[ Contents | Chapter 4 | Chapter 5 | Chapter 6 ]

Deceiver's Legacy

By Dragoness Eclectic


Chapter 5

When Gohan took Trunks home the next morning, everything appeared normal. Well, except for the new Model 370 Capsule Manor that dominated the Experimental Aircraft pad. Everyone Trunks knew looked the same, too--but they were certainly acting weird!

Mom forgot that Chi-chi always fed Trunks breakfast when he slept over at the Son house, and insisted on feeding him breakfast again. Trunks didn't mind, as flying made him hungry anyway. What bothered him was the way Mom kept hanging around him and making oddly pointed remarks to his father--only Trunks couldn't figure out the points.

"Well, Vegeta, our son is certainly growing up into a fine, strong boy, isn't he?" and the like. Trunks' ears burned; had they had a fight again? Over him?

Vegeta merely grunted as he shoveled his breakfast down. After the fourth or fifth such comment, he regarded Trunks intently; Trunks squirmed under the searching stare. Had he done something wrong?

"Your mother coddles you too much," Vegeta said abruptly. "You're a Saiyan, it's time you trained like one. As soon as you're finished eating, boy, meet me in the gravity chamber, ready for training." He stood up from the table and marched out the door.

Bulma glared at Vegeta's escaping back. "I WHAT?? Hmmpph. Just because I make sure he gets to school, and gets to play with his friends instead of training sixteen hours a day, doesn't mean he's coddled!" she yelled after him. "Bad enough you're locked up in that chamber all the time, a person could forget who she's married to! Oh, that's right, we're not married!"

Vegeta halted and turned back. "That again? Woman, I am the Prince of Vegetasei; my word is enough. If I say you are my wife, you are my wife." The door fell quietly shut behind him.

* * *

Raditz woke as he did every morning, shaking and cursing the nightmares that haunted him. He wiped the sweat off his face as he got out of bed; last night's had been particularly bad. Both Nezumi and Bulma had featured prominently as victims in one of his purges....

His stomach lurched as some of the unwanted details came back to him. By all the devils in Hell, what had possessed him to be that barbaric on Nekosei--or was it Sakanasei? Raditz couldn't remember the name; it was just another underpopulated, backward target of Frieza's greed. The inhabitants had been vaguely hominid and scaly, but in his nightmares, they were all human, all people he knew. In the nightmares, he did to them exactly what he'd done to the inhabitants of that obscure world.

After washing up, Raditz sat and stared at his hands. He did that a lot, whenever he woke from a nightmare. That was one of those purges, he thought, when I returned to the pod with my arms drenched in blood to my shoulders. I thought it was a good day, because the days I was covered in blood were the days I had to fight hand-to-hand, the days it was almost an honest fight instead of mere butchery.

I deserved Hell; I don't deserve to be here. Still... I am here, and I've got work to do.

* * *

Nezumi had the bad luck to be checking the perimeter of Dr. Brief's experiment that morning when Lady Naranja emerged from her manor. The Saiyan woman looked around and scowled; twice her right hand reached up as if to brush her spiky black hair back and stopped. Then her gaze fell on Nezumi, who was watching her out of the corner of her eye while pretending to check perimeter alarms.

"You, there!" Naranja called preemptorially.

Nezumi straightened and looked at her, slightly annoyed by the woman's tone.

"Vermin, get me a new scouter, and be quick about it," the Saiyan warrior snapped.

Vermin? Nezumi stiffened; she didn't care what kind of big-wig honcho this was supposed to be, even Kidoru hadn't been that rude! Nezumi deliberately turned her back on the woman and walked away, ignoring her querulous commands.

There was a blur of color in front of her eyes--

Nezumi screamed with sudden pain as something smashed her ribcage and snapped her arm and shoulder like so many dry twigs. She was vaguely aware that her body was hurtling through the air and wondered if it would hurt when she landed--

Then she landed, and it did hurt, worse than anything in the world until unconsciousness mercifully intervened.

* * *

Trunks found his father already in the gravity chamber waiting for him.

"Plans have changed; I have something else for you to do," Vegeta told his son. "Find Raditz and tell him to come speak with me here. You and I will train after lunch."

"Yes, father," Trunks said and ran back out, only to nearly plow into Raditz.

"Raditz, fatherwantstoseeyounowbye!" he yelled in passing. Until lunch? He could fly out to the Son house and play with Goten for a while if he timed things right. Trunks grinned to himself; if he didn't ask Mom, she couldn't possibly say no.

* * *

Raditz entered the gravity chamber, tensing slightly as Vegeta flicked the gravity back on at 100Gs, and bowed to his prince. "I am here."

Vegeta didn't allow himself to wonder at Raditz's untraditional greeting. "Ours will not be the last generation of true Saiyans after all." Vegeta smirked. "Let Frieza roll in his grave; not only has a Saiyan defeated and destroyed him, but the Saiyan race has outlived him!"

Raditz shifted, coiling his tail more tightly around his waist. He didn't want to ask the obvious question, but he had to. "You will take her as your mate, then?"

Vegeta smirked cruelly; Raditz's heart sank. No! He can't mean to dispose of Bulma! She's too good for that. His fists clenched involuntarily. I'll protect her, take care of her...

"No," said Vegeta, still smirking. "I already have a mate. You will take her as your wife and sire pure-blooded Saiyan children. I will not weaken the royal bloodline with her merely elite power, but your blood can only be strengthened."

Raditz blinked, momentarily stunned. "What??"

"You heard me; you will mate with the woman and raise up proper Saiyan warriors, and my sons will rule them and this planet!" Vegeta smiled triumphantly. "Now, fetch the woman that I may tell her of her role."

"My prince... she may not agree. She has little liking for me--" Still stunned, Raditz groped for something to say, anything.

"She has no choice; she is my sworn vassal, as are you. Get her, now!" Vegeta growled.

"Yes, she--"

The gravity chamber creaked as the safety interlocks on the door took the gravity generator offline, abruptly reducing the gravity to Earth normal. The door swung open with a screech, and Lady Naranja stepped in.

Raditz turned toward her. "How convenient; the prince just sent me to find you."

Lady Naranja raised one dark eyebrow. "Has my prince decided what I am to do here?"

"Yes," Vegeta said, a small, satisfied smile on his face. "You shall preserve the pure Saiyan race from extinction as Raditz's mate."

Lady Naranja turned pale, then flushed with anger. "I am a noble of the Tsufurujiti and an elite! You would have me take that gutter-spawn weakling as my mate?"

"Yes," Vegeta answered coldly, his arms folded, his face implacable.

Lady Naranja bit her lip and shot a glance of pure hatred at Raditz, then dropped to one knee, saluting Prince Vegeta. "If my prince so commands," she said heavily.

"I do so command," Vegeta confirmed.

"It shall be done," Naranja answered. "If my prince could give me some time to prepare myself? A few weeks, no more."

"You have them," Vegeta answered. He dismissed her with an imperious gesture.

Naranja rose to her feet. "Raditsu, I need a new scouter--and you should have warned me the local vermin were so fragile. I corrected one of them for insolence and accidently broke it."

"What??" Raditz glared angrily at her. "Who? Where?"

She shrugged. "Vermin all look alike, but it fell somewhere west of that hazard zone you have in front of my house. I doubt it's good for much, though it might be edible if you pick the dirt out of the meat."

Raditz was out the door and halfway across the compound and did not hear Naranja's last comment--fortunately for Naranja.

* * *

Raditz tuned his scouter to its lowest settings as he flew across the compound, looking this way and that. It didn't take him very long to locate the fading human life near the western fence, and he thanked Bulma and whatever insanity that had inspired him to keep the scouter tech manuals all those years; he would not have found Naranja's victim in time with his own ki sense.

Something in his chest felt hollow and cold as he caught sight of the bloody, crumpled form tangled up in the ruins of the perimeter fence. Rings and Moon! No, NOT HER!

"ZUMI!" Raditz dropped to the badly injured girl's side; she was still barely alive. It took only seconds to summon an ambulance through his scouter's communicator; he dared not move her himself. Quickly, carefully, he put pressure on the worst bleeding, pulled the wire fence out of her neck and back, and sealed the holes driven through her lungs by her own shattered ribs with a strip off his bodysuit so she could breathe.

"Don't you dare die, girl!" Raditz snarled in a whisper to her. "I forbid it! You're too important here to be walking out on the job like this! Damn it, girl, you're not vermin--you killed Enforcer! Even if I did tell you to leave the fighting to me. You should have obeyed me this time, girl. Let me pick the fights with that high-born bitch--I can handle her kind," Raditz growled as he held onto Nezumi's life with both hands, pressing shut holes in punctured arteries. It seemed like hours, though it was only minutes before the ambulance and a worried Bulma showed up.

"What happened?" she asked, pushing her way past the medics to confront Raditz, anger flushing her cheeks and brightening her eyes. He could not help but notice how desireable the extra intensity of anger made her, and envied Vegeta his good fortune--and again did not notice his own tail-tip twitching.

Raditz waited until the EMTs took over, then got to his feet and answered, watching Nezumi and the EMTs at the same time. "Vegeta's new pet tried to 'correct' 'Zumi for insolence," the big Saiyan snarled, his blood-soaked hands clenching into fists.

Bulma turned white, then angry again. "Oh, really? VEGETA!" she yelled across the compound. "GET OVER HERE, RIGHT NOW! VEGETA!"

Raditz winced at the assault on his ears; that propensity for yelling at the top of her lungs was one of the few things he did not find desireable and attractive in Bulma. They waited as the medics carefully braced and taped Nezumi's broken body to a stretcher and loaded her into the ambulance. By that time, Lina had arrived, looking shocked and pale.

"I'll ride in with her," she said. Raditz nodded.

"I'll see you at the hospital--after we've settled a few things here," he growled. Lina flinched involuntarily and thanked all the gods she knew that she wasn't the target of Raditz's anger.

As the ambulance sped away, Vegeta finally appeared, drifting down from the sky insouciantly. "What on earth are you howling about now, woman?"

Bulma glared at Vegeta angrily. "Get that woman out of here, now! She's hurt one of our people, one of Raditz's people, nearly killed her! We still don't know if she'll live!"

Vegeta glared at Bulma. "No. I have plans for her."

It was the wrong thing to say. "WHAT??" Bulma shrieked, and turned to Raditz. "All right, Raditz, you take care of it. Get her out of here, get her off this planet, and I hope you have to beat her to a bloody pulp to make her go!"

Vegeta stiffened; it had been the wrong thing for Bulma to say. His eyes narrowed with anger. "She is an elite of the noblity; I forbid it!" he snapped. "In addition," he said, smirking, "she is Raditz's fiance. He cannot even touch her against her will; it is forbidden by law and custom."

"She's WHAT??" Bulma's jaw dropped. She turned to Raditz. "WHAT IS THE MEANING OF THIS?"

Raditz's tail tightened around his waist and his brows arched angrily downward. "It means that Vegeta has forgotten that I am not his vassal anymore," Raditz growled, his voice trembling with rage. "I work for Bulma, not you, and I will see Naranja in Hell before I have anything to do with the woman." He slipped into a fighting stance, his fists clenched; somewhere, buried underneath his barely-controlled rage a tiny voice screamed desperately that defying Vegeta was certain death--

"What is this, your highness?" Lady Naranja dropped down from the sky and looked curiously at Vegeta, Raditz, and Bulma.

KRAK! Raditz's blow came swifter than Naranja could see, let alone dodge; she hurtled through a line of trees before digging a trench in the pavement beyond. In two bounds, Raditz was beside her. As she got to her feet, Raditz slammed his fist into her stomach, doubling her over; his third blow caught her across the back, smashing her into the ground hard enough to crack the pavement for yards around.

"ENOUGH!" roared Vegeta. The veins stood out on his forehead; he glared at Raditz, his body shaking with fury, then turned his head slowly toward Naranja as she dragged herself to her feet.

Lady Naranja's brows lowered. "You DARE?" she hissed at Raditz, crouching in a fighting stance. Power gathered in her right hand.

Vegeta snarled at her. "Raditz serves me. I warned you that the people of Earth lived because it pleases me to permit it," he growled, his own rage making his voice harsh.

Naranja paled as her anger turned to fear. She dropped to one knee and saluted. "Forgive me, my prince! I truly did not know they were so fragile! It will not happen again."

Vegeta looked at her and folded his arms. "Do not presume to 'correct' anyone for 'insolence' or anything else again. Bulma will 'correct' her own people, and I will deal with others," the Saiyan prince snarled.

KRAK! This blow was too swift for even Raditz to follow; Naranja sprawled on her back at the end of another trench fifty feet away.

"Do you understand me?" Vegeta snarled softly.

Lady Naranja wiped the blood from her lips as she staggered to her feet. "As my prince commands," she answered.

"Get out of my sight!" Vegeta snapped, and Naranja fled.

KRAK-THUD! Raditz barely saw the blow coming in time to partially block it, and even so he was flung halfway across the compound before he regained his feet.

"Fool!" snarled Vegeta. "I am the prince of all Saiyans--do you think to challenge me?" A flurry of blows in quick succession; all Raditz could do was dodge and retreat.

He isn't even trying, Raditz sensed; fear began to mix with his rage at Naranja and Vegeta. He doesn't even need the Super-Saiyan against me! Raditz abruptly hurtled straight up; Vegeta's power lit up around him in a white corona as he followed.

"Don't bother running, Raditz!" Vegeta snarled as he hurled a ball of energy at the long-haired Saiyan.

Raditz dodged the fireball. "I'm not running, I'm just moving the battle. Bulma is not strong enough to survive being in the middle of a fight between us," he snapped, fear and anger making his voice harsher than he'd intended.

Vegeta stopped abruptly. "What?" He looked down; a tiny, blue-haired figure was screaming and shaking its fist at him.

"Both of you stop that right this instant! Vegeta, you get down here right now if you ever want to see me or your son again!!" Bulma's voice came up to him faintly.

"NANI?!?" He plumetted to the ground, and Raditz could see him yelling and gesturing angrily.

Raditz growled, more to himself than Vegeta, "I'm going to the hospital--for now. This still isn't settled, Vegeta." He darted across the city sky in a plume of white fire.

* * *

After fleeing Vegeta, Lady Naranja wandered around inside the Capsule Corp main building, looking for whoever or whatever supplied Raditz's scouter. For all her faults, Lady Naranja was keenly observant and fairly intelligent--the distinctive logo on Raditz's scouter had not gone unnoticed. Several other things she'd observed nagged at her....

Raditz's unusual rage and power for one of his class, his violent, nearly insane overreaction to Naranja's trespass--had Saiyan males always been that unstable? She didn't think so, but it had been a very long time...

There was something... odd about Raditz. He didn't smell right. Raditz's peculiar, musky scent twitched at her nostrils, bringing up bad memories and old anger. It reminded her of Bardock, somehow, and of his betrayal with Kinoko. Why? She replayed every meeting with Raditz in her mind again and again--then it struck her.

Of course! That witch's brat desires a woman! He stinks of lust, but for whom--me? Is that why Vegeta commanded me to marry him? Bile rose in the back of her throat at the thought of being touched by Raditz. She'd see him in Hell, first.

No, he was already in musk before I arrived; the only female present was that blue-haired woman. Vegeta's woman.

An evil grin spread across her face; Lady Naranja began to shake uncontrollably, trying to hold in her mirth. She couldn't do it--it was too much. She threw back her head and laughed, hysterically and uncontrollably.

That stupid, stupid fool! He has handed me his own death-warrant!

"Excuse me, um, could I help you?" An elderly, lavender-haired man stood in the far doorway, a steaming hot cup of coffee in one hand and a small black creature on the opposite shoulder.

Lady Naranja stared intently at him, and restrained herself from her customary response of casually incinerating vermin who disturbed her. Perhaps she could get some use out of this particular vermin.

"Raditz was supposed to issue me a new scouter, but has been busy. Do you have one?"

"A scouter?" Dr. Briefs thought for a moment. "Oh, yes. I know where Bulma keeps the spares. Just follow me, please." He led her through labs and storage rooms filled with a bewildering array of equipment, computers, drawings, and strange unidentifiable objects.

"Wait here, I think they're in this cabinet." While Dr. Briefs rifled through a cabinet, Naranja looked around the room she was standing in. One table was the obvious center of activity in the room; there was a computer and a disorderly pile of notebooks and discarded drink cans littering it. Various cabinets and drawers lined the room; engineering drawings and schematics of all kinds covered every horizontal surface.

Naranja's attention was caught by a slightly dusty set of drawings atop the cabinet nearest her. They appeared to be the plans for a humanoid robot or cyborg. Naranja squinted at the plans; no, it was a purely robotic construct. Its humaniform nature did not interest her in the least; the armament it was equipped with did. If she was translating the energy output units correctly, its combat power was as far beyond that of a Saiyan warrior as hers was beyond that of the vermin scuttling across the surface of this pleasant blue world.

"Ah, here we go," Dr. Briefs said, handing one of the sleek black scouters to Lady Naranja.

She nodded brusquely and took the device, tapping it on to test. It beeped and came on, showing the expected readouts. So, they'd kept the interface the same. So much the better.

"What are you using for a communications relay?" Naranja asked, wondering if it had even occurred to the vermin to augment the scouter's range.

"Oh, it's linked into Capsule Corp's internal network," the old man said. "Just press it here, and go into this menu, and you can allocate the frequencies assigned to each channel. If you use one of the G frequencies, it will connect to the company network, and if you use one of the K frequencies, you'll get a satellite uplink."

"I see." Naranja turned on her heel and walked back to her manor, thinking furiously. It had been amazingly easy; she had everything she needed hanging lightly from one ear.

Vegeta must be neutralized.

I agree. He is even more arrogant and powerful than his father; he cannot be controlled. I do not yet know how to neutralize him.

The communications relay must be restored.

I have the device needed.

What occupies you?

Raditsu! He has become a problem; he is more powerful than I thought. She fingered one of the new bruises on her face. He must be neutralized! I have a plan, but it requires some time and patience--and one small change to be made.

I see. So be it. Now the relay must be built.

Yes... Naranja sat down at the long table in the manor's dining room and rested her mind in plans of vengeance--but not her body. Her body worked busily, its fingers dancing over the scouter's controls, re-programming it for another, more sinister use.

* * *


[ Contents | Chapter 4 | Chapter 5 | Chapter 6 ]

Disclaimer: See Credits.

Copyright 2002-2005 by Dragoness Eclectic