[ Contents | Chapter 24 | Chapter 25 | Chapter 26 ]

Deceiver's Legacy

By Dragoness Eclectic


Chapter 25

Goten ran as fast as he could, faster than he ever had, but the hole was still so far away-- he stumbled. Then someone picked him up by the middle and flung him into the hole as the hellishly powerful fusion beams howled just over his head. Goten caught a glimpse of hair and a face like his father's, looking down at him, golden-bronze skin and flashing dark eyes and one wicked scar across his cheek. The Saiyan grinned down at him and winked as the fusion beams howled through and past him without touching. Then he vanished.

Goten raised one hand and waved up at the vanished figure. Once, he had mistaken his rescuer for his father--he knew better this time. "Thank you, Grandpa."

Perejil looked up with Goten, a look of astonishment, awe and an elusive hope on his ghostly face. Then he, too, vanished.

Z-Z-Z-Z-ZZAACKKKK! Up above, Gohan dodged, then staggered as six beams clipped him. Six beams as powerful as the beams that had staggered Cell a few short years ago. Gohan reeled from the unexpected attack.

Vegeta dodged and twisted, landing deliberately on top of one of the robots. The intersecting beams twisted away, as the robots' targetting algorithms forbade them from shooting each other, then re-converged. Too late; Vegeta plunged his fist through the armored hull of the saucer under his feet and blew it apart from within.

* * *

Raditz hesitated, studying the incoming streaks out the viewscreen. He should defend the city from the attackers--

No! No more hesitation; it was time to launch before the robots landed and destroyed Dr. Brief's spaceship. One thick finger plunged down and pressed the 'LAUNCH' button.

The great engines thundered as the white sphere tore through the sheet metal roof of the hangar and rose into the sky. Raditz's hand hovered near the switch that would activate the compression field--and seal the ship off from the physical universe. He waited, watching the blue sky darken to indigo, then black. Dozens, then tens of dozens of blips appeared on the radar screen.

Raditz stared at the radar screen, appalled. More blips appeared every second; how many of the robot ships were there? And every one loaded with several of the crab-like death machines. There was no way Goku and the others could stop all of them, stop the carnage they carried...

Raditz balled his hand into a fist and softly punched it into his other hand. He could deal with the robots in orbit now... but it would mean delay, might cost him the ship, end the mission he set himself--

--and what of Nezumi and the Briefs and all the others back home? Back... home. Already, Earth and its cities had become home to him. How many years since he'd come here, prepared to "clear" the planet of its inhabitants--the inhabitants he now meant to protect.

No. He would not let them die! Even as Raditz made his decision, four blips in formation broke away from their re-entry track, converging on his orbit.

* * *

Above the city, Yamucha and Saisei fought a desperate battle. At first, young Saisei had tried to fight the machines one at a time, desperately, clumsily--the swarms of implacable machines were nothing like the villains of the Dark Ribbon Army. Yamucha had nearly died twice, protecting him--then the other memories had awoken, bitter memories of a warrior who had fought many such battles with war machines--and it was Kale's turn to save Yamucha from his inexperience in fighting enemies that could not be intimidated or worn down.

Wasp-like bomb darts buzzed around them; nearly a dozen silver saucers lay in smoking ruin up and down the city streets, metal legs frozen at awkward angles. Saisei's grin was feral, inhuman; the battle light gleamed in his eyes as he flung barrage after barrage of tiny ki-bolts. The machines died.

Out in the country, only the combined forcefields of Seventeen and Eighteen protected Marron and Kulilin from the full fury of the robots attack. They could keep it up forever, holding the child between them--but while the forcefields held at full power, neither android could attack. To lower their fields, even for an instant to attack, would doom the child. It was up to Kulilin to stop the robots. Stop them he did, disk after disk of lethal energy slicing the machines asunder. But he was tiring, and the robots kept coming...

Piccolo fought his own lonely battle in the bubbling ruins of the ancient temple. The power that had balked Cell shattered machine after machine, sending them to crash in burning heaps of metal, and that same skill and power kept Piccolo dodging and stopping wave after wave of the deadly bomb darts.

Elsewhere, the defenses of Earth did not fare so well. Military bases, airports, harbors--all felt the fury of the Jinkouseian assault. Artillery shells merely bounced off the massively armored shells of the warbots, and no human defenses could withstand the nuclear fury of the robotic weapons.

* * *

Raditz stepped out into the emptiness of space from the airlock, using his ki to draw the air about him in a tightly compressed shell. He slung a breathing mask and a spacesuit's bottle of compressed oxygen over one shoulder; it might be a long battle. Raditz tapped the button on his scouter, bringing it to life. He bared his teeth in a feral grin as the scouter picked up the energy signature of four robot ships.

"You're mine, you bastards!"

He used his ki to move himself away from his orbiting ship, not wanting to shift the vessel's orbit by the hair that kicking off from it physically would have. Power gathered in his hands and seethed through his body, sending him hurtling toward the distant blips his scouter picked out from the infinite starry darkness.

The robot ships did not deviate from their course; Raditz himself was too small for the ships to recognize as much of anything, let alone a threat. He drove forward as the scouter ticked off range and bearing to the enemy ships, forward until he could see the sun dully gleaming from their flat black hulls. Raditz was now very close indeed.

White power gathered in his hands; Raditz brought them together in an explosive burst of purple-tinged white light..


The great beam ravened through space, slamming into the nearest hull. It vanished in a silent explosion of actinic light. Raditz smirked.

"Don't have forcefields, do you?" he asked the vanished ship, as the remaining three suddenly corkscrewed away, trying to evade the attacker they could not detect. It did them no good.

"WARNING! WARNING! Ten objects detected on intercept course!" Raditz's scouter flashed a warning transmitted from the Capsule Corp ship's computer as the last of the original four ships vanished in another flash of light.

Crud. They're taking the ship seriously, now that I've disposed of four of theirs. I can't use Man-ki-batsu on all of them; takes too much energy, Raditz thought as he unslung the breathing mask and slipped it on. This is going to be a long fight.

* * *

Gohan shook himself like a bull that had just been punched in the nose, shrugging off the staggering attack. An angry light flared in turquoise eyes, and lightning crackled through the young half-Saiyan's aura.

"You tried to kill my brother!" Gohan shouted at the shining metal monsters. His hands cupped at his side--


Less than twenty of the robots remained, their attention randomly split between Vegeta and Gohan. Vegeta's eyes widened; the robot's deadly plasma bolts, bolts that had staggered Gohan before, now just splashed against his aura like so much rain.


Vegeta gritted his teeth and dodged the deadly beams. Would he ever be the equal of this spirit-child? Two quick bursts with either hand, and the spike-haired Saiyan prince destroyed two more robots.


It mattered not. Gohan was Gohan, not Kakarott, and no rival to Vegeta. Although Gohan could use some hardening up, Vegeta thought critically, if he were to fight alongside his prince--

"--ME-HA!" The brilliant white sphere of energy arced through the robots, blasting them apart, twisting this way and that to catch each one of them until it hit the last big knot of them---


The last of the robots disappeared in a brilliant flash, blinding Vegeta. A billowing cloud of smoke hid the destruction from Vegeta's view as his dazzled eyes began to clear.

And that attack! Vegeta marveled; for years he'd watched Kakarott and Gohan in combat, and yet the subtleties of the Ka-meha-meha eluded him. He could normally understand and quickly teach himself any attack he'd seen used, but there was something deceptive about the apparent simplicity of Kakarott's signature attack. For one thing, it scaled perfectly. In all his years of combat, Vegeta had never seen an energy technique like that. Every Saiyan knew that a given technique was suitable for a certain strength, but had a minimum strength below which it could not even be done, and a maximum limit beyond which the technique got no more powerful, no matter how strong the user. Vegeta himself had invented many new techniques as he grew in power far beyond the training of his ancestors; he'd had to, or his attacks would have been no more powerful than those he'd used as a child, in spite of becoming the Super-Saiyan. Energy attacks simply didn't scale--

--but Kakarott's Ka-meha-meha did. And hadn't he heard Bulma say something about Kakarott learning it from the old man? Bah! That had to be a myth--no feeble human who could barely wield enough ki to lift a water glass could design a better technique than the Saiyans!

Engrossed in his thoughts, half-blinded by smoke, confident that the fight was over, Vegeta did not see the incoming wasp-bombs until they hit him.

* * *

That was a long fight, Raditz thought as he flew wearily back to the waiting ship. Wish Dr. Briefs had build remote control capability into the scouters.... Matching vectors when I'm this tired is a pain, and I'm low on air.

Behind, above, beyond, the smashed shards of robotic ships littered a hundred skewed orbits with metallic trash. Scattered among the debris like handfuls of spilled silver beads, stranded robots drifted in the same random orbits. Raditz had not had the strength to completely annihilate all the robot ships the way he had the first four; but he broken them open, smashed their engines and hulls, leaving their deadly armored passengers to find their own way home.

The robots were stranded; they had no form of propulsion that worked well enough in vacuum to insert them into a re-entry orbit. Their deadly weapons could not reach the surface. All they could to was target any orbitting object that came in range that wasn't one of them.

* * *

Kulilin was in trouble. Goku frowned as he sensed his friends weakening ki, and put two fingers to his forehead.

"Goku!" Chi-chi shrieked. "Hurry, and save Goten! And Gohan!"

Goku blinked. "Gohan's okay," he said, "and he'll protect Goten, but Kulilin is--" Goku vanished, so hurried that he interrupted himself and left Chi-chi with her mouth hanging open, about to speak.

"GOKU!" Kulilin greeted the orange-garbed hero with a joyous shout. "Look out behind you!" he added.

"Yipe!" Goku barely dodged the sextet of plasma beams that slashed past his back, singing his gi. His hair flashed with sudden gold, and glowing power gathered in his hands as he cupped them at his side.


Goku ended the battle just as quickly as Gohan had... but unlike Vegeta, neither Kulilin nor the androids let their guard down. Wary, they looked for more enemies-- but there were none incoming.

Kulilin swallowed hard. "Thanks, Goku!" He rubbed the short, stubby black hair on the back of his head. "I was getting a little tired there."

Goku smiled at his old friend with that wide-eyed "aw-shucks" expression that Kulilin knew so well. Kulilin grinned back.

Goku's smile faltered, and he glanced off into the distance. "People are still getting hurt." Goku looked back at his short friend, and the androids beside him. "Hiya, Seventeen, Eighteen--or do I call you Mrs. Kulilin now?"

Eighteen hugged Marron tightly to her and grimaced slightly. "Eighteen will do just fine, Goku," she answered.

Kulilin glanced at Eighteen, a mute appeal written on his face. Eighteen nodded slightly.

"Ah, as soon as I catch my breath I'll come help you, Goku," Kulilin said. "I think Eighteen will be protecting Marron. Seventeen?"

Seventeen frowned, and glanced at Eighteen. She put one hand on her hip and glared back at her brother. He shrugged. "Sure, why not? Might be fun, might get a chance to get back at those lousy tin cans."

* * *

"WARNING! WARNING! Twenty-seven objects detected on intercept course!"

Raditz cursed; not again! He barely had enough strength left to return to his ship. Wearily he turned, facing the approaching ships. Only one thing to do... focus, focus--

"KAIO-KEN!" Red fire flared around Raditz as he focused and balanced his remaining energy, reviving him. "Should have done this the first time," he growled to himself. The long-maned Saiyan squinted, almost cross-eyed as he studied the readout on his scouter. Something about the robot ships' formation--

"DAMN!" It was a great funnel, the leading edges of the wide mouth sweeping around to envelop his ship. When that funnel closed, the Capsule Corp ship would be englobed, at the center point and focus of every ships weapon. There was no way he could take out all the robot ships before they targetted his helplessly drifting ship!

Suddenly, his ship sprang to life, thrusters kicking in as the ship darted forward, ahead of the closing funnel mouth. Raditz blinked in astonishment.

"What the hell? Who's driving that thing?" Briefs must have made the computer a lot smarter than I thought. Raditz smirked as the robot ships curved in, trying to close the trap ahead of the hurtling sphere--and circled ever closer to the too-small-to-detect Saiyan warrior.

Raditz brought his palms together, fingertips pointing "up". This, he mused, had always been one of young Vegeta's favorite finishing moves for a mass battle--

A vast soundless flash of light and force flared from Raditz's body, ravening outward in all directions. The wavefront smashed into the robotic ships with the force of a nuclear blast, crumbling them and sending what was left outward in a vast spray of debris. Secondary explosions lit the sky as power cells and weaponry shattered under the force-wave of ki. The ki-wave halted just beyond the ring of former ships as Raditz intended, not touching the fleeing Capsule Corp ship, but the light and radiation from the secondary explosions went on forever, ever diminishing over distance.

In the center of the destruction, Raditz sprawled weightlessly, utterly exhausted. All of his power had gone into the deadly radial attack; he couldn't even move himself back to the ship he'd fought so hard to save. He just barely held onto control of the shell of air around his body; as it was, he so desperately wanted to relax, let it go, and sleep...

No. That way lay death. Raditz wasn't ready to go back to Hell so soon, not when the job was unfinished. Had that been the last of the robots in orbit? Surely the ship would have relayed a warning if there were any more.

Get back to the ship. He had to get back to the ship. Raditz labored to breathe the increasingly foul air; all of his attention focused on holding the air shell around his body. Would the ship come if he asked it? It was smarter than he'd thought. If he could split his concentration just enough to activate the scouter's transmitter--


* * *

Hours later, even Goku was tired. By the time Goku, Kulilin, Seventeen, Yamucha, Saisei, Piccolo, Tenshenhan and Chao-Tzu arrived at what was left of Muten-Roshi's island, the robots were gone--smashed, burned, disintegrated. The heroes had destroyed every war machine that attacked Earth. The battle was over.

Goku's brow furrowed with worry as he dropped down beside Gohan and Bulma. Vegeta lay on the ground unconscious, his bloody head cradled in Bulma's arms.

"Is he dead?" Kulilin blurted, then blushed as Bulma glared up at him.

She next looked at Goku, biting her lip. "Goku, is there any--do you have any senzu left? Vegeta is badly hurt."

Goku shook his head. "No." He looked around, spotted Goten sitting on Gohan's shoulder. "There you are, little man! Chi-chi's worried sick about you!" He noted the others. "I see everyone else is okay." His face lightened and a smile re-appeared as the worry lifted from his brows.

* * *

Raditz groaned and opened his eyes. For a moment he stared blankly at the overhead, forgetting where he was. His chest hurt, a tearing pain cutting through his lungs with every breath. He'd tried to breathe vacuum again. Was he back at Base 29, or was this one of Frieza's ships? No, no, this was--

"AAAAAARRRGGGGHHHH!" Raditz snapped out of his daze to full alertness as a careless foot crushed his tail.

"YIKES! Ohmygod, I'm sorry!" Nezumi jumped suddenly back. "Well, at least you're awake--I tried to put you to bed, but you're too heavy!" She brushed a wayward strand of mouse-brown hair out of her face and looked sheepish. "Um, are you okay?"

... Dr. Briefs' spaceship! He was in the spaceship again--Nezumi must have brought the ship back and dragged him inside, but what was Nezumi doing here?



[ Contents | Chapter 24 | Chapter 25 | Chapter 26 ]

Disclaimer: See Credits.

Copyright 2002-2005 by Dragoness Eclectic