Disclaimer: DBZ & all its characters are the creation of Akira Toriyama. This is a work written by a fan to honor Mr. Toriyama and no copyright infringement is intended. No money is being made, etc.
Copyright 2002 Saiyasith
The Prince of all Saiyans stared wordlessly at the small bundle in his arms. Only the insistent beeping of the machines broke the heavy silence in the room. He looked across at his mate as she lay drugged and sleeping. So weak. He thought as he forced his eyes to his youngest son. The rage and anger began to build again. With Bulma asleep, he no longer had any reason to control it. Inwardly, he cursed the weakness that was emotion...the weakness that was called love. He hated himself for allowing it to have reign in his heart now.
Muscles throbbed with fierce power that pulsed with every ragged breath he took. Shakily, he staggered towards his unconscious mate, and with more tenderness than he'd ever shown he laid the tiniest Saiyan on his wife's breast.
The doctors and nurses averted his gaze, as if that would spare them from his erupting wrath. Vegeta glared at them in contempt, and the question he hissed was directed at himself, not them. "WHY?"
As if a dam had shattered, the Saiyan's control broke with the sound of his word. The explosion of his ki knocked over half the room. He didn't even notice the shards of the windowpane as they tore his bedclothes from his body. The storm swallowed his trail of light and all that was left was the dark night.
A month later...
She was crying again. She tried to hide it; she tried to be strong. He knew she wanted to be strong for him. BAH! As if the Prince of the Saiyans was so weak as to need a human to be strong for HIM! An inarticulate growl escaped his throat, and he headed to the gravity room.
Pushing himself to the limit, he trained until he could barely stand. No one questioned his grueling routine; it had always been his custom. If anyone noticed that some of his wounds were more severe than in previous years, they dared not ask about it. Bulma always had the regeneration tank ready for him now. It was due to her tender hands that his retreat into pain did not end in the solace of death. He suspected that she knew his secret new "training technique", the one he used on his darkest days. Telling himself he was getting stronger and gaining endurance, he would spend his emptiest hours sitting motionless on the floor of the training dome and simply let the battle droids attack him. Some times he didn't even bother to power up. He hoped that the pain would fill the ache in his heart; secretly, sometimes he hoped to join his tiny son.
So tiny, so perfect.
There was nothing physically wrong with the child. He had been born the perfect Saiyan warrior. Black hair spiked atop a perfect miniature rendition of Vegeta's proud face. A tiny tail curled softly around the baby's waist. The only thing missing was his heartbeat.
Vegeta had been the one to sense it…the sharp drop in his child's ki. The storm that settled in over the Capsule Corporation's compound had awakened him, and in the quiet he was thinking about his long-awaited second son. Then, without warning, the baby's ki flared then dropped rapidly. The Prince knew something was drastically wrong. He did not think, did not even wake his wife. He just grabbed her and flew straight to the hospital. But even his Saiyan speed was not enough. By the time they arrived, there was nothing the doctors could do. His child was gone. Without reason, without warning. It was almost more than the warrior could bear.
The hardest part was standing by his wife for the next eight hours as she gruelingly gave birth to their son. It was too soon… he shouldn't have even been born yet, much less died! And no one could tell him why. Why he had to bury his son. Why he couldn't understand it. Why it hurt so much. It was beyond his reasoning. He was a Saiyan warrior. The Prince of all Saiyans. He had destroyed planets; he had killed millions of beings. Why should the death of one who had not yet truly even lived matter to him? Bah! He hated his weakness. He hated himself.
But he had responsibility. He had a wife who needed his strength now more than ever. He had a son who needed training, a son who needed to be taught to be stronger than his father so that he would not suffer this kind of unreasoning pain. He would not abandon them like that idiot Kakarot had abandoned his family. HE would live. And so he would go on. He would get stronger. He would survive.
Why do I subject myself to these stupid weakling customs? The warrior thought to himself. Vegeta grunted and shook his head, unable to acknowledge the answer that lay deep in his heart. "MOVE you idiot!" He shouted at the man blocking his path. His palpable anger cleared a path through the crowded aisles of the toy store. "Is there NOTHING in this pitiful excuse for an establishment worthy to give my son for his birthday?" A harried sales clerk thought about offering to help him, but quickly decided against the idea. "BAH!" He hissed as he cast a final glare around the Super Toy Mart. He turned towards the door and shouted, "You are all USELESS!". As he stormed out the door the aura of his angry ki knocked over every display case he passed.
An hour later, Vegeta found himself in a quiet part of town. The merchant's section of the city had proven less than satisfactory in his quest, and so, the Prince of the Saiyans wandered through the oldest part of the city. Suddenly, Vegeta caught a whiff of blood. His battle sense quickly located the source of the scent. The Saiyan could tell from the ki signatures that humans were not involved, but he was so disgusted from his hours of futile searching that he decided to investigate.
At the end of an alley a pack of dogs had cornered what appeared to be a small ball of white fur. Several of the hounds were slashed in various places; he had found the origin of the smell. A sharp hiss was emanating from the fluff, and its tone made the Saiyan's hair tingle. Vegeta knew the sound of a challenge when he heard it, and for some insane reason, the tiny creature was actually challenging the dogs to attack it. Humph. He thought to himself. The stupid creature doesn't know when to back down from a fight. He looked up from the kitten and back to the dogs, comparing the two. Unbidden, a thought crossed his mind. It's so tiny…
Without even knowing why, the Saiyan broke through the pack and scooped the creature up. With a snarl, he let loose a backhand ball of ki and vaporized the hounds. The fluff immediately attacked Vegeta's hand and chest, but its claws were no match for battle-hardened skin. Glancing to the ground, the warrior spotted the remains of a hot dog, the prize that the cat was defending with its life. Baka! Was that small morsel worth your existance? Idiot creature! He thought at the kitten. The cat ceased it assault and stared at the Saiyan as if to say, "Of course, fool. Anything that is MINE is worth defending."
With a shake of its head, the creature jumped to the ground and walked toward a doorway. It stood there a moment and began to mew. "What now!" Vegeta spat in disgust. The cat simply stood there. The Prince unconsciously took several steps in the creature's direction before he realized what he was doing. He blinked a few times then looked up at the doorway in front of him. "CURIOUS CURIOS" the sign read. For a long minute, Vegeta stared at the diminutive animal standing in his path. Then he opened the door.
The Saiyan Prince growled deep in his throat as yet another youngster came too near his feet. Sniveling rodents! They are beneath my son. Every bit of self-control the warrior had was focused on keeping his rage in check. Stupid commoners! Vegeta thought as he glared at the children. His hands itched with the desire to blast them all to Kami. Unfortunately, Bulma had already warned him not to vaporize any of his son's guests. Sighing deeply, he considered whether the hell to pay that evening would be worth the satisfaction.
"PRESENTS…PRESENTS…PRESENTS!" The chant roused the Prince out of his musing. As the mob of five year old children focused their attention on the reason for the party, the sound doubled in volume. At the head of the table, Trunks beamed with pride. The boy held his head high and grinned at the enormous stack of gifts on the table. Cake, ice cream, and drinks were quickly forgotten, and the horde of children hastily sat around the birthday boy who was brimming with excitement.
"Mine! NO, MINE! Pick MINE…" The squealing children pleaded. The lavender-haired princeling smirked. Even at five, his Saiyan blood enjoyed the feeling of power. Examining the boxes and gift bags, he chose the most gaudily wrapped one and eagerly tore it open. "Ooh…a game console…" The small voices breathed. Trunks flashed a brilliant grin at the guest who brought the present and grabbed the next-closest box to continue the unwrapping. Laughter and squeals filled the air as each gift was unwrapped. After the mountain of gifts had been opened, Bulma walked over to her son and handed him a large package. "Trunks, honey, last but not least, this is from your father and I…"
Before she could finish, Vegeta snarled, "Woman, do NOT lie to that child! The gift is from you and you alone!" Turning to his son, he continued. "BOY, make no mistake. These stupid trinkets are all WORTHLESS, and I will NOT disgrace myself with them. THAT gift is from your mother…NOT me." Turning on his heel, he walked away from the shocked party-goers and into the house.
Trunks fought back tears as Bulma hastily tried to smooth things over. "Baby, I know you're going to love this…" She unpacked a brand-new remote controlled air speeder. "OOOHs" and "AAAHs" replaced the shocked whispers of the crowd when the scientist powered up the vehicle and sent it flying over the children's heads. Bulma dazzled the children with the toy, and then turned to her son. When she offered the boy the control box, he sullenly refused to touch it.
Noting the awkwardness, the child's grandmother, Mrs. Briefs, broke the tension by calling out: "It's time for water games everyone!" Five-year-old attention spans are notoriously short, and the Saiyan's display was forgotten as soon as the water trampoline hit the pool. Bulma shot her mother a grateful look, and gently pulled her son into a hug. Behind her, Chi-Chi walked up and offered an encouraging pat. Her son, Goten, stepped out from behind his mother's skirt and tugged on Trunks' arm. Offering the birthday boy a lopsided grin, he pointed to the pool.
In a flash, the two children headed towards the water, troubles temporarily forgotten. When the boys were out of earshot, Goku's wife spoke up. "I don't see how you put up with him."
Shaking her head, Bulma replied, "Neither do I."
After all the guests had gone home, a small lavender-haired boy sat alone on his balcony. Tears streaked down his face, and he stared wordlessly at the edges of the Capsule Corporation compound. His mother knocked at the door of his room, but he ignored her. His Saiyan pride asserted itself even at this early age.
An hour later, sounds of a bitter argument drifted up into the early evening air. The end of the fight was obvious when the angry duet was replaced by the solo voice of his mother hurling curses at the now silent Saiyan Prince. This was nothing new; Vegeta and Bulma were renowned for their famous spats. Trunks could sense, though, that somehow this was different. This time, he thought, it's about ME.
Instinctively, he tensed as his senses registered the ki force of his father. The boy quickly dried his tears; he would never dishonor himself by allowing Vegeta to see him cry. A soft tap was the only indication that the elder Saiyan had arrived on the balcony. Steeling himself, Trunks stood proudly before his sire. "Boy," the Prince began. "It is well past time for you to begin training. It is disgraceful for a Saiyan warrior to begin training so late, but your mother would have none of it until now. Come." With that command, Vegeta grabbed his son and flew off into the approaching sunset.
The pair arrived at a secluded place in the wilderness. Deep shadows heralded the approaching night, and the boy was slightly anxious wondering what his father had planned. "Attack me." Vegeta said simply.
"Wha…What?" The boy replied.
"Are you deaf? I said ATTACK me!" The elder Saiyan shouted.
Something in the boy's nature responded to the challenge, and a new thrill, the thrill of the fight, coursed through his system for the first time. Trunks let loose a wild yell and jumped at his father. Surprise and pain cut the cry short, and the young warrior found himself several feet away lying on the ground.
"Pitiful!" Vegeta spat. "I know you can do better than that, child. TRY AGAIN!"
Trunks shook his head, took a deep breath, and charged his father another time. As before, he found himself flat on the ground before he knew what had happened. This time, he got angry. Vegeta smirked when he sensed the rise in the boy's ki. "Think you can do better this time, brat?" He scoffed.
A growl rose from the pit of Trunks' stomach, and without warning, he threw himself at the object of his pent-up anger. Fists flashing, he landed a flurry of punches to the Prince's midsection. The boy howled with rage at the resulting laughter.
A few minutes of unrelenting attack later, Vegeta spoke: "Enough boy, I can see that your Saiyan blood is strong enough to overcome the pitiful human taint. You will begin formal training tomorrow morning. Be prepared, I am not an easy master." Still resentful, the boy snorted at his father's words. "One last thing, child." The Prince said. "Although a true Saiyan does not need any weapon other than his body, the human contamination of your system may require you to have some 'assistance' until you reach your full potential."
From some unknown place in his body suit, Vegeta pulled out a scabbard and held it out to the boy. The covering was dark and ornately carved with intricate designs. It was almost as long as the child was tall. With awe, Trunks pulled the blade out and it flashed in the starlight. Only the young warrior's exceptional strength enabled him to hold the sword upright. "Are you trying to catch bugs, child?" Vegeta mocked. Trunks shook his head and then realized that his mouth was hanging open.
"Th…Thanks, Dad." The boy stammered.
Vegeta took the boy by the shoulders and looked deep into his eyes. "Son, I am the Prince of all Saiyans, and you are my heir. Never forget that. You are royalty, and you deserve honor. Do NOT settle for less."
Trunks lowered the sword and took a steadying breath. Suddenly, he understood why his father had behaved like he did at the party. "Those people," he said. "They were not proper company for a prince." It was not a question.
Vegeta stared at his son, a new respect blossoming in his eyes. He nodded in reply, and took his only child by the arms. "That," he said, eyes pointing to the sword, "is a gift worthy of a prince. Learn to use it well."
With a long and luxurious stretch, the creature known to herself as Zaymi opened sleepy eyes. Mmmmmmm, she thought. Another day to revel in life. Young as she was, the furry animal had already settled into a daily routine. Casting a glance backward at her sleeping pets, she hopped off the bed and sought out her early morning meal.
Zaymi padded silently through the large dwelling. These creatures I've chosen certainly like their space. She noted. A delicious scent awaited the feline as she came near the kitchen. Ah, she thought. My pet's mate has remembered me again. I must be sure to reward her. She turned into the room and found her bowl by the door. An electronic device dispensed warm milk into the container when it registered her presence. A purr of delight escaped the cat's throat as she eagerly lapped up the treat.
When she was sated, she turned her attention to her chosen task for the morning: rewarding her pet's mate. She crept through the small door that let to the garden and sought an appropriate treat. There! A slight rustling in the grass indicated that a foolish field mouse had come into her range. Slowly…slowly…she crouched into attack position. NOW! She pounced and proceeded to crush the life out of her prey. Satisfied, Zaymi held her head high and marched back indoors.
My pet has chosen his mate wisely. "Woman" shall be most pleased that I have honored her with a gift. The feline gently placed the dead rodent on Bulma's sleeping stomach. Movement below caught her attention. OH NO! The beast is here again! The cat thought frantically. Something shifted beneath the covers on Vegeta's side of the bed. The Saiyan mumbled in his sleep and shifted his feet. How DARE the creature attempt to attack MY pet in MY home! With a fierce growl, the cat pounced on the mound and began chewing. The covers moved and the feline attacked again more viciously than before.
"What the HELL?" Vegeta hissed as a fang pierced his big toe. He reached down and grabbed the furball by the scruff of the neck. "BAKA! Leave my feet alone!" The cat regarded her pet curiously. Obviously, he is too foolish to realize the danger he was in. She thought as she found herself unceremoniously dumped on the floor. The Saiyan grunted and returned to his sleeping. By the time Zaymi had jumped back on the bed, it was too late. The Prince had tucked his feet under his wife's legs. The cat was disgusted. Each time she had come close to killing the creature that appeared at the foot of the bed, it mysteriously disappeared.
There were better things to do anyway; down the hall was a lovely room filled with paper waiting to be shredded. Zaymi had just about gotten the entire roll of toilet paper butchered when a piercing shriek hailed from the master bedroom. Ah, the feline thought, she definitely LOVED it.
The afternoon sun bathed the kitchen in a warm light. The couple at the table was having a solumn discussion. A white ball of fur sat under the table cleaning herself. Secretly, she was listening to the conversation being held above her. Sensing trouble, the cat weighed her options. Sighing to herself, she realized that she would have to intervene if there was to be peace. I will not have contention in my home, she sniffed. With a gentle push she "encouraged" her pet to make peace.
Vegeta stared at the table in thought. He felt an overwhelming urge to make things right with his wife. "Woman, I…" The Saiyan Prince began. "I…want you to understand that I did not intend to cause a scene the other day."
"Like hell you didn't." His wife snapped.
A flash of anger crossed Vegeta's face but was quickly pushed down. The Saiyan took another deep breath. "Woman, you must try to understand…"
"My name is BULMA!" She snapped.
The cat pushed her pet a little harder. Vegeta felt his anger melt and a deep love for his wife surface. "Bulma," he said. The woman softened at his tone. She suddenly realized that he was attempting in his own way to make amends. "Bulma," he said again. "I am the last Prince of the Saiyan race. Our son is the heir to the royal line." He looked his wife in the eyes and continued. "It was humiliating to see him associating with all those lesser creatures…"
"Hey!" Bulma quipped. "I'm one of those 'lesser creatures'."
His attitude flared again. "That's NOT what I meant!" Vegeta slammed his hand on the table. "Trunks is ROYALTY, and the boy does not even know it! He should ACT like a prince, not like a common fool!" The cat meowed. She had her work cut out for her. I bet this will work. Zaymi said to herself.
Vegeta's expression softened and he took Bulma's face in his hands. "Woman," he breathed, "You are neither 'lesser' nor common…" He finished his sentence with a deep kiss that said the words he could not.
That's more like it. Zaymi sniffed. The kitten began purring in satisfaction at a job well done when her pet took his mate upstairs for a different kind of "apology."
Unfortunately, her attention was so focused on Vegeta and Bulma, that she did not notice the shadow approaching from behind.
"GOT YA!" Trunks shouted with glee!
OH NO! Zaymi thought with horror. Not the cub! In the short amount of time she had been in her new home, the cat had already learned to avoid the small demi-Saiyan. He seemed to delight in tormenting the creature that his father had taken in.
"Momma said that I would really enjoy this air speeder. And Gramma says that toys are always more fun if you share." A deep sense of dread seized the kitten when she saw the gleam in the child's eye. What's that? She thought as a flash of rolled silver caught her eye. With a wicked grin, the boy undid a length of tape. "Wouldn't want you to fall off and get hurt…"
A while later, Vegeta and his wife walked outside into the garden. "Mmmmm" Bulma purred into her husband's chest as they snuggled among the bushes. The Saiyan smirked and ran his fingers through her cerulean locks. He was about to suggest they go back inside when a horrible screeching filled the compound. The sound of a child's laughter could be heard along with the whining of an engine.
A hard look filled Vegeta's eyes. "What is that boy up to NOW?" he muttered. Bulma shook her head, and both parents headed towards the direction of the sounds. Suddenly, a toy air speeder zoomed up the walkway. Strapped to the top with duct tape and screeching like a banshee, a tiny kitten clung on for dear life. "Oh my God, TRUNKS!" Bulma shouted.
"Uh oh." The child realized he'd been caught. He studied his toes for a second while he tried to figure out what to do. Thinking of nothing, he blurted, "Uh…hi mom!"
With his attention off of the control box, the speeder and its passenger went out of control. The flying cat careened off of the side of the house and headed straight for the gravity room. Everyone stared dumbly at the scene. Time seemed to slow for a second and no one moved. Vegeta was the first to break free from the spell. He took off at top speed and barely caught the feline before it crashed.
In less than a minute, he had torn the metal apart and got the cat out of the speeder. Satisfied that his creature was unharmed, he handed the kitten to his wife and took Trunks to the Gravity Room for a talk.
It took Bulma almost two hours to get the tape out of the cat's hair.
"I couldn't BELIEVE it Chi-Chi! It was unreal…the cat was flying around like one of the guys, and oh…it was soooo funny!…" The blue-haired woman chucked at the memory. "And you should have seen Vegeta's face when he realized…"
Will she EVER be quiet? The kitten wondered. Bulma Briefs had been on the phone with her friend for over an hour, and the feline hiding under the table was starting to get disgusted with the conversation. Why does the stupid cub always do these things to me anyway? She growled in frustration. The more the kitten listened to the woman laughing and carrying on, the angrier the abused feline got.
"Oh! And did I tell you… Vegeta finally named it… you won't believe…. BAKA! Isn't that hilarious? He named the cat Baka! It's too funny…."
Although she didn't understand completely what the Woman said, Zaymi knew that every sentence was discussing the incident from the other day. The cat stood up and marched out of the kitchen toward the bedrooms. She was extremely tired of being humiliated, and the kitten decided that it was time to show these humans who was really in charge…
Vegeta stretched as he got out of the shower. He raised his ki to dry himself off then laid out of the bed to relax his weary flesh. He had put in a full morning in the gravity room, then spent the afternoon arguing with his wife. His shoulder muscles tightened in anger when he thought back on the conversation…
"That boy has too much time on his hands, Woman! He needs more training!"
"I will NOT have you beating on our child just because you're a fighting-obssessed ass!"
"I am NOT fighting-obsessed, Woman! The boy needs to learn discipline!"
"He's too young!"
"He is a SAIYAN!"
On and on it went…
Vegeta growled at the memory. Saiyans were trained hard from birth! So far, Bulma had only allowed Vegeta to teach their son fighting forms and strength training. Bah! The boy needed to spar! Trunks' Saiyan blood cried for battle. Why couldn't she understand? If they did not provide a safe outlet for the child's inborn fighting instincts, his blood would begin seek out conflict of every kind. What was Bulma so afraid of? Did she think he would actually hurt their son?
The Prince sat up and threw a pillow across the room. This sort of meditation did nothing to relax him. He roughly pulled on his clothes. Some fresh air might just clear his head. Vegeta roughly pulled the closet door aside and glanced around for what he needed. The Prince spotted his boots and then noticed the furball busy in the back of the closet. "Baka, just what are you doing, you foolish creature?"
Zaymi briefly wondered why her pet felt the need to say his own name before addressing her. Baka is an awfully strange name for a man anyway, perhaps he's ashamed, the kitten thought. She looked at Vegeta and contemplated this another moment before setting back to her task: chewing the ribbons off a box. The Saiyan shook his head in wonder. Didn't the cat know that ribbon would make it vomit? With a disgusted growl, he pulled the kitten out of the closet and threw her into the hall. "Stupid creature." He muttered.
Zaymi was pleased with herself. She had managed to ingest enough ribbon before the pet rudely interrupted her. The cat's proud head was held high as she entered Trunks' room. Now for the first lesson… She grinned and then promptly threw up all over the boy's pillow. Examining her work, she decided there was enough volume on the fabric to make a lovely smell, so she turned to her next task. Stupid cub! He should NEVER disrespect a cat! She had just enough time to finish her work before dinner.
The next morning:
"MOOOOOOOOMMMMM!" Trunks yelled from upstairs.
Bulma shook her head wondering what the boy was upset about now. "MOOOMMMMMMMM!" She dried her hands on the dishtowel by the sink and slowly walked towards the hallway. She couldn't tell by the tone of the cry whether he was upset or scared. When she reached the doorway a strange sight greeted her. One boot rested on the floor next to Trunks who was staring at his foot as if it were some revolting creature. "GET…IT…OFF!" the boy wailed.
Too confused to ask why, Bulma reached for her son's leg. As the foot slid out of the boot, a strange wet "slooshing" sound met her ears, and a horrible smell assaulted her nose. "UGH! What IS that?" She croaked.
Trunks bit back angry tears. "It feels like mud, Mommy, but it smess AWFUL!"
Memories of changing the litter box came unbidden to Bulma's mind. Then the reality of what happed suddenly struck the woman, and she was unable to contain a giggle. The boy's pride was grossly offended at his mother's laughter. Unable to control himself anymore, the child began to cry in earnest. "It's NOT funny, Mommy!" He wailed.
"Um, Trunks, honey." The blue-haired parent began. "I think you need to let me carry you to the bathroom to clean your foot off really good…"
The child sniffed, "What is it?" He asked.
His mother smirked. "Well son, I guess last night wasn't Baka's only way of showing you how much she enjoyed the ride in your toy…"
Realization dawned in the young eyes, and the lavender-haired boy wrinkled his nose in disgust. "Eww…"
Bulma nodded, "There's a valueable lesson in all this son." She reached down and patted the boy's shoulder. "From now on, check your shoes before you put them on…"
Dende smiled at his visitor. "I am honored that you chose to visit me, sir" the Namek said. His visitor stared down at the earth below and simply nodded his acknowledgement. The tall being had a kindly disposition and royal bearing. His face was covered with white fur, and long whiskers graced his cheeks.
The Neko-Kai turned to the Guardian. "All of my charges are doing well. You have been carrying out your duties in an excellent fashion." The older being turned again towards the earth and sighed. His eyes looked concerned. "Do you know why I am here?"
Dende's smile faded. "I think I do. It has something to do with your operative at the Saiyan no Ouji's residence, doesn't it?" His only response was a curt nod. The Namek stepped forward and placed a hand on the other's arm. "Sir, she is a worthy creature. I believe she is doing a wonderful job with the Prince…"
The Kai cut him off. "You do not know what she is facing…" He took a deep breath. "There is so little time before her work will be challenged! I can only hope that the bond she has formed is strong enough to face the test. The fate of the universe may be in her paws."
The Guardian was surprised. "What is going on? I didn't realize that things were that serious. I thought..." He stopped and considered his words. "I thought she was here simply to keep the Prince from returning to his evil roots."
A sad smile crossed the Kai's lips. "It's more than that, Dende." The Elder said kindly. "I think it is time for you to be told what is coming."
Dende was scared. What could be so serious that the Neko-Kai would soften the blow by using the familiar form of his name? He stared at the Neko-Kai and tried to find the answers in his eyes. Even the fear he saw there did not prepare him for the being's next words…
"The wizard Bobidi has been searching the galaxy for the location of his father's greatest evil. He is gathering a force and preparing to awaken our greatest nightmare…the creature Majin Boo has been discovered here on Earth."
Majin Boo? Dende thought. Piccolo has told me of such a creature that destroyed entire galaxies-how can it be here?
"The Supreme Kai has been following them for three centuries now. He is setting things in motion to try to save us all. If the creature is loosed, there may be no one strong enough to defeat it. Zaymi's pet has great potential for both good and evil. Do you see now, how serious the situation is?" The Kai paused for only a moment. "Dende, make sure you protect my little one. She may be more important than even I can know…"
Back on earth, the Briefs household slept unaware of the revelations taking place above. Only Zaymi knew of her greater purpose, and the feline never forgot her mission. She snuggled in the hollow between the Saiyan Prince's arm and torso and purred softly in her sleep. Her gentle presence assured that the Prince rested without the difficult nightmares that often plagued him in times past.
Life for the Saiyan Prince was, for the first time, peaceful. It was the grounding that he would need to be able to withstand the trials that were just over the horizon.
Three years later.
A dark presence touched at the edge of the feline's consciousness. She shook herself awake and stretched. Was it a dream? She wondered. The last few years had been rather interesting, but peaceful. The cub had ceased attempting to assert his dominance over Zaymi after she had shown him his place a few times. The cat sniffed arrogantly at the memory of the final time she was challenged. I doubt my pets will ever feed me chocolate again. She mused. Her mouth arched into what resembled a feline smirk when she recalled the sight of Baka having to ki-blast his cub's entire closet out of existence to remove the smell of cat diarrhea from the dwelling.
What could this thing be that I sense? The cat perused her mind for the answer as she ate. Another presence, this one closer, made itself known to Zaymi. Ah, Baka is awake. She began to purr. Just in time for a lovely scratch. Silently she padded back down the hall and into her pet's room to complete the morning ritual. Vegeta had gotten quite adept at finding all the places that the feline liked to have rubbed. Every dawn the two enjoyed each other's presence. Vegeta provided gentle caresses, and the feline smoothed away any terrors that invaded her pet's mind during the night. It was a fair exchange, one that had gone a long way towards "taming" the wild beast she had adopted.
Dende stared silently at the earth below and watched the sun slowly creep over the horizon. Unconsciously he shivered from the lingering feeling of dread the refused to fade with the receding night. It's almost time. The Guardian had been keeping track of the movements of the wizard Bobidy since he had landed on Earth a few months ago. Unfortunately, he was forbidden to interfere as the Earth was not in direct jeopardy yet. There has to be something I can do. The Namek frowned. He turned back towards his temple and headed inside. One of the paintings near the entrance caught his attention. It was an illustration of the Order of the Universe and portrayed the different Kais and Kamis. That's it! The now smiling Guardian went inside. He had beings to contact.
Urani Baba was more than pleased to help Dende with his plan. She knew Goku would be easy to convince; the only possible roadblock would be the Grand Kai. The witch grinned as she thought of the various ways she might have her way with the older male. All he needs to agree to is a day. She thought. With Goku in the picture, the universe might have a chance after all.
Back on Earth, two fighters prepared to go steal energy for their masters, and an evil wizard got ready to resurrect the Universe's most dangerous enemy.
Zaymi thought it amazing that things could go so wrong in such a short amount of time. This morning, her pet was in the best mood she had ever seen him in. He was thoroughly excited about something called a "tournament" and the arrival of his greatest rival "Carrot-something-or-other." The entire family had been buzzing and left at an unseemly hour to gather their friends.
Zaymi was enjoying the day without pets to watch over. The white cat lay sprawled in the sun atop her favorite balcony seat facing the mountains. The cool spring air blew through her fur, and there wasn't a cub in sight!
Then: PAIN. White hot, searing PAIN. Her senses were filled to overloading. She couldn't see, couldn't smell, couldn't even feel anything but an all-compassing pain. The cat thought her head would burst from the pressure. Wha…what's happening? Her thoughts were difficult to form through the blur of agony. Suddenly, she felt as if she were drowning. The cat was sure she was about to die.
Without warning, it was over. Her heart turned to ice when she realized the source. MY PET!
Across the continent, the evil wizard Bobidy had claimed another slave.
BAKA! Baka! BAKA! Zaymi screamed through her telepathic link. The only response was a muted feeling of pain and guilt. I MUST save him! She frantically searched through her mind to see if anything in the Pet Management courses she had taken covered possession by an alien mind. If felines could cry, Zaymi would have wept. Instead, a pained yowl carried through the empty Capsule Corporation grounds. Oh Neko-kai, what am I going to do?
High above, Dende sat in disbelief. He had been sure that bringing Goku to earth for a day would mean the death of Majin Boo. The Namek had never even considered that Bobidy would claim one of the Z-Fighters as a slave-and certainly not Vegeta! This is terrible! The Guardian thought to himself. The one fighter in the entire Universe who can compete with Goku in power is now under Bobidy's control. I don't know what to do now. Dende's small green hands fidgeted with his wooden staff as he desperately tried to come up with something to do.
Self, you must THINK! Zaymi paced around her pet's sleeping quarters, using Baka's scent to help her focus on her mission. I must clear my mind of all but Baka… Slowly, the feline circled the room and breathed in the essence of her charge. Her body began to relax as she focused more and more of her energy into the link with her pet. Zaymi settled her small frame into the depression on the bed that belonged to the male, and gave her entire attention to the task at hand.
There! It felt like diving into a tar pit. Zaymi was suddenly inside her pet's mind. All around her were horrid whispers that she recognized as coming from the alien. You wanted me here. You called for me. You planned for me to give you power. You hate life. You hate family. You hate love. You are weak. You are pitiful. You are nothing without my power. KILL! DESTROY! SHOW NO MERCY! Even through the sludge clouding his mind, Zaymi could feel her pet's resistance. Distant echoes cried out "NO! That is NOT what I am. I will NOT!" But the insistent voice of evil was stronger. There was only one thing to do; only one thing was left that could possibly gave Zaymi's pet any chance of breaking free. With a shuddering breath, the cat linked her soul to Vegeta's.
BAKA! You must focus! You must break free! Zaymi forced her thoughts into Vegeta's head. He had always considered these "intrusions" as his own thoughts, so it was as if he was chastising himself. This allowed the Prince's pride to remain intact. Pride…pride…this might just be the key I need to help him! Zaymi thought to herself. If I use his greatest asset, it could very well give him the strength to overcome the alien! The feline circled through the Prince's subconscious searching for the information she needed. Her consciousness was so submerged in Vegeta's that it only connected with her own body by a fragile thread. There! Mentally, the cat grinned. With all the strength her feline soul could muster she grabbed hold of Vegeta's attention. Kakarot! Baka, you are greater than Kakarot! His mind is his own! You are stronger. Your mind is stronger. Stronger. Stronger. Stronger...
A sudden blackness covered Zaymi, and she felt as if she was being carried away. She could feel the currents of Vegeta's mind shifting as she tried to regain her footing against the alien. She felt a tidal wave of emotional pain rising in her pet and a bright ray of Truth came bursting from deep within the Saiyan's soul. The blackness was shattered, but it clung to the edges of his mind and darkened the Prince's perception. Disoriented, the feline sought out her pet's consciousness to assess what was taking place. As she looked out of Vegeta's eyes, she saw another man. This must be the "Cat-carrot" Baka is focused on. Zaymi watched helplessly as her pet knocked the man unconscious and flew off. What is he doing? She thought to herself. All too quickly, she had her answer in the form of a strange pink being. Zaymi was too weak to experience much of what happened next. She was forced to withdraw to the deeper levels of her pet's mind to avoid the horrible pain the strangely-colored creature inflicted on her Baka.
After what seemed like an eternity, the feline ventured higher into Vegeta's consciousness to see what was happening. Zaymi swelled with pride as she watched her pet embrace his cub. The light of good intentions had completely banished the last of the evil presence from his mind. The cat began to gently stretch her awareness to the other parts of Vegeta to ensure he was truly free. She was astonished to see what her pet intended to do. He's going to give it all to save the world…
There was neither time nor strength for Zaymi to disengage her soul from her pet's. All she could do was to provide peace for him as he resolutely made his stand. Surprisingly, there was no pain for either of them. Just a blinding flash, and together they entered eternity.
Zaymi found herself awakening in a gentle glade. Soft grass surrounded her and fragrant flowers were everywhere. The former Pet Watcher smiled; she was home. This was the second time she had come to awareness in this glade. The first was several years before, when her soul was too weak to join her Progenitors on the physical plane. Somewhere down on earth, a woman had miscarried and Zaymi came to this Garden to grow up.
A guardian spirit stood beside her and offered a hand. "Welcome home, little one." The spirit said. Other guardians floated down into the glade awaiting their charges that were due to arrive soon. A sense of peace filled Zaymi and she took a deep breath before rising. It felt a little odd to be back in a human body after all this time. With a sudden frown, Zaymi remembered Vegeta. She looked across the expanse of sky at King Enma's palace and hoped the Neko-Kai's report helped judgment to go in his favor this time around.
Zaymi and the spirit walked out of the newcomer's glade and into the hamlet of the infants. The main clearing was home to the recreational area where tiny babies of every race in the universe played to help them gain enough strength to survive life on the physical plane. Just past the hamlet was a larger area for the older, stronger souls who were getting ready to be born.
As Zaymi stepped through the area divider, she was suddenly tackled by a dark-haired boy. "ZAYMI!" He shouted. "You're really back!" The younger child was grinning and laughing as he held his best friend and mentor in his embrace. "It's so good to see you!" He squealed.
Zaymi ruffled the child's hair and smiled back. "It's good to see you too, kid." She turned her head to the side and gave her friend a quizzical look. "I'm kind of surprised you're still here, though. You were almost strong enough to be born when I left."
A thoughtful expression settled on the boy's features for a moment before he replied. "Well," He paused as if trying to find the right words, and his toes traced a circle in the dirt. "I decided to wait and be born of Saiyan lineage. You've got to go through extra training to become that strong of heart..."
Zaymi grinned and pulled the child into a hug. "There's nothing to be ashamed about wanting to honor your Progenitors, kiddo. You should be proud of them." She gently put her fingers on the boy's chin and turned his head to face her. "I know what I'm talking about. Your Progenitors were exceptional people."
A sad smile graced the younger face. "Did you take care of them like I asked?"
"Of course! Could I do anything less for you?" She finished her question with a round of tickles that left them both breathless on the grassy hillside.
The spirit guardian escorting Zaymi stepped closer to the pair. "I hate to break this up, but it's time for you to report."
The boy gazed at his mentor with melancholy. "This is the last time I'll see you, isn't it?" He asked.
Zaymi stood and looked down at her friend. With a smirk, she said simply, "Don't bet on it, kid." She gave the child a final wave and then followed the guardian down to the center of the heaven, the Kodomo-Kai's palace.
Zaymi arrived to find the sanctuary in a state of frantic disarray. She had never seen things so hectic. "What's going on?" She asked the spirit who led her here. The guardian was speechless and only shook his head to indicate that he didn't know. The spirit's task was complete, so it left her and went in search of instructions.
Zaymi made her way to the Neko-Kai's temple on the side of the great Kodomo-Kai's palace. Someone shouted what sounded like "Majin Buu" and Zaymi shook her head in disbelief. There was no way that monster could have survived Baka's blast! She thought to herself. She walked down the isle of the temple and stared into one of the gazing pools used for observing Earth. To her horror, she saw that her pet's sacrifice had been in vain. Majin Buu was not only alive, but HFIL-bent on destroying the world! No wonder the palace was in an uproar. There was about to be a child-soul overload!
The next several days left no room for Zaymi to meet with the Kais. She was asked to help in the infant hamlet due to the massive influx of human babies that had arrived. Neither Zaymi nor anyone else thought much of her mission in those crazed moments. Taking care of a million babies was an incredible task all in itself. When the crisis was finally over, a very relieved Kodomo-Kai petitioned the Grand Kai to send more babies to Namek. The dragon balls had become quite popular, and the Namek race was now especially prized in the heavens.
Once all the souls were safely back on Earth, the time had come for Zaymi to discuss the results of her mission with the Kais. She had spent several days preparing herself for their judgment, and was hopeful that they would view her favorably. Zaymi held her head high and marched into the courtyard of the Kai for what would become the last time…
"It is decided then." The Grand Kai intoned. "The soul currently known as Zaymi has proven herself worthy and strong of heart."
Zaymi could not suppress a grin. The kai continued. "Due to her exceptional strength of soul and her unwavering sacrifice during the recent time of stress, it is determined that she has won the claim of Saiyan birth."
Several younger souls in attendance cheered, and the Neko-kai had to wipe the tears from his eyes. The Grand Kai looked out over the audience. "Once not long ago, it was a terrible thing to be born a saiyan, but thanks to two extremely special men, what was once a punishment is now a sought-after blessing." The Kai turned and looked seriously at Zaymi. "Make no mistake, young one. You have earned this boon. Your chosen parents are very strong willed, but then you know them better than most. I believe that you are going to have a wonderful life. When we next meet in this realm, I'll be seeing you for tournament training." He smiled and put his hands on her shoulders. "Go with my blessing, young Zaymi."
Then she was gone.
The steady rhythm continued on and all she knew was that she was floating and warm.
The rhythm sped up. Strong walls were closing in on her. It hurt!
Ka-thump, ka-thump. Ka-thump, ka-thump. Ka-thump, ka-thump. Ka-thump, ka-thump.
Squeezing, pushing, she was being forced from her cocoon of warmth.
Ka-thump, ka-thump. Ka-thump, ka-thump. Ka-thump, ka-thump. Ka-thump, ka-thump.
LIGHT! It was so bright. Everything was bright. Where was she? WHO was she?
The sound was gone, and in its place was an eerie mix of noise. It was so loud.
Ka-thump, ka-thump. Ka-thump, ka-thump.
Ah. Warm again, but this time it came from one side, and the gentle rhythm was not as loud.
What was that other noise? It sounded familiar, but she couldn't understand the words….
"Baka! Be quiet, or you'll wake her up!"
"Shut up, woman! I just want to see the first Saiyan female born on this planet."
Those voices were so familiar, and yet….
The softer voice whispered, and although she couldn't understand yet, it was soothing.
"Welcome to the family, my beautiful baby girl. I think we're going to call you Bra."
an: hope you all like the story. i decided to post it all in one lump instead of chapters, especially since it's all written. happy reading!