Porcelain

Author`s Note: The second and final EP of Opaque Portents. Ever wonder what Zangya was like when no one was looking?

Disclaimer: I no own, you no sue, we all live happily ever after.



Hybrid Theory EP
Porcelain



Zangya groggily snapped awake, breathing hard and feeling relatively disoriented at the moment. Her pajama pants and the one-size-too-large shirt that Juuhachigou had given her as a birthday present(though nobody actually knew Zangya`s birthday(herself included), they`d all just settled on it as happening a week or so after the Tenkaichi) were both a bit clingy to her body damply. The attic-turned-bedroom she had occupied was humid and cold at the same time, but Zangya didn`t mind. All in all, it reminded her vaguely of home, prior to it`s utter destruction anyway. Wiping her face off and standing up, Zangya glanced herself over in the mirror - the third she`d had to buy and install since Roshi kept replacing the others with see through mirrors with cameras hidden behind them - noting that she was indeed drenched with sweat. Her lengthy, normally bouncy orange hair hung limply against her back like a cape, uncurled and resting idly.

"Figures," she thought while turning to one of the two dressers she`d bought when she had first moved into the Kame House from the capsule house she had first lived in while on the Earth. While it had been a comparitively better home for her and all, and she didn`t have to put up with the perversions of a short pig and a dirty old man there, it had been just a bit too lonely. Zangya was a very social person at heart, always had been and she always would be. That was another of the reasons she so enjoyed tormenting Piccolo, he was such a solitary prude that she couldn`t help it.

After sliding the shirt down and off of herself(it was large enough for her to do so given she was a fairly petite framed person) and then doing the same to her pants, Zangya tucked her hair up into a fairly large bun and got another shirt on, grabbing a pair of shorts and letting her hair back down as an after-thought. Still moistened from what had been a fairly disturbing nightmare, she was pretty quick to walk out of the attic and make the three foot drop to her feet with a pair of extremely soft thumps. She had become quite adept at sneaking around in her life, the only real sound made by her weighty hair slapping lightly against her back.

"Old guy`s asleep. So`s Oolong. Umi`s probably out on another nightly swim since it`s supposed to be mating season for sea turtles, Krillin`s sleeping and I think Juu is too," she thought while scratching the back of her head and stifling a yawn. Zangya had been in a bit of a thoughtful daze lately, having learned that Juuhachigou was actually two months pregnant with she and Krillin`s first child. Quite surprising mainly since there had literally been no changes in Juu`s appearance or noticable weight in that time, it had only come when Dende himself let the pair know before they had left the party about three weeks earlier.

It was a bit overly thought provoking for Zangya though. Kind of pierced through her shell and hit home a bit at some of those old customs she had practically lived to tear apart during her teens. By her world`s calendar she would`ve been on the order of 28 or 29 now, bar the time spent trapped in a star. Using that same method and applying it to the Earth`s calendar, she was twice that, give or take a few thousands of years if you factor in the time spent trapped in that Dead Zone-like prison the Four Kaios had put her and the rest of the old crew in.

As for the customs? Zangya so loved defying them in her teen-age years. She dressed in clothing more suited to lower class men rather than the ornate wear that women, let alone women of the middle or upper class, should`ve been wearing. She kept her hair long, yes, but she also kept it curly and bouncy, another act of sheer defiance against tradition. Only the men in her society had curly hair, and it was always short. Only her little brother, Pujin, had ever defied that tradition, though he broke it in another way by sticking his hair into that huge hat-wrap he wore - she thought the Earthers called it a turban.

Home brought back numerous memories for Zangya. She had been such an outcast to society back then, taking a boy of a higher class, Bojack, as her fiance prior to the outbreak of hostilities as their society caved in around itself. Back then, something golden and innocent had thrived in the despotic mass murderer, she`d been one of the only people who had ever seen anything good in him. Dubbed a headstrong failure by his own family, though his cousin Bido had stood through it beside him in sheer defiance of it all, Bojack had been something near messianic back then.

Then came the endgame, the great B├╝rgerkrieg. Brother against brother, sister against sister, husband against wife, friend against friend. It had all shattered in one massively violent, four year long battle which raged across the surface of Old Frieden. It never went quiet either, no matter what time of year - even on holy days - blood was shed. Back then, ki techniques were something looked upon as downright vile. Religious zealotry had kept it from the masses but Bojack, Bido, Zangya, Pujin and Gokuha had all managed to learn it, mostly on their own.

She still remembered the first time she waded through the battlefield. Her knowledge and then mediocre mastery of ki control had allowed her to take a massive toll alone. Bido and Bojack were both adept at the arts of killing as well, though Bojack took one over them all since he had been raised to defend his throne with the traditional arts that the higher classes so greedily gaurded. He also had another up on the lot of them, he found he enjoyed killing. Sure, they all learned to eventually but Bojack was the first. He had taken his first life at the age of fifteen human years, beheading Zangya`s own father with his bare hands.

It had thrilled him ecstatically.

She`d blocked out most of the four years after that, but she still had dreams from time to time where she`d wake up from that battlefield all over again, eyes darting to her arms and the rest of herself to make sure she wasn`t painted with someone`s blood. She still vividly remembered how she`d watched Gokuha - the least adept in ki fighting of the group - sword duel his own uncle and then behead him, run him through and slice his body into numerous smaller pieces before he`d ever hit the ground.

In my dreams I'm dying all the time
As I wake its kaleidoscopic mind

"Gotta remember to watch my karma in the next lifetime," she muttered, rubbing her eyes again. By now she had gone downstairs and set herself down on the couch in the living room. The lights were off, as was the television. Television wasn`t alien to Zangya in the least, she`d seen dozens of races with the exact same thing or something like it during the reign of terror she took part in. Every last one of them was gone now, except maybe that one race that had put up a fairly massive fight against her people.

She`d forgotten their names by now, only remembering a few vague details overall. They were all ghastly pale colors ranging from purple to solid white, no irises in the eyes, no body hair and black horns. They also had thick built tails and at least one of them was able to metemorphose into something about Bojack`s own size and build, and increase his power as a result.

It had all been so much less challenging after they`d all gotten the crystals they wore. Necklaces, ear rings, rings... However they were worn, the effect of the little crimson gems was always the same: A massive increase in power. It unlocked a good deal of one`s hidden power and it provided a stronger form as well. She`d only used it once for her own modesty, tearing one`s own clothing to shreds by powering up, in front of your friends, remaining family and your lover wasn`t exactly the most prudent thing to do.

There were also the catches to them. She hadn`t worn her gems in years, in fact, she kept them locked in a small black case in the second dresser she owned. The last time she did was on the field against the Earth`s defenders. To use those gems was a prospect she had come to hate. The one time she did, it left her feeling tainted to the extreme. Bido and Pujin had both listened to her comments on how it had felt and never done it, Gokuha had a lesser appetite for it and Bojack outright lived for it.

It had probably been what sapped out the goodness in the boy who`d grown into the man she`d fallen in love with in the first place.

She chuckled lightly. An epiphany had dawned on her out of no where, probably a natural want of a subject change from a bad dream, but either way, it had happened.

"I love this little mudball," Zangya said with a smile. "Pretty, simplistic, relaxed... A real diamond in the rough as far as the rest of the universe is concerned," she thought while shifting her gaze out of the large window in the living room, out to see. "Nah. Not pretty, beautiful," she corrected herself, leaning her head into her hand and watching the ocean water lightly slide over the shores of the small island she`d come to call home. "No bugs either..." She remarked curiously, finally realizing that for all of it`s natural beauty, the island had no insect life at all.

"Blame the old man," a new voice cut into things. Zangya glanced over her shoulders to find Juuhachigou standing there in - of all things - a pink sleeping gown. "Interesting change of clothes, Juu," she commented. "Never pegged you to be an at-home kinda girl though."

"Things change," Juuhachi replied calmly while walking into the kitchen. "That, they do. When`s the baby due?" Zangya asked, getting up and moving to sit on the frame of the forever-open window. "Sometime in November," Juuhachi answered as she stepped back into view, drinking down a glass of orange juice. "And as for the old man, blame the fact he had it in for insects and apparently gathered the Dragonballs about twenty years ago and wished that his island would never have to deal with them. They just drop dead when they come within two miles of the place now," she explained while seating herself on the same window frame as Zangya.

"Something wrong?" Juu asked after a few seconds of quiet. Zangya shrugged.

"Bad dream. Again," she answered. Juuhachigou shook her head. "I can relate. I`ve been having them for a while now, since I found out I was pregnant," she replied. "How`ve you been having them?" Zangya asked curiously. "Krillin thinks they`re probably a result of me learning about the way that future Trunks guy knew of me. Ruthlessly killing everything that moved but my brother," she answered. "And every one of them involve me killing him or a little girl that looked exactly like I think I did."

"You?" Juu asked. Zangya shook her head in reply.

"The same ones that I used to have a lot more often. The ones where I`m wading knee deep in blood, the ones where I`m watching that kid tearing apart Pujin and Bido..."

"You never did explain to me the ties you had to that group," Juu interjected during the lengthy pause. Zangya sighed. "You`ll never let me down on that, will you?" She asked. Juu smirked lightly. "Not a chance in hell, you little blue bitch," she replied with that rarely seen lightheartedness to her voice. Zangya was probably one of the only two people that ever heard it on a daily basis. "It figures, ya blond, blue eyed slut," she replied with a snicker before shrugging. "Well, wanted it explain, right?"

"Deaf, eh?"

"I`ll take that as a yes. Pujin was my little brother. Bojack was my lover, keyword: Was. Can thank the kid for that," she began, cracking a smirk at that agonized look on Bojack`s face the second time Gohan had killed him. While at first it was disturbing, over the years it had come to crack her up a little more every time. "Bido was the man I probably should`ve been with, he was Bojack`s cousin, and for most of the time I knew him, my best friend. Headstrong, sometimes noble, largely built, roguish... Handsome in an off-beat sort of way but-" Juu cut in. "Enough about the missed opportunities. So you blitzed a good chance at happiness, there are others out there," she stated. "I know that blondie, but I`m not done yet. After him there was Gokuha, the last of the group. We met him towards the end of the huge war that tore my old home apart. He had no real tie-in to the group like me, Bido and Pu` did, but he was blood thirsty so Bojack kept him around."

"I see..."

"For a few years after that, maybe a decade or two in human years, we rampaged around blowing up planets, mass genocide... The works. Then we arrived on this one little planet - I think it was called Tarusau Se or something - and had our run-in with the Four Kaios themselves. The lot of them pulled all their tricks out of the bag and after Bojack was hit with them one by one, the lot of us got suckered into diving into something called a Star Seal. Don`t know how long we were in there, but it was long enough that Bojack and Gokuha really lost themselves, Pu` snapped into himself spent half the time meditating, the other half gouging into his own skin. Bido just gained a pretty bad mean streak and I became pretty vain and spiteful and then..."

"And then the seal was broke when Goku teleported Cell onto the North Kaio`s world and ended up killing himself and the Kaio."

"Didn`t really make a connection there but yeah, pretty much. We deduced things here, beat them out of others there and after a while, thanks to some magics that Pu` came up with, we arrived on the Earth, ready to make a killing. Instead..."

"Most of you got killed."

"Pretty much," Zangya concluded. "The kid pretty much ignored the fact I even existed and went right at Bojack. He literally stepped on me, doing it. I don`t even think he realized I was there after Bojack tried to kill me," she stated. Juu shook her head. "Go figure. Say..."

Juuhachigou paused, as if actually at a loss for words on something. Zangya raised an eyebrow. "Hm?" She sounded curiously, waiting for an answer from the other woman. Juu looked up at her heavily after a few moments, as if having planned something out. "What were you like during those years?" She asked quietly. Zangya`s answer was straightforward, blunt and to the point, as she herself almost always was. "A murderous bitch. I killed without care and I enjoyed it, sometimes I fear I still would if it hadn`t ended back on that island a few years ago," she answered sharply.

Juu sighed and scratched one of her temples before speaking up finally.

"Then will you mind if I ask you to leave before the baby is born?" She asked, that robotic sense of emotionlessness rising into her voice. Zangya didn`t know whether to be jealous or offended but she played the part of understanding well enough to avoid both.

"Not at all, Juu. I understand completely anyhow, best not to have genocide walking around your baby, eh?" She asked with an out-of-place sarcasm while hopping off of the window frame and glancing back at the other woman. "I`ll be gone by the end of the month, sound good?" She asked, almost pleasantly. Juu only gave a nod while carelessly chucking the now-emptied glass over her shoulder and out to sea.

"... Yeah..."

"G`night then Juu."

Zangya exited the living room in a few swift strides after that, rounding the staircase and heading back up the flight and into her makeshift living area, leaving Juuhachigou to sit alone in silent contemplation.

It never quite dawned on her that the month would be ending on Monday. It was Saturday night now.

I never meant to hurt you
I never meant to lie

"Fun while it lasted,"
Zangya thought with a sigh while shutting the door behind her and rubbing her temples. "Back to the capsule then, I guess," she uttered. Now she really did feel envy and jealousy for her own - former? - best friend. Not only did Juuhachigou have an honest, loving man, a stable home(bar the two perverts), family and a future as a mother, but she did it in strict defiance of her own customs. She and Krillin were married, sure, they didn`t practice the same religions(Juuhachigou was the type of person who believed in the unirverse alone rather than gods, Krillin was a former Bhuddist monk), he was an unnaturally short fellow with no nose, she was the definition of blonde bombshell.

As for Zangya`s people`s customs? She should`ve had two children by the time she turned twenty in her people`s years, been married and mated for life to someone. Instead, she was going on 30 of her people`s years, unmarried, about to live alone once again and now she felt cut out of the loop once more and forced to find another place to live as a result.

"Least the kids need me," she thought, a small bit of amusement coming at the way Trunks and Goten both refered to her as their mutual aunt, despite the fact she was greenish blue and had orange hair. Then there was Gohan`s little situation with Videl. She`d pretty much taken it upon herself to be his older sister over the years, and she`d acted that role out pretty well overall, even earning his help on the occasion when she had sought to use the Dragonballs for the old crew.

"And at least Pu` `n` Bido are in better places," she added while plopping onto her bed and laying down. Yes, she`d begin moving tomorrow, when she woke up but...

So this is goodbye
This is goodbye

... That could wait. Closing her eyes with a faint smile, Zangya allowed her lengthy hair to flow over the side of the bed and rest just a few inches off the hard wood floor while pulling the bedspread back up over her small frame.

Tell the truth you never wanted me
Tell me

"G`night mudball,"
she thought as she snuggled herself under the covers and tugged them up over her shoulders and around the lower portion of her face.

In my dreams I'm jealous all the time
As I wake I'm going out of my mind
Going out of my mind

End




Author`s Note: Well, that was a nice, non-violent little short story, don`t you think? Leave a review if you would, I`m interested in knowing what people think of how far Zangya`s come from the first time she was seen in Hybrid Theory.

Sh33p out.