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Deceiver's Legacy

By Dragoness Eclectic


Chapter 6

Trunks knocked eagerly on the back door of the Son house, dancing impatiently from one foot to the other. After a few minutes, Gohan answered the door.

"Hey, Trunks! What's up?" the lanky teenager asked.

"Can Goten come out and play? I can stay until lunchtime!" Trunks jumped up and down, trying to look past Gohan.

Gohan laughed. "Sure; he hasn't started lessons yet, or he'd be stuck studying all day like me."

"TRUNKS!" Goten ran past Gohan out the door, a hurricane on two legs. "Oh boy oh boy oh boy! Let's go!"

"GOTEN! Where are you go--oh, hi, Trunks." Chi-chi squeezed past Gohan.

"MomcanIplaywithTrunksplease? Pleasepleaseplease?" Goten begged.

Chi-chi frowned. "Well, I suppose so--but don't go too far! If I have to send your dad to look for you--" Chi-chi's ferocious scowl hinted strongly that Goten did not want to find out what would happen in that case.

"Okay, mom!" Goten dashed off after Trunks.

As soon as they were out of earshot and sight of the house, Goten and Trunks stopped to talk.

"So, what do you want to do?" Trunks asked.

"I wanna see the spaceship! Gohan an' Nunk Rats wouldn't let us go see it yesterday," Goten pouted.

"Me too!" agreed Trunks. Then he frowned. "But you can't fly!"

"Nope." Goten looked disconsolate, but then brightened up. "You can carry me!"

Trunks looked unhappy. "You're heavy. I can't fly carrying something as heavy as you," he pointed out, incorrectly.

"Am not!" Goten pouted even more. "You just don't wanna carry me. You're just as strong as I am, an' I'm as strong as my mom, and she carried me all the time when I was little. Besides, Gohan and Nunk Rats carry me and fly all the time. So you can carry me." Though Goten had seriously underestimated his own strength relative to Chi-chi's, he was quite correct about the essential point of his argument, and Trunks knew it.

"Oh, all right. I'll try, but if I drop you it's all your fault." He grabbed Goten around the waist and took off into the air, heading vaguely in the direction they had both seen the spaceship go.

* * *

Raditz's first experience of a terrestrial hospital did not reassure him. It was a huge, massive building full of white-garbed humans scurrying like ants--full of the smells of pain, illness and death, overlaid by the sharp tang of disinfectants meant to hide it all. He bristled involuntarily, causing his hair to stand out in distinct spikes instead of laying down in a smooth sweep of mane.

Nezumi was still in surgery when Raditz arrived; Lina paced the waiting room, desperate worry on her face. She turned anxiously to Raditz.

"Well? Did you stop the one who did this?" Lina asked.

Raditz hesitated. "Not yet," he growled. "Vegeta has reprimanded her. It was an accident, she says, and it won't happen again... she says."

"I see," Lina said, hearing the contempt and skepticism in Raditz's voice. "Well, they're still operating on 'Zumi--your friend did a lot of damage. If 'Zumi lives, she'll be lucky if she ever walks or uses her left arm again--and she'll probably be in this hospital for the next several months. If she lives."

"Naranja is not my friend," Raditz growled.

"She's your kind, isn't she?" When Raditz didn't answer, Lina continued. "I called her mother and let her know that 'Zumi was in critical condition at the hospital after having an accident at work. She's flying out here right now, and I'm sure she'll want to talk to Nezumi's supervisor--you--and find out what happened, and what's being done." Anger tinged Lina's voice.

Raditz's eyes narrowed with suppressed anger. "I see," was all he said. He turned away from Lina and stared at the door through which any news would be borne.

Damn this primitive technology! Raditz thought bitterly. If they had regen tanks, 'Zumi would be as good as new in a few weeks at most. This is worse than I thought. If she's crippled for life....

Raditz slowly paced. This isn't over. Naranja isn't going to just walk away from hurting one of my people! I will make her pay for it... And then Vegeta will kill me; Naranja is his guest and vassal.

Damn this! It's like being under Frieza again; I have to put up with it because I'm not strong enough to fight back--only worse, because it's not me that got hurt, it's an innocent who should never have been involved.

If she dies... It's my fault, for rescuing that butcher, for bringing Naranja home, among weak, fragile, trusting humans--like Nezumi. Nezumi has a good heart--and that's the problem. She's too innocent. She has no idea what kind of butchers we Saiyans are. I tried to tell her once, but she would not listen. She foolishly wants to think the best of me. She probably made that mistake with Naranja.

It just never ends, does it? I am as cursed as my brother is blessed; Kakarott seems to do good no matter what he falls into, while I can only do harm no matter what my intentions. I can't even blame fate for it; everything I've done was my own choice, or the result of other things I chose to do.

I can't let Naranja hurt any of them again. Vegeta can't see that; except for Bulma, everyone who's not partly Saiyan or at least as strong as a Saiyan is still vermin to him. Kakarott... Kakarott has the power, but--

No. I can't bring him into this. It's my problem; I created it by rescuing the woman, I have to solve it. Somehow.

* * *

Later that afternoon, Lady Naranja sped low over the hilltops. Somewhere to the east, her scouter told her, was the elusive, incredible power that belonged to Bardock. For the most part, it was too low to be identified with any certainity, but from time to time it flared up, in brief conflict with another enormous power.

She hovered uncertainly over a small valley; Naranja had last detected her quarry somewhere nearby... There! By that pool!

Goku looked up as the armor-clad Saiyan woman dropped out of the sky. "What do you want?" he asked guardedly. His eyes narrowed, and he did not smile.

She folded her arms and tilted her head to one side, watching him. "What do think, Bardock? You were the strongest in my squad, my best sergeant and best tactician." She smirked and licked her lips. "You've been alone for a long time, now--too long for such a fine warrior. It's time to end that." Her tail switched slowly from side to side.

Goku put his hand behind his head. "Um, I'm not Bardock. I know I look like my father, but I'm not him, I'm Son Goku." He laughed nervously. "Besides, I already have a wife and family."

Naranja staggered back, a look of shock on her face. "Your wife is dead! How can the witch still hold you to her?? Was I wrong?" She flushed pale with sudden rage. "It's the brats, isn't it? They won't let you move on--let you return to what was good for you! You're a warrior," she growled, "they don't command you, you command them!"

She flew suddenly into the air and turned away. "I will return, my Bardock, when you are free from the thrall of the witch and her get! I promise!"

Goku watched her leave, puzzlement and concern in his wide eyes.

* * *

"Trunks, I don't see anything but trees and hills and stuff. Where's the spaceship?" Goten asked for what had to be the hundredth time.

"I don't know, maybe it's a bit further away," Trunks answered for about the hundredth time. His arms were aching from being held in the same position for so long; flying with Goten was work, not fun.

"I wanna see the spaceship, not grass!" Goten pouted.

"Hey! Quit wiggling, I can't hold you-- Oops!"

Goten slipped free of Trunks grasp and found himself being held by nothing a hundred feet up. Gravity took over.

"Owww! Trunks, you dropped me!" Goten complained as he got back to his feet.

"Did not! You jumped!" Trunks settled down beside Goten on top of a hill.

"Well, I was tired. And I'm hungry," Goten whined.

"Well, don't look at me," Trunks snapped. "I didn't bring any food, and I'm tireder than you are. I was doing all the work!"

Goten didn't answer, but looked past Trunks, puzzled. Finally he pointed. "Trunks, what happened to all those trees?"

Trunks turned around and levitated up into the air; where Goten had pointed, tall trees had been blown down flat in neat rows, like someone had laid out a row of giant matchsticks. Trunks rose up higher than he'd been flying to get a good view, then dropped back down.

"There's a big crater beyond the trees; I think we've found the spaceship!" Trunks grinned, all tiredness forgotten.

"Ooh! Let's go see!" Goten held his arms up so Trunks could pick him up, and they were off. A few minutes later Trunks touched down in the middle of an immense crater; at the bottom of it was a still-smoking hulk of broken metal bigger than a jet airliner. Scattered here and there were smaller piles of twisted and melted metal.

Goten's eyes were as wide as dinner plates, and he hung back behind Trunks. Trunks looked in all directions, almost as wide-eyed as Goten.

"Wow! They must have had some fight here, huh?" Trunks finally said.

"They wrecked the spaceship!" Goten complained. "I wanted to see it!"

"It was full of killer robots--they had to wreck it," Trunks pointed out.

"Oh yeah." Goten ran over and looked at one of the smaller piles of half-melted metal. "Do you think this was one of the robots?"

Trunks nodded vigorously. "Yep!"

Goten poked at it for a bit, but the twisted shards of metal yielded nothing of interest.

"Hey, what do you say we see if there's anything in the spaceship?" Trunks said, already bored with watching Goten poke around scraps of metal.

"It's not dangerous, is it?" Goten asked worriedly.

"Nah, Dad would've wrecked anything dangerous. Let's go!" Trunks ran over to the wrecked spaceship.

The two boys poked around, crawled through, and ran over the gutted ruins of the black spaceship, oblivious to the dangers of collapse of its weakened structure, or the danger of radiation from its smashed reactor core, or any of a thousand things that would have forced adult humans to investigate slowly and carefully, with tons of equipment and technicians on hand. But then, they were Saiyans.

After exploring most of the ship that could be explored, and seeing what there was to see, Goten and Trunks sat down in the grass outside the ruined spaceship.

"I wonder what the captain of the ship looked like," Goten speculated.

Trunks rolled his eyes. "A robot, of course! That was the robot ship that attacked the Saiyan lady; everyone on it was robots."

Goten shook his head. "Robots don't need nice bedrooms, an' we found a bedroom."

"'Cabin'. A bedroom on a ship is called a 'cabin'." Trunks shrugged. "Maybe the robots had it for their real commander--you know, whoever was in charge of the robots and sent them out."

"The real commander?" Goten asked wide-eyed.

"Sure. Don't you watch TV? Someone always creates the killer robots and sends them out. Sometimes it's aliens, and sometimes it's a mad scientist. This is a spaceship, so it's got to be aliens. And a real live alien has to have a cabin, he can't be just packed in a cargo hold," Trunks explained confidently.

Goten looked around quickly. "Where's the alien, then? Did he get away?"

The older boy scratched his head. "I haven't figured that out, yet," he admitted. "Maybe he's around here somewhere." Trunks smirked. "Or maybe Dad vaporized him."

Goten, who had been looking slightly worried, pouted. "That's not fair! I wanted to see the alien!"

Trunks shrugged. "I'm sorry, but if he's gone, he's gone." Trunks kicked at the grass; the breeze toussled his fine lavender hair. "Hey, I've got an idea; let's look for the Saiyan's pod. That should be in good shape; the Saiyan survived, and Dad wouldn't have wrecked it."

Goten brightened up. "Oooh, let's!" He ran across the crater and stopped, realizing he had no idea what he was looking for.

Trunks lifted up into the air. "Goten! Look over that way--there's kind of a little crater under this big one. It's mostly covered with dirt, though." He dropped down to the ground beyond the rim of the big crater; Goten ran to meet him.

"See that edge there? The middle would be under all that dirt, though." Trunks frowned at the embankment thrown up by whatever had created the larger crater.

Goten stared at it. "Hey, is that the alien captain?"

Trunks turned quickly and looked where Goten was pointing, but saw nothing more than a lot of dirt.

"Where? I don't see anything?"

"Right there! He's coming this way, too!" Goten stepped behind Trunks and peeked over his shoulder.

The short hairs on the back of Trunks' neck bristled. He couldn't see anything but the dirt crater wall in front of him. What was Goten talking about?

"He's awfully small to be an alien captain, and he looks like a person, too." Goten said thoughtfully and stepped out from Trunks.

"I still don't know what you're talking about!" Trunks said, exasperated.

Goten looked at Trunks wide-eyed. "You really can't see him?" Goten wondered.

"No, I can't see anyone but you!" Trunks said.

"Oh," said Goten thoughtfully. Then he stepped forward and poked his finger in the air three or four times. Goten looked back at Trunks. "He's not-fun, like Nunk Rats used to be. Momma says people like that are ghosts an' spirits." Goten frowned. "I can't understand what you're saying," he said to the air in front of him.

Trunks' eyes widened and he stepped back. "Are you saying th-there's a g-ghost here?"

Goten nodded. "Yep. He's a boy like us, only he's a little bigger than you. He's trying to talk to me, but I don't know his language. He's got black hair like mine, and a tail like Uncle Raditz--ooh, he jumped when I said that. Do you know my uncle Raditz?" Goten asked the air again.

Goten cocked his head and listened intently; Trunks backed still further away. "I'm sorry," Goten said politely, "I still can't understand you. "I'm Goten, and this is Trunks. My dad is Son Goku, an' his dad is Vegeta--" Goten's eyes widened. "Wow! I think he knows who your dad is, Trunks."

Trunks turned pale. "Oh-oh, I was supposed to be back home by lunch to train with Dad! We've got to go, Goten!" He quickly snatched Goten up and hurtled into the air, leaving the haunted crater behind as fast as possible.

"HEY! That was rude, I was talking to him!" Goten complained.

"Sorry!" Trunks yelled over the rushing air, though not feeling sorry in the least. "Maybe you can talk to your ghost some other time."

"Oh, it's okay; I think he's coming home with us. He's flying right behind you."

Trunks said nothing, but set a new personal flight speed record going back to the Son house.

* * *


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Disclaimer: See Credits.

Copyright 2002-2005 by Dragoness Eclectic