In the story you all know, shortly following Bardock's failed attempt to save Planet Vegeta from its inevitable destruction, a lone space pod would be sent off on a voyage into the stars. The young child it carried on its path was the young Saiyan warrior Kakarot, who, after hitting his head, would go on to become the ultimate savior of Earth under his adopted name, Goku.
However, in this universe, a change in Bardock's confrontation with Frieza would result in the birth of an entire new story for Kakarot…
Turbulence Prologue – Divergence
Bardock stood alone, looking into the crimson skies of Planet Vegeta. Just above the atmosphere was Frieza, the mighty Arcosian who was universally known as the overseer of the Planet Trade Organization—the most feared being in all of existence.
He was about to attempt the impossible, he realized. Frieza's power far outclassed anything that a Saiyan warrior could ever hope to achieve. However, he wasn't about to let that stop him, not when the very fate of the Saiyan race was at stake. His heart was pounding, his blood boiling with anticipation. He would either prevail over his former overlord, the one who, with a simple command to Dodoria, had put him and his task force through such strife and agony… or die trying, alone and forgotten.
At first, their relationship as business partners had worked out well—Frieza allowed them to conquer other worlds with the use of the empire's technology, which, in turn, satiated their lust for battle. Planet Vegeta was soon renovated into a military base for the business, allowing them for better thriving civilization and better prosperity—life couldn't be better for the barbaric savages after being employed by the seemingly-friendly Arcosian. It seemed to have been a beneficial relationship for both parties, but then the Frost Demon had begun to take note of the Saiyans' overwhelming potential.
Though their power was inconsequential when compared to Frieza's, the Arcosian tyrant feared their strength in numbers. As such, his right-hand man—Zarbon, the narcissistic, self-proclaimed beauty—had recommended utter and complete extermination of them all. Frieza had heeded such advice, eventually deeming it a good idea to do so.
Now, at this very moment, said Frost Demon was currently occupying the upper atmosphere of Planet Vegeta—ready to vaporize the planet without so much of a battle. In truth, the lizard-resembling creature did fear them—if they were to hold an uprising at the moment, there was a slight chance they could succeed. Needless to say, Frieza couldn't allow that to happen.
Due to his psychic abilities, Bardock knew he hadn't much time to make his last stand—it was now or never. Beginning to levitate, the Saiyan prepared to blast off to his destiny, clenching his hands into fists and grounding his teeth as he thought of all the lives that would be taken if Frieza was able to carry through with his mission. He didn't care at all about the lives the Frost Demon had taken; what mattered was that he dared to claim the souls of his own people. Though he may not have cared for each and every one of his fellow Saiyan warriors, he could still feel and share in their undying devotion for battle and honor.
And if he failed to stop Frieza today, he knew that it was simply all over. Nothing would remain of the Saiyans—their culture, their people, and their planet would be all blown to smithereens.
With the thought of extinction and death running rampant through Bardock's mind, he quickly ignited his clear aura and dashed off into the skies, preparing for what would be the final chapter in the battle for Planet Vegeta.
As his ship lazily drew closer to its destination, Frieza was unable to tear his gaze from the red asteroid of a planet. It was really a beautiful thing to behold, yet it was filled with all those filthy primates—that simply wouldn't do.
"What a stunning sight…" he said with that sinister grin of his, taking in every aspect of the planet that he could before it would be gone. "…Sometimes I amaze myself at how callous I can be."
Behind him, with no less of a malicious smirk, stood his right-hand man, who casually swept his long braid behind his ear. "Well, sire…"
Suddenly, a dull sound reverberated around the chamber as the doors opened, and through it came a running soldier, who immediately halted in his tracks and saluted upon seeing his overlord. "Lord Frieza!" he began, not wasting a moment, "an intruder is approaching!"
Nonchalantly, Frieza lifted his brow, amused with the idea of someone actually daring to challenge his reign. "Oh? Do tell… perhaps I'll even get my hands dirty for once..."
Bardock lunged through the upper atmosphere of Planet Vegeta, ruthlessly fending off a continuous garrison of soldiers as he did so. Though they had the advantage in numbers, the angered warrior refused to allow that fact to deter him from his ultimate goal. With each round of soldiers, the Saiyan continuously fended them off with a combination of well-maneuvered blows, decimating them in his wake.
However, he soon found that his previous wounds were catching up to him; he couldn't endure the pain much longer. As such, he made a foolish pause, which would prove to be his undoing. Immediately, he was subdued by a swarm of soldiers. Trapped within the clump of warriors, Bardock found himself incapable of moving even the slightest limb.
Unfortunately for these soldiers, the revenge-lusting warrior wasn't keen on giving up so easily. Summoning whatever reserves he had left in his body, Bardock summoned his azure aura and released it around his immediate flank in a maelstrom of energy, resulting in his foes being instantly incapacitated. They fell into the lower atmosphere of Planet Vegeta, unconscious, though the spiky-haired Saiyan didn't even spare them a glance—they weren't his main concern. All that was on his mind was revenge—pure, utter retribution for what Frieza had ordered upon him and his people. Though he may not have gotten along with some of his fellow warriors so well, Bardock respected the Saiyan code of honor just as much as the next tail-donning humanoid. To think that Frieza would try to deny that from him and his kin was just purely unacceptable…
Fueling himself with these thoughts, Bardock dashed forward once more, barreling through a massive pack of soldiers, his burning aura never once faltering. How many soldiers had he slain? He didn't know. All that mattered was that he gained revenge—his rightful revenge. The death toll was inconsequential; as long as Frieza's life was snuffed out this day, Bardock didn't care how many lives he had to take.
Suddenly, he was trapped by another body of soldiers, rendering him incapable of moving. However, unlike before, Bardock was able to summon a burst of energy from his right palm, which he then detonated instantaneously. The soldiers, like their predecessors, immediately fell back into the gravity of the Saiyan homeworld, deceased.
"Frieza!" the Saiyan shouted, ablaze with absolute fury. The spaceship was in clear sight; there was no escape. At last, the moment of truth had come… he would either prevail here, or perish, like the rest of his race would. The final battle was only moments away…
Suddenly, as if out of nowhere, another clamp of soldiers surrounded him, trapping him and rendering him incapable of moving. He tried to flex his muscles in order to concentrate even a modicum of his power, but even that proved to be too much. He was soon losing feeling in his arms; his legs began to grow numb shortly after.
To make matters worse, the remaining soldiers quickly swarmed Bardock, throwing punches and kicks at the subdued warrior to wear him down further. Though the power difference was quite significant between the Saiyan and each individual soldier, their combined power was more than enough to send the bandana-wearing warrior reeling with each barrage of blows.
But he simply couldn't quit here; the stakes were much too high for submittal. He refused to go out to a pack of grunts that were nowhere near Frieza in strength, nor would he allow himself to lose at all. He didn't care how, but Frieza had to be stopped.
"FRIEZA!" Just the thought of slaughtering that vile demon invigorated Bardock with newfound power, which he used to send an explosive burst of energy all around him, sending the soldiers congregating around him into all different directions.
Not missing a beat, the Saiyan flew higher into the air and fired a sphere of an azure hue, instantly vaporizing an entire garrison of soldiers in his wake. He followed this up by preparing another sphere in his right hand, which he threatened to throw at the remainder of Frieza's minions.
"If you want a fight, bring it!" he shouted, dashing towards the final horde of warriors with a battle cry. 'I can't die here… not when the fate of the Saiyans depends on it!'
With one swift maneuver, he threw his leg in an arc, catching one blue-skinned warrior in the jaw with a bone-shattering kick. The wounded soldier fell back, unintentionally crashing into his comrades, leaving them wide open for attack. Quickly capitalizing on this, Bardock threw his sphere of energy and watched with a solemn expression as it detonated, instantly vaporizing the remaining warriors.
"It's terrible, isn't it? Those poor fools are like dominos—if you tip one over, they all fall…just like you filthy, idiotic monkeys."
Instantly, Bardock whipped around to lock eyes with his former overlord, who was slowly levitating down to his level with that smug expression of his. For once, he didn't arrive with his hoverchair, signifying that he was ready for battle. His garnet eyes looked as sinister as ever, directing their gaze solely on him.
"Frieza…" he growled, tightly clenching his fists as he tried to control his burning emotions, "…Y-You…"
"I will admit, however," the Frost Demon continued on, completely interrupting him, "you somehow caught wind of my plans… however, you're sadly mistaken if you think you'd be able to stop me from blowing your precious planet into dust." Casually, he raised his right index finger, a small orange sphere beginning to form at the very tip of his nail.
"I don't care what it takes; you won't continue your reign of terror over my people! We're done working for you!" Immediately, he dashed towards his opponent in a flare of blue light, his left arm outstretched for a roundhouse punch, his mind burning with rage and the desire to see the tyrant dead at his feet. 'Tora…Fasha… Shugesh… Borgos… this is for you!'
He quickly swung his fist, watching with a confident smirk as it raced towards the tyrant's exposed skull—
—but his momentum was quickly halted when Frieza's left hand lackadaisically reached upward and caught it, putting pressure on it by twisting it ever so slightly. Immediately, his arm was burning with unadulterated pain, enough so that the shock nearly sent Bardock into unconsciousness.
'W-What?' thought Bardock as he tried to free himself from Frieza's death grip . '…There's no way he could be this strong…'
"Such bravery of yours should be rewarded, you know," said the tyrant chillingly as he stared into the Saiyan's onyx eyes with that merciless grin, watching with twisted amusement as he tried to prevent crying out in agony. "I'd say that you deserve the distinction of being the last Saiyan in existence, wouldn't you say?"
"I'd rather die than watch everything burn to shreds… and that's exactly what I'm going to do."
His response caught Frieza off-guard, visibly causing the tyrant to frown for a moment as he pondered the implications of his opponent's words. "Wh-what are you-"
"If I'm going to die… I may as well take you with me!" Bardock's free hand stretched out as quick as lightning and caught the Arcosian's jaw, which, out of surprise, forced Frieza to drop his grip on the Saiyan. He would then quickly dash behind Frieza and wrap his arms around his neck in a sleeper hold, lock his legs around Frieza's tail, and summon up as much power as he possibly could—and more. He couldn't afford to fail here, not when everything was on the line.
"Foolish monkey… let go of me this instant!" Frieza hissed, trying to squirm his way out of Bardock's grip to no avail. 'What the hell is he planning—no Saiyan should have a power like this! Could he be…'
"I swore that Planet Vegeta wouldn't be destroyed… and I meant it. If that means killing myself in order to preserve the Saiyan people, I'm all for it!" Tightening his grip on his former overlord, Bardock prepared for the end. "Say goodbye, Fri-"
BZZZZT! Somehow, someway, it all took a turn for the worse. Somehow slipping one finger free, Frieza pressed it into Bardock's abdomen and fired a Death Beam straight through it.
"Ngh… gah…" Bardock retched, his vision beginning to go white as blood oozed out of his body. Easily, now free of the Saiyan's hold, Frieza grasped him by the neck and hurled him back down towards the planet, where he would drift almost lifelessly back towards his home planet.
Though he had won the battle, Frieza still felt rage coursing through his body. 'Curse him… had I not found a way to escape, that little suicide stunt could've killed me! These Saiyans have grown strong enough; it's time I wiped them out!'
If he'd had any doubt about his decision before, this encounter solidified it. Raising his index finger once more, Frieza began to gather energy for his Supernova attack…
As he was sent freefalling back into Planet Vegeta's gravity, Bardock felt nothing but despair. He had failed to defeat Frieza; he had failed in saving the Saiyans' legacy. Anything and everything they had stood for would be ultimately destroyed in a matter of moments.
Darkness began to creep up the corners of his vision; his body began to falter for what appeared to be the final time. The pain, though it burned with the intensity of a thousand fires, seemed to soothe as his vision blurred.
Finally, it was simply too much for his body to take, and he faded into unconsciousness…
"What… is this…?"
The sky was a beautiful emerald coloration; the seas were a majestic lime green. The two warriors stood on a blue plateau of land, staring each other down. The smaller of the two had pale white skin, with purple bio-gems on his cranium and his shoulders. The other was a humanoid, standing tall over his foe at about six feet. His navy blue gi blew gently in the wind as he mentally prepared himself for battle.
"I always knew I was never one of them… but that doesn't mean I won't make you pay for each and every one of their deaths! For everyone you've killed, both Namekian and Saiyan, you'll pay, Frieza!"
In that moment, he knew that the destruction of Planet Vegeta wouldn't be in vain. There was still a glimmer of hope for the Saiyans, one last beacon of hope for complete and utter revenge against Frieza.
And his name was none other than…
"KAKAROT!" Bardock shouted in one last act of defiance before his body ultimately gave out on him, sending him to the next world just before the Supernova entered Planet Vegeta's atmosphere and swallowed his body whole. The fiery sphere reduced his deceased body to dust particles not even a moment later, ending the legacy of Bardock for all of eternity...
...and, ironically, beginning the legacy of his son.
Moments later, Frieza's Supernova sank into the planet's core, and Planet Vegeta exploded in one last flare of a blazing orange hue.
Though Bardock's attempt at sacrificing himself to kill Frieza ultimately proved futile, it had granted the Saiyans several more minutes of their lives. Subsequently, it gave a space pod just a few more minutes to travel toward its destination, all while trying to burn its recorded message of utter destruction into its passenger's brain.
However, just because the space pod had escaped Vegeta's destruction did not mean it wasn't susceptible to attack. Frieza's Supernova would cause a chain reaction to occur within the immediate asteroid field; one of those asteroids, in fact, would crash into said spacecraft.
Normally, one would expect the pod to shatter at the force of an asteroid, but this was no ordinary space pod—this was one of the finest spaceships ever crafted by the Planet Trade Organization. Knowing how delicate a newborn was, the scientists would supply them with only the most reinforced steel they could develop.
But that asteroid did have one lasting effect; it threw the system off-course and sent it ferrying across the stars toward a planet known as Namek.
Elder Moori was an aged, wise Namekian, who many called upon whenever they were in distress or in need of comfort. He was often the one consulted when there appeared to be a conflict or problem, and today would prove no different.
"…What is it, Elder Moori?" asked a young child, no more than perhaps eleven or twelve, by the name of Nail. "I've never seen anything like this in my life before..." It looked like some odd shape of sorts, yet it seemed to hold a living creature in there. It didn't add up to him...
Looking downward at the freshly made crater, the elder patted the child's head. "To be honest, child, I don't know the answer myself… but I do know that it's a living, breathing creature."
Inside the mysterious looking sphere appeared to be some sort of organism—it had spiked up black hair and was currently unconscious, no doubt due to the long voyage it must've taken to get to their homeworld.
"…That message…" pondered Tsuno, a fellow Elder of Moori's. "…It's telling him to destroy everyone on 'Earth…' a fellow planet, perhaps?"
"What matters now is not the meaning behind this message, but that he never follows it," responded Moori, reaching into the craft and pulling the child out of it. Looking at its unconscious form, Moori began walking it towards a small home. "He is our responsibility now, and if raising him as our own means one less evildoer in our universe, I'm all for it."
"Remember, Kakarot, that the full moon shall come soon enough, and that shall allow you victory over your adversaries."
Moori paused in his tracks, making sure to hold the child tightly within his arms to ensure he didn't drop it. "Tsuno, did you hear that?"
"That part about the full moon?" Tsuno asked, frowning. "I've never even heard about a moon, much less a full one."
"No… his name." Moori gave a gentle smile towards the child, gently brushing its hair out of its eyes. "Kakarot."
Welcome, readers, to Turbulence! This is my third and final fic that I plan to publish on my own, and I don't think I could've chosen an idea I'm more passionate about writing.
It's sort of weird to say this, but Turbulence was actually inspired by one of my own fics, Shimmering Crystals. Having Bardock crash-land and wake up on a new planet was exciting and original, but it only served to get him going to Earth by Chapter 4. While trying to outline Goku's persona in said fic, I realized that both of my fics heavily focus on the theme of Saiyan pride and honor. I decided that I wanted something different, something a bit more diverse. I then came up with this idea by using a modified version of my catalyst for SC.
The neat thing about this story is that it doesn't only just affect Kakarot as well. Having Kakarot out of the picture is sure to affect the people of Earth, so expect to see the Earth cast make their appearances soon enough.
I'd just like to clear something up about the Namekians here, as it's going to be a major plot point in chapters to come: I view Namekians to have an aging process similar to humans. The only reason, in my view, why Piccolo had such a rapid development was because he wasn't exactly a "pure" Namekian—he was spiritually tethered to Kami's life force, so I figure that means he had to develop faster, as surely an adult spirit is greater than a child's.
Thanks for tuning into Turbulence, and I hope to see you read the next chapter!