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Check-in station, 737 AD
King Vegeta opened his eyes and found himself standing in a long queue.
He jumped back, putting as much distance between him and the other people as he could. An animalistic snarl tore from his throat, Vegeta Sr let his tail lash behind him and his lips pull back to reveal sharp canines. He crouched into a fighting stance as he spotted a trio of ogres approaching him.
"Sir, I'm going to have to ask you to calm down." began the first ogre, a bulky creature with pus-yellow skin. "We were sent to escort you to- -"
"I don't give a damn what you were sent for. Where have you taken me?" he growled, cutting to the chase. "What is this place? Where is Frieza?"
"Listen to us, sir. Frieza isn't here- -" a second ogre tried to say, this one uglier than the first, with boils and a puke-green complexion.
"Then where is he?" he demanded, tail lashing agitatedly. "Where is Frieza?"
"Alive," a deep voice cut in sharply. "Unlike you."
Vegeta Sr whirled around to find himself looking up at a giant red face. "Excuse me?"
King Yemma sighed, pulling up a file. "King Vegeta of the Saiyan race. Time of death: 2300 hours, day 28, month 7, year 737. Cause of death: ruptured organs and severe blood loss. You're dead, Saiyan. Act like it and get back in line."
If looks could kill, Yemma would be leaving in a body bag.
"I can't be dead, you fool! There must be some mistake. The last thing I remember was-" Vegeta Sr stopped, eyes wide with horror.
"Going up against the greatest terror in the universe?" Yemma asked rhetorically. "And you lost. So now you're dead. Anyway, this is against procedure, but I'll make an exception because I want to be rid of you. Skip the line, turn right and keep going until you find the Snake Way. Jump off the bridge when you see puffy yellow clouds. You should meet all the other Saiyans in Hell. If you'll excuse me, I have other things to attend to-"
"What do you mean all the other Saiyans?" Vegeta Sr demanded, deciding to deal with the matter of his supposed death later. His people came first. "Aside from the squad that came with me, they're all on Vegetasei!"
Yemma cleared his throat awkwardly. "Well. A-about that. After you died, Frieza decided to blow up your planet. Well, it was nice meeting you. So if you would please throw yourself off the bridge-" he said all this in a rush, but Vegeta Sr's ears still caught it, and he predictably latched on to the greatest offense.
"WHAT?" Vegeta Sr roared. "Frieza blew up MY planet!?"
"Afraid so." the giant ogre braced himself for another tantrum, and was surprised when the proud Saiyan visibly deflated.
"I failed..." he murmured, shock and despair written on his face. "Zorn was right. Because I acted selfishly, my people paid the price. They're all gone."
"Your son isn't," Yemma said, awkwardly trying to comfort the depressed Saiyan. Then he realized it may not have been good to get the man's hopes up, and hastily backtracked. "But seeing as he's with Frieza, you'll see him here soon enough-"
"What the hell is that supposed to mean?" Vegeta Sr shouted, suddenly angry again. "What will happen to my son?" The marble pillars trembled, raining bits of stone down on the line of souls.
"ENOUGH!" Yemma roared, banging his gavel to silence the panicking souls. "Ogres! take him to HFIL!"
The ogres grabbed Vegeta Sr and dragged him away, still screaming obscenities at the giant.
Yemma rubbed his temples. He had been dealing with these brutes all day. He needed a vacation. Perhaps his cousin from that other universe would fill in for him for a while...
His gaze fell on a particular file, darkening immediately. He snatched he papers up, flipping through them roughly. His eyes widened. No, Vegeta's son would not die.
He looked up at the spot Vegeta Sr had just been. The child would not die; but perhaps, it was a far kinder fate for the father to remain in the dark about what his son would become.
Unknown, 737 AD
Clinophobia is the fear of sleeping.
The line between fantasy and reality is taut, yet fragile. Fantasy is merely an image produced by wild imagination, sometimes painting our heart's desire, sometimes a mere daydream, and other times it is an escape. It is, to summarize, a state where one sees what he wants to see and nothing else.
His hands ripped into the girl's torso, tearing through bone and muscle, and emerged out her back. He saw her eyes, full of pain and fear and hate, lock with his as she died. It was gruesome, cruel even, but it didn't matter. Not to him. She was just a toy. Toys were replaceable. Unimportant.
(Frieza had said that he was, too. But he wasn't a toy, he was a person. Father had said so. Where was father?)
He is five, and wonders why he sees dead faces at night.
"We will escape this forsaken place."
Vegeta Sr turned his stern glare on every member of the squad. The moment he had found his people, they had turned to him, crying out for the blood of their enemy. He had responded in kind, yelling himself hoarse as he howled motivational words of vengeance to them. After that, he determined that neither of his children were in there, then quickly set about plotting breakout with the elite squad and the Queen.
He would not remain here. He would not fail his people again, nor would he fail his son.
But apparently, not everyone shared his views. Some soft-hearted fools thought that they had done enough.
They were currently divided into two opposing teams. He, obviously, wanted to take his people and get the HFIL out of HFIL. His wife, however, had made other plans, and had managed to gather a few traitors to her side
"Maybe we should just stay here, sir," Zorn, one of the pro-Queens, said nervously. "Have we not had enough blood on our hands?"
"No, we have not." Bardock, one of the other group, snapped. He wasn't an elite, but Vegeta Sr had decided that he should be consulted on these matters. It had been Bardock who had first foresaw Frieza destroying Vegetasai after all, and he deserved credit. Vegeta Sr had been a bit disappointed when Bardock admitted that his vision had been caused by a bug hitting him on the head, but that was irrelevant as of now. "I want that lizard son of a bitch dead."
"So do we all." Vegeta Sr agreed. "Which is why we shall escape to the world of the living-"
"We shall do no such thing!" the Queen snapped, her voice starting to crack. The argument had been going on for hours. "It is rash and unreasonable. What is there to gain-"
"We have nothing left to lose and everything to gain!"
"You're wrong. Vegeta, think about it. If you escape, you'll die again eventually and get sent to a lower level of HFIL. And for what? Revenge? Frieza will die eventually, then you can both duke it out here. But you can not spend an eternity of torment for the sake of a chance at petty vengeance?"
"He killed us all, woman!" Vegeta Sr said hotly. "He slaughtered us like swine, without even lifting a finger! We must have revenge, it is a matter of Saiyan pride-"
"And where has pride gotten you now?" the Queen exploded. "Look around you, Vegeta! Is this what you wanted? An eternity in this hellhole?"
She stalked up to him and ripped his pendant off. She dangled it in his face.
"King," she spat on the ground. "What good is that now?"
Vegeta Sr swung a punch, but she was expecting it. She darted under his fist to knee him in the gut. Vegeta Sr blocked the blow and retaliated with a swift kick that sent her flying into a boulder. She shot out of the rubble, tackling the king.
Their fight lasted for hours and carried them to an isolated place away from the others. It was something they both needed.; the primal urge to beat an opponent until they surrendered, the honed instinct to draw blood.
They let their frustration bleed out of each punch, concentrating on nothing but their opponent. Not their sons, not their worries, nothing mattered except for the fight.
The end result had the king's arm blocking his wife's throat as he pinned her down.
"Don't you get it, Vegeta?" she yelled, her eyes wet. "It's over! Vegetasei is gone. We have lost everything. Vengeance serves no purpose."
"If not for vengeance," he said quietly. "Then do it for your son."
King Vegeta walked away, leaving his Queen weeping on the ground.
Unknown, 739 AD
Acarophobia is the fear of mites, insects, and worms.
Fantasy is, by definition, to see what one wants to see. It is often like a drug, numbing the harsh facts and providing an escape into a world that is our own to control. The notion of a faux reality that is centered on the object of our focus, where we are still free to control everything from pawns of the lowest rank to tyrants of the highest power, holds a nearly irresistible appeal to the dominating and selfish side of human nature.
But sometimes, drugs aren't strong enough, and the wake-up call hurts.
It was dark and small and it rank. If he were to spread his arms, he knew that his palms would press against the rocky surface of the pit. But his fingers didn't so much as twitch; frozen in place by the toxins now running through his veins.
Frieza had been upset. He hadn't followed orders, because he had not listened very well. He did not think he'd be punished. Punishment was for the toys, or the underling slaves. Not the Prince of All Saiyans.
(Father had said so. Father wasn't here, was he?)
He is seven, and the worms continue to eat his flesh.
The Queen's refusal to help was just the start of their worries. There were some obvious setbacks, such as how to get out, and their lack of bodies.
"We could inhabit other bodies," Bardock suggested. "Other races."
"And give up our Saiyan heritage?" Fasha demanded. Arguments sprouted and it descended into a shouting match, then an all-out brawl. There was a controversy, some saying that the humiliation wasn't worth it, others arguing that they had no choice, and others still, voting for different, brutal methods that would work as well as their last attack.
It took two years of failed attempts before they finally agreed to Bardock's plan.
Unknown, 741 AD
Agliophobia is the fear of pain
Karma is a right bitch. She created the universal law of the things one did designed to turn around and bite one in the bum, sometimes variating from one's actual crime, so one is caught unawares.
Most times, enlightenment of this fact happens in the worst possible way.
The bed was soft underneath him and damp with his tears.
His emotions were now a jumble of pain, loss, violation and confusion. He was confused because this didn't hurt as much as the other things Frieza had done, but it felt much worse somehow. It was an awful feeling of being simply violated that shook him to his core and made him beg and scream to stop it- STOP IT PLEASE-!
He remembered seeing this done on his last mission. One of his temporary squad mates had been doing it to a woman, and he had wondered why the woman was so upset. It didn't look like Cui was doing much to torture her.
Above him, the tyrant continued his rhythm.
(Father, help. Father would never come.)
He is nine, and for the first time he thinks that perhaps his toys are not like Saibamen after all.
Four years after their death to the minute, the Queen agreed to their plan.
It was still up for debate. They had more or less an idea of how to escape the Saiyan way. Which meant that they were going to fight the ogres and Yemma head-on. It was not particularly bright idea, but the bloodthirsty votes in its favor were unanimous.
The species they were to possess was another matter.
"Take the Lycans, they're a warrior race, but not as good as we are-"
"Are you fucking retarded? I say go with the Scorpios-"
"What did you call me, asshole?"
"Enough," the Queen said. The Saiyans fell silent. "We cannot inhabit a race that is well known if we want to stay off Frieza's radar for long enough to adjust to the new bodies. Even if he doesn't suspect, who's to say he won't blow up their planet too? Then we'd be dead again, and in a worse place than this for escaping in the first place."
She waited for the furious shouts and curses to die down, before continuing,
"We also cannot inhabit a race that is too strong, or they might have the mental power to resist our control." She paused briefly to acknowledge the grumbles that spread through the ranks.
"What we need," she declared. "is a planet that is isolated- -well out of Frieza's reach- -with weak inhabitants who have physiology that is similar enough to ours to be easy to adjust to. We will undoubtedly be able to train the new bodies as we see fit." A supportive roar. "Does anyone have any suggestions?"
There was a lull in conversation as the Saiyans thought. Several ideas were voiced and shot down, before Bardock slowly raised his hand.
"My son was sent to one such planet," he said. "I believe it was called Earth."
Unknown, 742 AD
Autophobia is the fear of being alone.
C.S. Lewis once said, 'If you look for truth, you may find comfort in the end; if you look for comfort you will not get either comfort or truth, only soft soap and wishful thinking to begin, and in the end, despair'.
In contrast, Ben Jonson once said, 'Curiosity killed the cat.'
He wondered if his views thus far had been wrong. So when his hand crushed the alien's heart, he reached into its mind and felt it die.
(It's lonely, Father. Father was gone)
He is ten, and he realizes that people are not like the little green men he used to kill.
"King Yemma, the Saiyans are attacking the west gate!"
Yemma looked up from his never ending pile of paperwork. "Can't you handle it?" he groaned
Another messenger burst into the room, looking frantic. "They've overwhelmed our guards. They're on their way up here as we speak!"
Baba floated over to allow him access to the crystal ball she used as a seat. Yemma observed the Saiyans for a moment. He had to admit, their skills in battle had not been exaggerated. Still, as much as he loved a show to break up the monotony, he was in charge of this realm's wellbeing.
"Activate the nanobots." he ordered.
Unknown, 744 AD
Asthenophobia is the fear of weakness.
The law of nature is 'eat or be eaten'. It is a jungle out there; only the strong survive, while the weak perish.
Vulnerability is something that very few people want to be associated with. One feels naked and exploitable when he is vulnerable. But every man has a weakness. It's just a matter of who can hide theirs the best.
Like quills upon the fretful porpentine, when the soft underbelly is exposed, you put up your defenses.
He kept killing. He knew that if he didn't, he'd be seen as a weakling and killed himself.
Every time he murdered a worthy opponent, he reached into the opponent's mind as ze died. He was always assaulted with the images of loved ones, old regrets, a desperate last cry to someone they cared for.
Who are you calling to? he wanted to ask. Every one of those people are dead. I killed them. There is no one left. Who are you calling to?
(Father...anyone. Who was he calling for? Everyone was dead here too.)
He is twelve, and something inside is breaking, but no one cares.
Another year and a half were wasted as his and his men's antibodies fought off Yemma's accursed microscopic tin cans.
Yemma had assured them that the nanobots were like viruses. Eventually their own immune systems would kick in to get rid of the intrusion. Until then, they'd be experiencing several nasty shocks.
He slammed his fist against a boulder. Seven years! They had been stuck here for seven years. His son had been with Frieza for that same amount of time. The bastard had had years to break Vegeta, and had probably succeeded.
When he was alive, the spies in Frieza's army lasted scarcely more than a year, at most.
Faced with this terrible fact, King Vegeta buried his face in his hands. "Oh, my son," he moaned. "Forgive me."
Unknown, 747 AD
Agatheophobia is the fear of madness.
Madness; the condition of being mad; insanity, lunacy.
Counterphobia: in which the victim seeks out the object he fears most.
He realized that he hated killing for Frieza, so he did so more and more. He engaged in a masochistic game that he always won, but also lost every time. Frieza liked this. Liked him turning into a mirror image of the tyrant.
(But who cared. There was no one left to see, anyway.)
He is fifteen, and insane.
There's a spinoff on this entitled 'Phobia'on my profile.