Be'dar was the last to rise, his breathing laboured and heavy due to the crush on his windpipe, but he too appeared to be far from cashing in his chips. He allowed himself to hover just above the ground, his arms held stiffly by his side, palms spread, a deep jade light dancing between his fingers. "Let's hit him together!" the insectoid hissed, orbs of ki springing to life in his hands.
Telravan slammed his fists into the ground, hunching his immense shoulders, his horned crocodile-like head rolling back wards, a dim grey light glowing at the back of his throat. Jallargo thrusted an arm forwards, tightly gripping his bicep in concentration, beads of blue aura swirling around the length of his limb. Be'dar's hands turned, the palms now facing Onaka's crash zone, fingers clenching around the bright orbs of Ki, and as one, they launched their attack. The brute Telravan rocked his head forward, an immense pillar of grey Ki zooming towards Onaka. The diminuitive Jallargo followed suit, adding his own aquamarine attack to the mix, and Be'dar added countless, tightly formed orbs of gold and violet energy to the mix, peppering the blast site. The explosion erupted into the skies, a hefty mushroom cloud billowing into the skies, the very earth shaking in apparent fear of the immense might.
The warriors of the South weren't about to congratulate one another, though. As the smoke cleared, a dark figure could be seen rising from the ground in the haze, and they all felt that dreadful energy in the wake of the dissipating bombardment. "Weaklings." the War Lord growled, taking slow, deliberated steps towards them. "Did you really think that would work on me?"
"Time for Plan B, eh?" Jallargo's face was a horrified mask. He found no way to understand how this monster could have simply brushed off such a powerful assault from the three best fighters under South Kai's tutelage. He glanced sidelong at Telravan, whose ghastly face offered no insight to his thought process, and the reptile gave a stout nod. With another berserker roar, he charged at Onaka, Jallargo's form shifting sideways, cranking up into overdrive as he vanished from view, and a moment later, Be'dar's scarab-like wings jutted out from his back, and he lifted off the ground, also vanishing from view.
Onaka ducked beneath a haymaker from Telravan, then side-stepped a swipe from the giant's tail with ease. Jallargo slid into view a split second later, swinging another high kick at the dragon's head. Onaka was quick enough to lean his head back and avoid the attack, but had done exactly what the heroes had wanted. His neck now completely exposed, Be'dar appeared with a crackle of aura above the monster's head, his scorpion tail arched, and he drove the barb straight into Onaka's throat, sending paralysing poison flooding through the War Lord's system.
Now suffering an interior assault from the bug-like Be'dar, Onaka staggered, reeling from the effects of the venom, and was left wide open yet again to an attack. From behind, Telravan wrapped his tree trunk limbs around Onaka's torso, pinning his arms to his side and lifting him into the air, squeezing the life out of him. The War Lord's armour cracked under the pressure as he grit his teeth against the pain. Be'dar threw his own hat into the ring, appearing in front of the fighters, his fingers pressed to his forehead again, once more assaulting the War Lord's mind, while Jallargo danced to and fro, driving fast and powerful combinations into every pressure point he could think of.
The strength pinning his arms to his sides was too great for even Onaka to break, and he writhed in Telravan's clutches, his aura bursting wildly as he struggled to free himself. But, he managed to lash out with a savage kick in the depths of the physical and mental assault, driving Jallargo away from the combat, and rocked his head backwards into the face of Telravan. The reptile staggered back a step, then a second blow knocked him further, and Onaka combined the strength of his arms and powerful wings to launch the giant off his back. Telravan gained his composure quickly, but was met by a brutal swing to the chest from Onaka's hammer, driving him to the Earth. Almost casually, the War Lord raised a hand, signalling the end of Telravan's fight. "Tell your Kai to send as many fighters as he likes." he muttered tauntingly. "In the end, the Seyorian Empire will never fall." A short, broad energy wave fired from his gauntleted hand, and Telravan's dying screams echoed into silence, his body evaporating into little more than a pile of ash where the giant once stood.
"NO!" Jallargo leaped back into the fray, delivering combinations of desperate and furious punches, kicks and ki-blasts into Onaka's spine, sonic booms issuing from every impact point. But the tyrant seemed completely unperturbed by the vivacious assault. "You are a cowardly rodent, 'warrior'." he snarled derisively, spitting the last word in mockery, not moving a muscle, smoke trailing between his outstretched fingers, still pointing to where the reptile had died a moment earlier. "You only attack when my back is turned, or when a better fighter has me off guard. Your death will not be as quick as your companion's."
Before Jallargo had even sensed his movements, the war hammer was slammed into his side, crushing him against the wall, and Onaka's free hand seized the top of his head, driving him backwards to the earth. The slam was hard enough to form an impact crater, and while the teal humanoid coughed and twitched in mortal pain, Onaka loomed over him, raising a booted foot. An ear-splitting shriek rent the air, as Onaka brought his foot down again and again onto Jallargo's chest, breaking ribs and rupturing organs with every brutal stomp.
"I guess it's up to me..." Be'dar murmured, his hands shaking, watching on wide eyed in horror as his comrades were cut down before his very eyes. "Time for me to bring out my trump card..."
Six hundred years ago on Decitania, the insectoid inhabitants of the jungle world were threatened by extinction in the face of their system's exploding red-dwarf star. While the sun burst outwards, the planet was bathed in heat waves, spot-fires dotting the entire surface. Only one man had had the power to stop it, and that man had been Be'dar.
An old technique passed down throughout the generations, leading back to the mighty Warlocks of Decitania, allowed the user to create a rip in the very fabric of space and time. The potency of the attack however, more often than not, led to the destruction of the caster. But nevertheless, using this mighty magic as the catalyst for his race's salvation, Be'dar had tossed his life aside, utilising the spell to stabilise the supernova, and with his sacrifice bought peace and safety for his entire species.
The battle mage planned to use this same attack to send the mighty Onaka hurtling through space and time itself, casting him to all-points nowhere. "Temporal Shift!" he shouted, raising his hands high into the air, a ring of violently flickering mana spinning into life above his flattened palms. His whole form shook with the effort of producing the spell, and keeping his elbows locked and arms straight, he lowered the ring, pointing it at the merciless tyrant. His mandibles clicking furiously, growling under his breath, the mage prepared to fire his last effort. A primal scream echoed from his maw as the interior of the ring suddenly became a vast, black chasm, and he fired the circle towards his foe.
Onaka caught on to the attack, his eyes widening in horror, and he flung an arm out, using his telekinetic powers to bring the attack to a halt; the force of doing so levelled the entire compound around them, scattering debris and stone halfway across the globe. Sweat coated the tyrant's brow, his heels sliding out in the dust at his feet, forcing the ring back towards the Decitanian. Be'dar pushed with all his might, his superior psychic skills winning this battle of wills, the circlet pushing gradually towards Onaka. Knowing he couldn't change the direction of this clash, Onaka chose a secondary measure. Releasing his defence, he grabbed Jallargo by the collar of his shirt, and threw him directly into the ring, leaping backwards out of harm's way at the very last second.
"NO!" Be'dar's shout mingled with Jallargo's fading, horrified screams, and the mage dropped to the ground, his last dying breaths hitching in his chest. "You... you won't win... This is just... the beginning..." he croaked, glaring up at the tyrant through one good eye.
"You're right about one thing, Decitanian." the War Lord rasped. "This is just the beginning..."
[A/N: Thanks for reading chapter one. This one is a completely new concept to me, and I have a few people to thank for their inspiration and assistance:
To NamekianKai, for his amazing, muse-sparking artwork on DeviantArt.
To PJ, Ant, Tony, Karen, Adam, Mario and Wade for revitalising my lust of Dragonball Z fiction writing.
And lastly, to Donovan. If it wasn't for you Chapter One would have never been written.
I hope you've all enjoyed Chapter One, and continue to enjoy the following instalments. Leave me a review, drop me a line, share the story if you so wish, but most importantly, enjoy reading as much as I enjoyed writing. Thanks again.