[ Contents | Chapter 29 | Chapter 30 | Epilogue ]

Deceiver's Legacy

By Dragoness Eclectic


Chapter 30

All Zana could do was hang on to the stout boule of one of the great jungle trees as concussion and blast after blast shook the jungle around here. Leaves, sticks, sometimes whole tree trunks blew past, uprooted and stripped by overpressure from the not-distant-enough blasts. Animals hooted and bleated and howled, running in terror--those that survived.

What is happening? This cannot be Peree--nor even the witch!


Zana's ears rang from the explosion. Chunks of twisted metal rained down not far away. Too close; Zana let go of the tree and ran--

A sudden venomous hiss, a flash of blackness, a POP! of displaced air, and the jungle suddenly vanished in front of her. Moving too quickly to stop, Zana found herself a dozen yards out into the new clearing abruptly torn out of the jungle. A dozen yards out... and about two yards up from the gouge torn in the forest floor by the Death Machine's disintegrator. She tumbled and landed awkwardly, coming down hard on her rear instead of lightly on her feet.

Two war machines veered off from pursuing Raditz, straight toward the young Saiyan sitting exposed in the clearing.

Too weak to fight them, Zana did the only thing she could: she ran. Ran with all the strength and speed in her young Saiyan body, ran faster than the pursuing crab-bots could run--just barely. But the machines didn't tire, and she was weak from perpetual hunger.

* * *

Raditz zoomed eastward. The unexpected ki source was down there, under the treetops, moving rapidly--about the speed of a running Saiyan. Running Saiyan? Now why did he think that?

His eyes closed briefly as he listened, felt. Yes, he could feel the ki down there. It was weak, young--but Saiyan. The hairs tingled and bristled all along his tail Definitely Saiyan. But why--

Trees swayed. Metal glinted through breaks in the tree cover. Warbots, chasing the Saiyan. Raditz growled, baring his teeth in a feral snarl. Power gathered in each hand.

* * *

Zana's breath came in deep, hard gasps. Her feet pounded along the jungle floor, now following a game trail, then leaping pell-mell over logs and pools. She must not miss her step, or the monsters would be on her.

She missed her step--or rather, her step missed the ground as it fell away into an unexpected ravine. Again a long fall, but this time long enough for her to recover her balance and land properly, on the balls of her feet, re-directing the shock of landing into a bound back out of the ravine.

Partway out of the ravine. It was deep, and--


By instinct, she ducked just in time. The plasma bolt howled past her head, shattering a tree trunk nearby. How had the warbots caught up so fast? Zana looked back.

The two pursuing her had not caught up. The swarm of 'bots pouring out of the dark tunnel at the foot of the ravine had.

* * *


The two crab-bots exploded satisfactorily. Raditz smirked as he dove over the lip of the ravine toward the ki he sensed below--

--and into a swarm of attacking warbots. Crab-bots and other, smaller bots aimed their weapons at the target across the ravine--


--Raditz dove forward with a sudden burst of speed, crimson energy seething around him. Raditz grabbed the small figure that tried to run up the ravine and crouched, his ki flaring as he blocked--


The plasma weapons fired in one long thunderous roar.

Raditz straightened, glancing at the Saiyan girl he'd shielded from the massive attack. "<Stay behind me--watch my back>" he said in Saiya-go.

The girl's eyes widened and she nodded.

Raditz looked down at the massed warbots from the newly-created pinnacle of earth on which he stood. All around him was a crater lined with glassy, fused earth, dug out of the side of the ravine by the massed fire of the robots. He had only a fraction of a second before they fired again.

"KI-AII!" Energy flashed from both hands, shattering the armored crab-bots and disintegrating the smaller ones entirely.

"<Where does this go?>" Raditz indicated the tunnel.

"<I do not know. This is a bad place, always too many robots to hunt. Who are you? Did Peree send you?>" The girl looked up at Raditz warily.

Raditz looked at her a bit more closely. She had the same gaunt, half-starved look that Perejil's ghost had had--more, she was naked and caked in mud. Her hair was stiff with it--but her ki was healthy, and she was a Saiyan. A Saiyan girl, about eight or nine from the look of her.

Raditz considered his next words. "<I met Perejil. You are Zana, his sister?>"

Zana's face brightened. "<I am! Do you know--did he--where is the witch?>"

Raditz stared down the dark tunnel. "<Naranja chased Perejil to Earth, where I came from. She caused a great deal of trouble there, and killed your brother. I came here to stop her machines... and maybe find you.>" He squinted. If he'd read Naranja's journals right... this was The Base. The home of the central computer. The grave of Lord Col.

"<You are.. stronger.. than the witch?>" Zana looked hopeful. "<Stronger than the machines?>"

Raditz smirked. "<I'm the strongest thing that ever came to this planet, child.>" He looked at the deep, dark tunnel, thinking of Naranja, and Kinoko, and Lord Col and Frieza's henchmen. "<Now I'm going to prove it.>"

* * *

Nezumi watched the planet from low orbit. She'd stopped pacing to sit on her hands--after all these years, she wasn't going to start biting her nails again! All she could do was wait until Raditz gave her the all-clear. Sure, the explosions had stopped about an hour ago, but who knows what would pop up next?

The flash and explosion below startled her into a shriek. Her jaw dropped as the massive cloud bellowed up into a terrible, familiar mushrooom shape.

Her heart sank. "Raditz! You bastard, don't you dare leave me out in the middle of nowhere a zillion light-years from earth!" Nezumi screamed at the viewscreen. "Don't you dare be dead! Don't you dare--"

* * *

Thousands of light-years from Jinkousei, every hyperwave communicator on the Jinkouseian fleet went dead. Origin had stopped transmitting.

* * *


The communicator light was on, though all Nezumi could hear was static at first.

"Raditz to Nezumi, come in."

She slammed her fist against the 'press-to-talk' button. "RADITZ! You survived that?"

Silence. "Say again? Never mind, it's all clear now. Land back where you were before. We have some cargo and a passenger."

Nezumi blinked. A passenger? "Aye-aye, Captain."

* * *

"Father? FATHER!" Gohan shouted as he flew toward the scene of the massive explosion. His heart sank, he couldn't sense Goku anywhere.

A scrap of orange caught his eye; he swerved and swooped low over the waves. There! Gohan dove, grabbed a handful of orange tunic, and dragged his semi-conscious father to the surface.

Goku sputtered and coughed. "Wow! I didn't expect such a big bang!"

"Dad! You're all right!" Eyes calmed to brown, hair to black.

Goku shook his head uncertainly. "My hearing's not so good."

"And... Naranja?"

Goku looked around and shook his head. "She was too close to the bombs."

* * *

Raditz and Zana dragged another pair of bundles to the courtyard. Raditz refused to leave Lechuge, or Patata, or even Lord Col to rot on this cursed world. Let their bones rest in the welcoming soil of Earth, and perhaps their spirits as well.

Zana was not so easily dealt with. Of course, she must return to Earth--but she was Saiyan, raised as a Saiyan. Too young, too feral to be on her own on a strange inhabited world--but who could raise her? Goku had two of his own, though his influence would surely gentle her. Vegeta... no. He trained his son, but it was truly Bulma who raised Trunks.

Raditz found her. Zana was Raditz's responsibility--but he didn't know anything about little girls! What the hell was he going to do with her? First things first. He couldn't have her killing Nezumi or anyone else by mistake, or in a fit of anger.

"<Zana, wait.>" Raditz knelt, eye-level with the young girl. She looked at him curiously, dark patient eyes staring into his.

"<Zana, I've told you a little bit about my brother and Earth, and Prince Vegeta. There's much more you have to learn, including the language. The inhabitants are weaker than we are, more fragile. You have to take care, because they are our allies and not to be hurt.>" The long-haired Saiyan glanced at the sky; the spaceship descended on a plume of smoke and fire. "<She's bringing the ship back now; we'll be leaving soon.>"

"<She? Your mate?>" Zana's brows arched quizzically.

"<No! Well... maybe.>" Raditz's tail twitched. If I must be a father, there is only one person I would have as mother to my child. "<Yes! Nezumi is important to me. But she is from Earth, and fragile. You must be careful around her and-- obey Nezumi as you would me, or your own mother. She is weaker only in body--her spirit is very strong indeed.>"

Zana scowled; "<Obey a weaker creature?>"

"<Obey my wife.>" And how do I explain this to Nezumi? Raditz smirked to himself, then grinned at the girl. "<And she cooks wonderful food...>"

Zana's eyes widened; she looked thoughtful. "<That is a good reason!>" She looked back in the direction of the massive crater that had been the Jinkouseian Central Command Bunker "<It is your order, after all. You are very strong indeed,>" she said gravely.

* * *

"I'M WHAT??" said Nezumi. "You told her WHAT??"

Raditz winced; the shout hurt his sensitive ears. "I.. well... Zana... I... please?"

"Are you serious?" Nezumi glared up at Raditz with her hands on her hips.


"Would you have asked me if it weren't for Zana?"

"No." Quickly he added, "I didn't want to intimidate you into something you might not want. With no one to protect you from me on this ship, and me being the way I am, I was afraid you might feel... coerced."

Nezumi stared at him like he had a squid in his mouth. "Uh, let's see, one, I stowed aboard this ship contrary to your wishes, and two, I hauled your unconscious carcass out of space--real intimidating you were then--and three, I brutally tortured you into taking me with you. At least, you sure acted like I was torturing you when I got a hold of your tail. You sounded like my three-year-old cousin getting a shot at the doctor." She paused for a breath.


Raditz cringed, hands half-raised as if to shield himself.


"You're really serious?"

"Um, yes."

"Mom is never going to believe this!" Nezumi threw her arms up in the air.

"What's that mean?" Raditz looked nervous.

Nezumi jumped on Raditz, hugging him. "That means YES, you idiot! Took you long enough to get the hint!"


[ Contents | Chapter 29 | Chapter 30 | Epilogue ]

Disclaimer: See Credits.

Copyright 2002-2005 by Dragoness Eclectic