[ Contents | Chapter 3 | Chapter 4 | Chapter 5 ]

Deceiver's Legacy

By Dragoness Eclectic


Chapter 4

"...I will speak to you later, my Bardock."

Naranja's words burned in Raditz's mind as he flew just behind and below the noblewoman. Clearly, she had mistaken Goku for his powerfully muscled father, but... my Bardock? What did she mean--no, she couldn't! Bardock had not, he could not have betrayed Raditz's mother! No. Raditz remembered what happened when she died...

"KINOKO!" Raditz bolted upright, startled out of a sound sleep by Bardock's agonized shout. The young warrior found his feet, reflexively grabbed his scouter and slammed through the flimsy sliding partition that divided up their assigned quarters.

Bardock sat upright, hands clutching convulsively at the now bent and twisted frame of the bed. He stared blankly, looking beyond Raditz at something only he could see, horror written across his face.

"KIN! Come back... NO!" Bardock shuddered as if he'd been hit by some massive blow and fell back on his bed.

Raditz walked gingerly toward his father, slowly pulling things together in his sleep-dazed mind. Mother is still offworld, he remembered, on Jinkousei--wherever the hell that is. He must be having a nightmare, the young warrior concluded disgustedly. Great; I get woken from a sound sleep because my warrior father is having bad dreams like a cowardly child!

Bardock's eyes opened and he stared at Raditz. The horror was gone, replaced by nothing--a disconcerting emptiness of expression. Puzzlement flickered briefly in Bardock's eyes as he looked at Raditz, only to be replaced by emptiness again.

"Why did she turn from me?" he asked his long-haired son in a vaguely puzzled voice. "I would have held her, I would have gone down into the darkness with her--but she ran from me. She was afraid of me! That's not the way it was supposed to be..."

Something cold gripped Raditz's heart, and he said roughly, "It was a nightmare! That's all! You're a warrior--get hold of yourself!"

Bardock turned suddenly cold eyes on his eldest son. Before Raditz could blink, Bardock was on his feet and--

THUD! The outer wall cracked as Raditz slammed into it. His head spun, and it was a few seconds before he could hear his father screaming at him.

"...no nightmare! We were bonded, you stupid fool!" Bardock's face was twisted with rage and grief. "How can you look so much like her and be such a crass fool?? Get out, Raditz, get out NOW!"



Her death destroyed him, Raditz thought. It destroyed us. I never saw him alive after that night--I lived in the guard barracks and didn't try to go home again. Then he got me transferred off world... Kakarott never saw his mother or father again; Bardock was too ashamed that the last legacy of his wife was such a weakling. There was only me, and my duties didn't allow me much chance to see him before I got transferred away.

A strange pang stabbed through Raditz. Little brother... never had a mother, any mother. They took him from Kinoko in the birthing tanks, because she had a mission assignment that wouldn't wait--that damned Jinkousei mission! And she died... And after that, he was sent to this world, and they say he was found and raised by an old hermit, who had no wife.

And what gods looked after Goku, that he became what he is? I knew a few other low-class warriors who were taken from their mothers at birth and kept in the creche until sent out as infants--they were always the worst kind of butchers. They were the ones who liked killing more than fighting, the ones who enjoyed torturing and slaughtering helpless opponents. Why not Kakarott?

The sight of the tall dome of Capsule Corp headquarters distracted Raditz from his musings. Vegeta was already descending, while Lady Naranja hovered uncertainly overhead. Raditz closed and pointed downward towards a clear area. Naranja glared at him with undisguised loathing and dropped to the ground beside Vegeta.

* * *

"Bulma dear, Vegeta is back. And I think he brought a guest," Mrs. Briefs called to her daughter.

Bulma jerked her head up from the computer. He's back already? she thought with some consternation. She hadn't meant to get that engrossed in analyzing the latest data from dad's experiments.

As she flung open the door and went out, Bulma wondered momentarily what her mother meant, "I think he brought a guest,"--

--but only for a moment. Standing on the tarmac in the middle of the compound was Vegeta, standing still with his arms folded, his furry black-tipped white tail coiled close around his waist, his powerful muscles and compact figure revealed by the nearly skin-tight black jumpsuit he favored. Raditz stood uneasily, his weight shifting from one foot to the other, his tail coiled tightly, one hand raised to his scouter, and a third person stood between them--an almost-human figure wearing brown and blue armor with wide shoulder guards in an all-too-familiar style. As she walked closer, Bulma could see a few more interesting details--the newcomer was female, and also had a brown furry tail curled around her waist.

Vegeta's head turned sharply toward her as Bulma stomped up, but before he could do more than start to open his mouth, Bulma snapped, "Who the hell is this and what is she doing here?"

The Saiyan woman's eyes narrowed; she glared angrily at Bulma and lazily extended her hand, pointing one finger at the blue-haired woman. Vegeta stared coldly at the newcomer in turn; she closed her hand and let it drop to her side. A shiver ran over Bulma as she realized that the woman had been about to kill her for no more reason than being in her presence, and only stopped because of Vegeta. Even Raditz had not been so casually murderous on his first arrival...

"Lady Naranja is one of my subjects," Vegeta said, smirking slightly. "Raditz, Kakarott and myself are not the only surviving Saiyans."

Bulma's jaw dropped. "Lady--subject--surviving Saiyan??" Her head seemed to spin, and it took her several seconds to realize that Raditz was talking to her.

"Bulma? You there? I need to know where to put Lady Naranja's capsule house," Raditz was asking, his fingers still on the main button of his scouter.

Lady Naranja stared at Bulma in disbelief; her lip curled with disgust as she looked back at Raditz. Bulma was equally incredulous.

"WHAT?? Put a capsule house where?!? For her? Are you crazy? Do you think I'm going to--"

Vegeta jerked his head up irritably. "I already told Raditz to make the arrangements. Naranja is an elite of the nobility, and this is the only suitable place for her to stay." Vegeta smirked again. "Unless you prefer that I order her to find her own quarters some place suitable--such as that ridiculous building in Versailles, or the one in London--Buckingham Palace, the TV called it."

"Gaahh! Okay, then--" Bulma whirled to face Raditz. "What size house are you giving her?"

"Oh, I figure a Model 370 Manor should be about right," Raditz said dryly.

"You would, when it's coming out of company inventory," Bulma snapped. "All right, there's room for one in the experimental aircraft area; just make sure it's clear of dad's experiment--you know the one."

Naranja's eyebrows went up and she stared, open-mouthed and appalled, gaze flicking from one to the other. She turned abruptly toward Raditz.

"Even base-born scum like you are still Saiyan! What is this alien vermin that you should heed its yammerings?" Naranja snarled. "Why does it even live? Were this my world, I would be feasting on its heart and its young would be--"


Bulma didn't see Vegeta move; one instant, he was standing quietly with his usual half-bored expression, in the next instant, Lady Naranja was lying half-buried at the end of a brand-new fifty-yard trench in the tarmac. One of Vegeta's hands was still extended, and he didn't looked bored anymore. Instead, he looked coldly angry.

Vegeta folded his arms and waited impatiently for Lady Naranja to pull herself painfully out of the trench and limp back into his presence. Her face was bruised where Vegeta had struck her, and blood from a cut lip trickled out of the corner of her mouth. She dropped to one knee before Vegeta.

"Bulma is mine," Vegeta told the noblewoman. "She is... chatelaine of this complex, and of all the people of this world, the one who most pleases me."

Naranja's eyes widened as she caught the peculiar emphasis Vegeta gave his statement. So did Bulma's.

"Raditz, quit dawdling," Vegeta snapped. "Naranja, go with Raditz."

"Yes, my prince," Naranja bowed her head and saluted, then rose to follow Raditz when Vegeta dismissed her with a curt nod of his head.

After Raditz and Naranja had crossed most of the compound, Bulma looked suspiciously at Vegeta. "I please you??"

"Hmmphh. I had to say something to make the woman behave; it meant nothing. Don't let it go to your head," Vegeta answered. "What an annoying creature; she reminds me of Nappa. Much too caught up in her perogatives and tradition to see reality." Vegeta turned on his heel and stalked determinedly toward the gravity chamber.

Bulma watched him go, one blue eyebrow raised. "'An annoying creature'? Well," she said to herself, "I suppose that's a good sign."

* * *

A few hours later, Naranja permitted herself to rest. She sprawled across the incredibly comfortable king-size bed that occupied a small portion of the master suite in the luxurious manor house. Her stomach was comfortably full with the best food she could remember having since... since she couldn't remember. She must have had good food once before, on Vegetasei; there had been some fine cooks there, and she had been of high enough rank to command their services, but she could not remember much about Vegetasei.

It had been too long. All Naranja could remember were faded impressions of the way things had been; nothing so specific as places and names and faces. Even Bardock's face had started to fade, until she saw him again today--but she hadn't forgotten her feelings. Nor had she forgotten her hate for the treacherous bitch who had robbed Naranja of her best sergeant!

Naranja thought about how it had been before that woman joined the squad...

It was just another planet, one of countless like it, but Bardock had persuaded her to wait for the full moon, as they were short-handed and the promised replacement still hadn't arrived. Again. Naranja hated waiting for a battle; her bloodlust was roused, and she paced, tail twitching, seething with restless energy as she anticipated the kills she would make.

Bardock sat by his pod, checking distant power-levels against the maps; his deeply tanned face and bare, muscular arms gleamed like bronze under the weak yellow sun. Under the hot white sun of Vegetasei, Naranja remembered, his skin was so golden it almost glowed.

Bardock favored bare shoulders and bare legs, wearing only an armor vest and paneled skirt for protection. His power was such that he scarcely needed the extra protection; few vermin could even touch him. Naranja regarded his muscular, rugged arms and powerful legs with approval; her sergeant was a true Saiyan warrior, regardless of his low birth.

If only she could get the fool to see it! Naranja moved a few steps closer and looked over Bardock's shoulder; her hand dropped down to rest on his bare shoulder as she peered with pretended interest at his maps. The very tip of her tail twitched in short, abrupt strokes.

"Have you located their main cities yet?"

"Yes. Here, and here, and here," he answered. Sweat beaded on his brow as Naranja's hand slipped off his shoulder to stroke down his arm.

"Good. It should take us little more than a hour a piece to clear them," Naranja growled, her voice husky with bloodlust. Her tail lashed more vigorously; as she half-turned away from Bardock, her tail lashed out, brushing against Bardock's tail where it coiled tightly around his waist.

His breath caught oddly, and Naranja smiled to herself, then turned back. Her careless tail brushed against Bardock's one last time before coiling tightly around her own waist.

"There is a good bounty for this planet. Plan on a small celebration when we are done; you deserve some reward for your hard work," Naranja said, smirking.

Bardock knelt on one knee and saluted; sweat definitely clung to his face. "Yes, Commander--but I am only a low-class warrior; I don't deserve more than my normal due."

Naranja growled under her breath in exasperation. As usual, all Bardock could see was the difference in their class! Well, that wasn't all he could see, or she knew nothing of men, but he denied himself out of some ridiculous sense of propriety. The fool! It wasn't 'fraternization' if she said otherwise!

Naranja smiled to herself. He wouldn't be so skittish after the battle. Rank would be forgotten after the ouzaru rage had run its course, and Bardock's natural instincts would take the lead....

How was she to know that the cursed woman's pod would arrive right after the battle, and that Bardock would be the one to greet her?

Naranja sat up and growled, snatching at the nearest small object, an elegant porcelain vase. She flung the innocuous vase at the wall, then blasted it to vapor before it could strike and shatter. Damn Raditsu! Damn him for being the living image in male form of the bitch! Naranja had forgotten the witch's face, forgotten that delicate, rare beauty that had so thoroughly enchanted Bardock--until the sight of Raditsu brought all the memories back.

Is he a threat?

No, Naranja thought, but I need to see his power to be sure. He never was any better than a weak first-class.

Vegeta is a threat. He must be neutralized.

He is the prince! It would be treason! Besides, his power is too great, I cannot deal with him directly.

And Bardock?

Bardock, she thought warmly, could never be a threat. True, he is strong, but his mate is long dead; he has no ties here, save to the prince, and will join with me.

The beacon was destroyed.

What of it? Naranja thought crossly. They follow me, and they know where I went! They will land here.

The relay was also destroyed. Communications must be restored.

Naranja groaned. Of course, they follow the back-up plan. No need to hurry, though; it will only make them stronger in the meantime. These folk, she thought, marveling at the size and luxury of the house instantly created for her from a tiny capsule, are technically adept, even if they are weakling vermin. I should be able to get them to make the necessary equipment.

Vegeta must be neutralized.

He is the prince! I should bow to him; by right, he should command.

Control should be transferred to him, then.

"NO!" Naranja growled aloud. "It is mine!"

Then Vegeta must be neutralized.

He is the prince... but Vegetasei is gone. There is no throne from which to rule, no kingdom to be ruled. Vegeta is a prince... but he consorts with vermin in the most debased fashion--he practically boasted of it! If the king had known of such... practices, Prince Vegeta would not have lived to adulthood. She smiled grimly to herself. Doubtless Marshal Nappa would have arranged an 'unfortunate training accident'--and made Latta the scapegoat.

I wonder... did Lord Nappa discover the prince's proclivities when they arrived on this planet? Did Vegeta kill him, then? Certainly none of the inhabitants could have.

Yes. Vegeta must be neutralized. So must Raditsu; he is too loyal to the prince and obviously tolerant of his corrupt ways. A dark thrill ran through Naranja. I will enjoy watching that witch's get die writhing in his own blood and entrails--like all the other traitors!

* * *

At four hundred gravities, every step, every move was a torment; sweat poured off Vegeta like rain as he worked through his training exercises again and again.

A surviving Saiyan woman, and a noble at that! Vegeta slashed angrily at the air, pushing himself through another kata. A noblewoman... possibly of high enough rank to have been chosen as his consort, had things been otherwise. Were the Tsufurujiti one of the handful of clans that traditionally intermarried with the royal family? Vegeta could not remember; he'd never had much patience for the minutiae of ancestral tradition and politics, even before Vegetasei's destruction.

Did it matter? Vegetasei was gone, and it was up to Vegeta to decide what should be tradition and what was of no more worth than the dust of Vegetasei. She was noble, he was the prince, that was sufficient.

But you already have a mate! What passed for Vegeta's conscience nagged at him as he stepped and kicked through another kata. You have taken a human to wife and sired a son, a son who will be a Super-Saiyan.

She is only human, Vegeta argued with himself. It was reasonable when there were no surviving women, but now, it is an abomination! By all tradition, it is the worst perversion, to mate with-- with vermin. Nappa would have tried to kill me, and would have killed her, had he known what would happen. I am the prince, for me to do what I have done is unthinkable.

I am the prince; I decide what is perverse and what is permitted. Traditions that lead to extinction are not worth keeping. Kakarott in his ignorance broke all tradition, but preserved the Saiyan race. Is a brain-damaged peasant wiser than the heir to the throne of Vegetasei? No; it was no abomination to preserve the line of the kings by taking the best of the human race as my mate! Not when the children are stronger and smarter than their ancestors....

Even Nappa saw it, though I would not hear him at the time. "...spawn a race of Super-Saiyans ourselves, and restore the Saiyan Empire". If Nappa of all people could see that, and bring himself to say it...

Yes. I have done well to make Bulma my wife, but something should be done to preserve a pure Saiyan line. I will not weaken the royal line by mating with this Saiyan, but she must be mated to a pure-blooded Saiyan. Kakarott already has a mate and would not dream of taking another one.... Raditz, on the other hand, shows no signs of taking an available human mate.

Vegeta smirked to himself. "Yes, Raditz will do very well."

* * *

Goten had a hard time getting to sleep that night. His best friend Trunks was spending the night, so after a huge, delicious dinner the two boys played and sparred until it was too dark to see outside. Chi-chi finally had to dragoon Goku into dragging them both inside and putting them to bed, and even then the two excited boys spent hours talking.

Only the threat of nothing but cold, leftover rice for breakfast if they didn't quiet down convinced them to stop bouncing from bed to bed and laughing, but Trunks and Goten still talked in whispers for a good chunk of the night.

"What do you think she looks like?" Goten whispered.

They'd already heard from Goku that the spaceship had carried killer robots that were after a Saiyan lady from space. Trunks had been quick to notice and repeat that his father, Vegeta, had destroyed all the killer robots before Goten's dad Goku had even gotten there. Much of their conversation had revolved around Goten's indignant defense of his father's honor ("He would have destroyed them if he'd been there!") and speculation about how tough the killer robots really were. ("They must have been really tough if Uncle Raditz didn't blow them up himself!")

"Like a Saiyan, of course," Trunks said somewhat smugly. Sometimes Goten asked the silliest questions!

"But what does a Saiyan look like? You're Saiyan, and I'm Saiyan, and we don't look anything alike," Goten pointed out. "An' your hair looks like your grandpa's, an' he isn't Saiyan."

Trunks scowled at Goten; sometimes he asked the most annoying questions!

"Well, that's because I'm a half-Saiyan," Trunks said. "But the Saiyan lady is all Saiyan, so she's got black hair, like our fathers--"

"--an' Uncle Raditz," Goten reminded him.

"Him, too. And she probably has a tail like Raditz, and maybe armor, too," Trunks finished.

"A lady with a tail?" Goten's eyes were wide in the dark. "Wow!" Then he frowned again. "But my dad says she's really mean an' bad."

Trunks snorted. "She can't be too mean, or mother wouldn't let Papa bring her home. Besides, Papa thinks she's okay, so she can't be bad," Trunks said, innocent and unknowing of the blood-soaked legacy of the Saiyans.

BANG! The light suddenly came on, dazzling the two boys.

"GOTEN! TRUNKS! BE QUIET AND GO TO SLEEP! NOW!" Chi-chi snapped. "If I hear one more word, you're both sleeping in the garage and you'll be lucky to get grass for breakfast!"

"Yes, momma," Goten said, ducking under the covers to lie still in the futile pretense that he'd been under them the whole time.

"Yes ma'am!" Trunks answered, abruptly subdued by Chi-chi's threats. Sleeping in the garage might be fun, but grass for breakfast! Uh-uh. No way.

The light turned out again, and the door closed softly behind Chi-chi as the two boys finally settled down. Even so, Goten tossed and turned, still too excited to sleep, though not Trunks. The older boy dropped off to sleep, and a hesitant, softly whispered "Trunks?" got no response.

When Goten finally dozed off, his sleep was fitful and shaken by nightmares of clanking steel monsters with too many legs.

* * *

To an entity in space who has never been to a particular planet, dates and times have no meaning. Yesterday, today and tomorrow meant nothing to the fleet from Jinkousei; all they knew was that they had arrived in the destination system--and there was no beacon. There was no beacon to guide them to a landing, nor did encrypted orders signal them on the expected frequencies.

They had orders for this contingency, too. Mere hours after entering the system, scout ships reported back to the fleet: there was a planetoid belt with an abundance of nickel-iron planetoids. Every ship of the fleet changed course to a new trajectory, one that would bring each one to a different chunk of nickel-iron.

As days passed, the robot ships set to work, deploying mining robots and automated refineries and robofactories. When all was ready, they began to build.

* * *


[ Contents | Chapter 3 | Chapter 4 | Chapter 5 ]

Disclaimer: See Credits.

Copyright 2002-2005 by Dragoness Eclectic