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Deceiver's Legacy

By Dragoness Eclectic


Chapter 14

The hours of waiting gnawed at Lady Naranja. When would she get some report of the bastard? Vegeta was supposed to kill him immediately--not chase him for days! If Vegeta cooled enough to question Raditz instead of killing him outright...

No. That would not happen; even if Raditz talked, it would be dismissed as lies from a coward afraid to die. The 'evidence' against him was Vegeta's own senses. But what of the woman's testimony? Naranja clenched her fists until the nails bit into her palms.

The 'evidence' was against her, too--yet not as completely. Naranja had had no way to use the vermin woman as she'd used Raditz. Still, given the hot blood of the Vegeta princes, it should be enough.

Naranja stopped pacing. 'Should' was not good enough. It had to be enough, and the only way it would be enough was if the woman wasn't around to contradict the tale Vegeta's senses told him. Indeed, were Raditz as guilty as Naranja had tried to make him, he would have killed the woman and buried her deep as soon as possible. It was only fitting that the picture of his guilt be made complete.

Notification: four anomalous powers and two inorganic power sources have been located.

Four! And two inorganic sources?? Naranja bit her lip. Bardock, Vegeta, that vermin whelp of Bardock's, Raditz, but what were the two inorganic sources?

Source A matches previous readings on entity designated 'Bardock'. Source B matches Vegeta. Source C location matches entity designated 'Bardock whelp'; power level varies. Source D does not match Raditz's recorded power. Location is also anomalous. Inorganic sources P1 and P2 are more compact and mobile than previously noted for indigenous power plants.

Compact and mobile?? The vermin have warbots of their own? That is definitely a threat! Locate and identify these power plants! As for the rest, I am only interested in Raditz.

All sources are sufficiently powerful to be a threat.

I will deal with Bardock, and I have already given orders regarding Vegeta, have I not? As for the others.... Yes. Eliminate the corruption that has softened Bardock--kill the whelp and the woman!

The remaining sources are still a threat.

Some of the older units should be sufficient to deal with them! I don't want to alert Vegeta before the attack on Raditz, so prepare for a simultaneous strike on all targets.


* * *

I've gotten soft, Raditz thought as he circled another farmstead lookng for livestock. It's been too long since I lived off the land while hunting a planet. I let myself get too comfortable with two meals a day and a soft bed to sleep in every night. Now that I'm out in the wilderness hunting my own meat and sleeping on rocks--I hate it!

Or do I hate it because it reminds me too much of my planet-clearing days? With a single swift blow, Raditz snapped the neck of a steer that had ventured too close to the perimeter fence. Heaving the massive carcass over his shoulder, Raditz withdrew into the neighboring woods as quickly as he'd come.

As he roasted a side of beef over the fire he'd built, Raditz pondered his present course. I can't keep running aimlessly; that's only putting off the inevitable. That, and Bulma will kill me if I keep running up her bill for livestock compensation.

Bulma... Raditz thought of how he'd woken up to find her in his arms, warm, soft and naked, her blue hair tickling his nose, and the scent of her desire permeating the room. Raditz shivered; all the memory brought him was the ghost of the cold, heart-stopping fear he'd known in that moment. Never again would he be able to think of Bulma that way without the crawling terror that now haunted him--fear for her, for himself, and the sheer horror of knowing he'd brought it all on himself from his inability to control his passion.

I should hate myself for being so weak and un-Saiyan as to fear Bulma's husband, Raditz thought sardonically--but what warrior would not fear Vegeta's wrath? Goku, perhaps--but it would never occur to him to desire another man's wife. No, he decided, it is very Saiyan to fear the king's wrath.

Raditz smirked to himself. I'm still very much a Saiyan, he thought as he ripped the meat from still-hot roasted ribs. I'm also still very much in trouble, and not any closer to getting Bulma safely home. Now what?

Then Goku appeared.

* * *

Vegeta hovered, mind focused and clear, waiting. Yes! There he was! He smirked cruelly to himself; Kakarott was the one person Vegeta could always sense.

He flexed his hands briefly and then howled as his power climbed explosively; hair flashed golden in a heartbeat, and the turquoise-eyed Saiyan hurtled high into the atmosphere in an arc toward Kakarott's new position. Raditz would not escape him this time. Vegeta licked his lips in anticipation.

It had been a good plan; Kakarott was so gullible!

"Kakarott! Don't bother telling me you don't know where Raditz is--I know you can probably find him. Find him, and tell him that IF he returns Bulma alive and unharmed, I will let him live!" At Kakarott's suspicious look, he'd shrugged and said, "Well, I'll give him three days headstart; if he's off the planet by then, I won't bother chasing him."

Kakarott had nodded and told Vegeta he'd let Raditz know if he saw him--just as Vegeta had expected. Then Vegeta had left--but kept himself aware of Kakarott's presence--and as Vegeta had also expected, Kakarott had vanished, moving hundreds of miles in an instant with that Instantaneous Movement technique of his--no doubt to tell Raditz the news.

Naive fool! Did he really think that the Prince of the Saiyans could let such a traitor live?

* * *

Hundreds of miles away, Raditz told Goku the same thing.

"He said what??" Raditz stared at his younger brother in horror. "Goku, he's lying to you! Vegeta can't let me live if he thinks I've committed the crime he's after me for! I didn't, but that's besides the point. But..." Raditz looked puzzled, "he's got to know that I know that, and wouldn't meet him in any case--"

Raditz and Goku's heads snapped up simultaneously; they both felt the explosive increase in Vegeta's power.

Raditz glared at Goku. "So that's it! Kakarott, you idiot! Vegeta can sense you! He tricked you into finding me!"

Goku was suddenly crestfallen. "Oops. I'm sorry, Raditz--I knew Vegeta was up to something, but I didn't think he could sense me that well." His face turned grim. "I know you wouldn't hurt Bulma; I won't let Vegeta kill you until this is straightened out." Goku's ki suddenly flared as he, too, became a Super-Saiyan.

"I'm not waiting around to see," Raditz growled, letting his ki rise enough to dart away into the air. Vegeta already knew where he was; his only chance was to move quickly and go to ground--again.

* * *

Naranja prowled the corridors of Capsule Corporation, pacing restlessly. This waiting was maddening, tearing at her nerves and patience. She clenched and unclenched her fists; the only calming thing she could do for the moment was to contemplate just how she would kill all the swarming vermin in this place--including, and especially that purple-haired abomination. Her eyes narrowed; just how tough would the half-breed prove to be? Would he last long enough to amuse her?

Naranja continued to pace. Where had the brat gotten to, anyway? She didn't see him around. No matter; patience was everything. If she could control herself and just wait, everything would fall into place.

It did all those years ago...

Naranja slumped against a slab of broken ceracrete, panting heavily. Dust and ash streaked her hair and smeared her face, but did not hide the glint in Naranja's eye as she looked at the rest of her weary, battered team--and the even more battered Saiyans that had been Sub-commander Espinica's team.

They'd fought well, all of them; Lechuge, Espinica's squad sergeant had pulled his squad together and ordered a devastating counter-attack after the ambush that had killed Espinica. Naranja decided that she'd recommend to Lord Col that he keep Lechuge on, no matter who he got to replace Espinica.

Though she could not hide the glint in her eye, Naranja managed to keep the glee she felt off her face. Espinica was dead! The stupid bitch hadn't paid attention when Naranja warned Lord Col that this bunker's defenses were much tougher than any seen before, and that one of her scouts had spotted a new kind of warbot...

Naranja ground her teeth, remembering the humiliation of being ordered to stand aside and let Espinica's squad 'handle' it. It was only the most recent of many such humiliations: being given the easy clean-up and scouting jobs, but being pulled back from any real fights in favor of Espinica and her squad. Lord Col said nothing to Naranja, but the message was clear: she was a coward, and not trusted to stand and fight.

Espinica, however, had had all too much to say. "We can't allow someone of your rank to be endangered, Lady Naranja. My squad will handle it from here in; after all, a certain amount of boldness might be necessary." If Espinica hadn't been Lord Col's second-in-command, Naranja would have happily ripped her entrails out then and there. As it was, Naranja 'forgot' to mention that the bunker defenses and the warbots were fighting as if under some kind of intelligent central control.

It was simply the fortunes of war that Espinica blundered into an ambush by warbots with far heavier armament than any of them had yet seen. Who would have suspected that the massed fire of over a dozen of the unknown new type of warbot could kill an elite Saiyan? Who could have guessed that the crab-like monstrosities had the tactical programming to plan such an ambush?

Naranja smiled to herself. She'd figured it out, and taken her team in to rescue what was left of Espinica's team--then taken the two squads into the heart of the complex and blown the central computer to hell. After that, it was just a matter of mopping up a bunch of mindless tin-cans with plasma guns. Easy job.

Lechuge was busy chatting with his scouter; from the tone of his voice, and the snatches of conversation Naranja could hear, Lord Col was getting the sergeant's version of events. Naranja's smile turned to a smirk. She stood and stretched, working out the kinks in sore, strained muscles. Lord Col should be getting rather different account of Naranja than he was wont.

Not much later, Naranja's scouter beeped, and Lord Col's voice echoed in her ear, less snide and more approving than usual. "Sub-commander Naranja, you did a good job with that bunker. You've already got a squad, but Lechuge's squad needs a new commander. Care to make a recommendation?"

Naranja frowned to herself. He expects me to suggest someone who can work with him, but is competent--this world is too tough for screw-ups and weaklings. Hmmph! As if I am going to recommend another bedwarmer who will get all the bonuses and commendations that should have been mine! But who, then?

Naranja froze. Of course! An evil smirk spread across her face. She had the looks, and she could fight--and she'd be here, far away from Bardock--but in Naranja's reach. Yes... She tapped her scouter for transmission.

"Lord Col, check the record of 2nd-Class Warrior Kinoko. I believe she is unassigned at the moment--medical leave or some such--and will suit your needs very well."


The power-level alarm on her scouter snatched Naranja abruptly from her reverie. She snapped her head around, facing the bearing indicated by her scouter for the monstrous power that had arisen some miles away and was moving rapidly.

Notification: Source E, matching previous readings on Raditz, has appeared. Vegeta's power has increased to extremely threatening levels. Instructions?

Naranja adjusted her scouter as she ran for the nearest open space and hurtled into the air. Kill Raditsu! Kill the vermin threats, kill Bardock's whelp, kill them all!

--but don't finish Raditsu, she added as she flew toward his location. Leave him for me.

* * *


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Disclaimer: See Credits.

Copyright 2002-2005 by Dragoness Eclectic