Chapter 11


            Scleren stormed through the hallways, his fists clenched at his sides and his expression dark.  He was approached by several med-center employees.  No words were needed; one look at his murderous icy-blue glare was enough to silence and send them on their way. 


            “How dare he,” he fumed silently.  I’ve taken care of him, taught him a trade, given him more of my time and care than his own parents probably did, the poor bastards, and what does he do with it?  Throws it all away for a trifle Scleren growled under his breath as he tore around another corner.


            He had just visited the nursery to follow up on Kakarot’s launch.  What had he found there?  A very well-organized and informed staff who told him that Kakarot had been sent out to the pod zone and that he would be departing within the next half-hour or so.  That was the good thing.  If Pazru lived to see another day, he would congratulate the kid on carrying out this assignment with such aplomb.  The bad thing:  Pazru wasn’t in the nursery when he got there.  According to the attendants Pazru had left on personal business and Scleren had missed him by about 20 minutes or so.


            And Scleren knew exactly where the boy was headed, and he would be damned if he didn’t stop this foolishness immediately.



*           *           *           *



            “Target directional coordinates: FX-50.  Name: Kakarot.”  The technician squinted down at the launch briefings displayed on the computer panel and looked back up again at the sleeping Saiyan infant curled up in the pod. 


“Bardock’s son, hmmm?” he mused as he caught sight of the resemblance.  His eyes scrolled back down to the panel.


            “Rank: Lowest class warrior.  Planet of destination: Chikyuusei.”  He nodded as he confirmed each piece of information.


            “Looks like everything matches up; this one’s all ready to go,” he said to no one in particular.  Perusing the briefings one last time (it never hurt to be thorough), he began to rapidly key in the launch codes.  The hatch of the pod slowly closed and the pod slid back into the hollow t of the launch pad.  The door to the pipe fell with a bang and a furious stream of cloud blew from two exhaust panels on its surface as the air was forcefully pulled from the tube.  There was a muffled explosion from inside as the pod was shot from the pad.


            “Good luck, little one,” the technician whispered.



*           *           *           *



            “What’s the matter, Bardock?”


            The Saiyan leaned back against his pod, panting loudly.  Kyokou looked him up and down, taking in the cracked, misshapen remains of his armor, the shreds of his clothing, and the dried blood crusted over his body like some sort of second skin.  Man, he thought to himself, “when Bardock is given an assignment, he goes all out.  Look at him, he didn’t even care to try to wipe off the blood!” 


He shook his head ruefully.  “What a shame, you just missed your kid’s launch!” he said.  Not even bothering to answer, Bardock lurched past Kyokou and his partner.   Unperturbed, Kyokou continued, “As I remember, he’s going to some frontier planet called Chikyuusei.”


Bardock paused and looked back at him.  “Did you say ‘Chikyuu’?”


Kyokou broke out into a smile.  “Yeah, it’s a blue planet, part of a star system.  He may be a low class warrior, but give him a few months and he’s sure to wipe out the planet.  Once you’ve recovered from those injuries, you ought to go meet up with him.”


The Saiyan stared blankly back at him, still panting.  Kyokou cocked his head to the side and looked at him quizzically.  “So what happened to you?  How did a guy like you get beat up so badly?  I thought you went to Meatsei, didn’t you?  But that was supposed to be a really simple planet.  Did the techs confuse the specs?  And where are Toma and the others?”


Bardock was focused on some point beyond the pod attendants’ shoulders.  Kyokou frowned.  Something wasn’t right here.  The Saiyan wasn’t listening to a word he said.  That wasn’t saying much; it was a common reaction and didn’t really bother Kyokou, but the way Bardock was staring off all glazed eyed like that…it was almost like he was…he was…  Kyokou’s train of thought was broken as the Saiyan suddenly gasped and darted off down the tunnel that would lead him into the complex.


“What’s the matter, Bardock?” he shouted after the fleeing man.


“Hey!  Look at this!” his partner shouted from behind him.  “He’s far from all right, wouldn’t you say?” 


Feeling the first worms of unease threading through his guts Kyokou approached the abandoned pod.  The seat was covered in shiny tracks and puddles of blood.  Hand shaking ever so slightly, Kyokou reached inside and touched one gloved hand to the substance.  Instead of flaking away, it clung to his hands, a few drops falling away to the ground.  This blood is fresh,” he thought as he rubbed the tacky fluid between his thumb and index finger.  And so much of it too.  If he’s been bleeding like this for the whole trip back then he—


“Kyokou!  Isn’t that…?” The man pointed to the sky.


A pale shadow drifted over him and Kyokou looked up.  His eyes widened and his jaw dropped as he caught sight of the massive shape approaching the planet.  It couldn’t be.  What reason does he have to come here, and now of all times?”



*           *           *           *



“Sir?  Oh, sir?”


Scleren ignored the voice as he stalked down the corridor.  There was a tug on his sleeve and he abruptly stopped and turned back, staring fiercely at the person who would dare touch him in when he was in this state.


“Dr. Scleren?” she asked tentatively.


“Yes, what is it, Moreena?”


“It’s Moira, sir. And I just—“




Disconcerted, but no less determined, she did not relinquish her grip on his sleeve.


Ummm, sir, I have some questions for you.”


“Not now, I’m busy at the moment.  Why don’t you go and talk to Plenthor, he’s your supervisor is he not?” Scleren replied irritably as he stared longingly down the hallway in the direction he intended to go.


“Yes, but he told me to ask you about this.”


“I’m sorry, Moira, but I really don’t have the time to—“


“It’s about Pazru.”


Interest sparked, Scleren sharply turned his head to look down at the young woman standing before him.


“What about Pazru?”



*           *           *           *



Pazru rolled his shoulders and rounded out his back in an attempt to ease the throbbing pain that was quickly growing at the base of his spine.  He pressed one hand to the bulging midsection of his lab tunic and lifted it upwards, trying to shift some of the weight off of his aching back.  A few beads of sweat rolled down his face as he walked as fast as was possible towards the pod zone.  He paused at an intersection, unsure of which path to take.  The corridors were identical, stretching endlessly onward in each direction with no markers or signs as to where each led.  He gritted his teeth.


There wasn’t much time left and he had gotten lost and had to backtrack twice now.  He had spent so much time perfecting his plan but had somehow neglected to familiarize himself with the route to the pod zone.  Time was of the essence here; he wasn’t sure how long Kyokou could hold the pod for him.  Adding to this burden was the child, no pun intended.  Pazru interlaced his fingers and cradled the dead weight of the infant hidden beneath his clothing.  Now that he thought about it, the tiny Saiyan had grown considerably since he had been born.  Another factor that he had failed to consider in his plan.


The good thing about this is that the kid is unconscious.  It would have been impossible to have smuggled him, awake, all the way to the pod zone.  No way.  Not only would he have made a racket, but he probably would have struggled like mad.  The side of Pazru’s mouth quirked up in a crooked grin.  Things weren’t going as badly as they could be, at least. 


But he needed to focus on the problem at hand: finding his way to the departure area.  He scanned the hallways again, trying to picture the map he had drawn out several nights before.  He could simply pull it out of his pocket and look at it, but that would also mean that he would have to undo the sling that he had constructed to bear the child, and that would mean risking the chance that someone might walk by and catch sight of the kid.  After some deliberation, he decided to head down the corridor directly in front of him.  Luck was with him this time, and after a short amount of time the gateway to the pod zone came into view.


“Pazru!”  Kyokou ran up to meet him as he entered the departure area, worry written all over his face.


“You’re late, man!” he chided.  “I can’t stay for very long.  My schedule got changed so I was stuck working arrivals today, so I had to sneak away to come here.  Paz, you wouldn’t believe what I saw!” he blurted, voice flush with an uncharacteristic note of panic.


Pazru gave him a strained smile.  “I’m sorry I’m late.  I got a little lost on the way down here.”  Spying a pod lying open on the opposite end of the large room, he asked, “Is that it?”


Kyokou nodded vigorously.  “Yeah, it’s all ready for you, Paz, all ready to go.  But, Paz, you need to listen to me!  I just saw—”




Startled, Pazru whipped around to look at the owner of the voice.  Eyes widening in shock, he nearly completely lost his hold on both the baby and his bladder.  Scleren stood in the doorway, staring menacingly at him.  Moira peeked out from behind his shoulder and shot Pazru an apologetic look. 


“I’m sorry, Pazru, but I couldn’t stop him,” she said, eyes welling with tears.  Catching sight of the open pod, she looked from it to him, stricken.  “Pazru, are you leaving Vegetasei?”


Pazru opened his mouth to explain but was cut off by Scleren, who quickly closed the distance between them. 


“All right, let me see him!” he growled.


“I…what are you talking about?” Pazru replied as innocently as he possibly could.


“You know exactly what I’m talking about, Pazru,” he said and poked at the bulge in the younger man’s midsection.  “I want to see that baby.”


“Baby?!” Kyokou and Moira cried out in unison.


Pazru gulped and sunk to the ground.  Miserable, he roasted under the gaze of the three of them for what seemed like hours as his shaking fingers struggled to undo the knots holding the makeshift sling together.  He pulled back the hem of his tunic.  Kyokou and Moira gasped loudly as they caught sight of the unconscious Saiyan infant.


“Pazru?  What’s going on here?” Kyokou asked, his brow wrinkled in confusion.  Moira stood silently behind Scleren, one hand pressed to her mouth, her head shaking from side to side.  Scleren simply glanced at the child and nodded.


“Put the baby in the pod,” he said.


Pazru blinked up at his mentor from his seat on the floor.  “What?”


“You heard me,” Scleren replied quietly, his eyes focused intently on his young student.  “You’ve gone through so much trouble for this brat.  Finish what you’ve started.  Pazru stared back at him in shock.  Scleren’s eyes narrowed and he frowned.  “Well, what are you waiting for?  Do as I say!”


“Yes…yes sir,” Pazru mumbled and tentatively scooped the child from the floor and headed towards the open pod, glancing back once at Scleren, who simply waved him on. 


“You.”  Scleren leveled his gaze at Kyokou, who was still staring google-eyed at Pazru and the infant.  “Don’t you have a job to do?” the doctor said calmly.  Kyokou stared at him momentarily in a confused fashion, then nodded and headed off to the observation platform and the main computer panel.  Scleren strode over to the pod, Moira following him slowly. 


“You’ll need to situate him so that the needle will hit him correctly,” he directed.


“But he’s already sedated,” Pazru replied.


“How long will it take this pod to get to wherever it is going,” Scleren said loudly, addressing Kyokou, who quickly began to scan through the launch briefings.


Ummm, about three and a half days,” Kyokou shouted back.


Scleren sighed.  “You didn’t honestly think that you could keep this kid unconscious for that long with just a single pill, did you Pazru?”  The young man shook his head and shifted uncomfortably from one foot to the other, avoiding the old doctor’s eyes.  Scleren turned back to look at Kyokou again.


“I assume that you have reassessed the situation and changed the settings on the cryo-sleep program?” he queried.


Yessir, it’s all set and ready to go.”


Scleren nodded and gently placed a hand on Pazru’s shoulder.  Pazru stopped fussing with the sleeping baby and looked up at him, a mixture of fear and sadness in his eyes.


“Scleren, I’m—,” he began to say but was interrupted by the doctor, who smiled amicably and patted his shoulder.


“It’s alright, Pazru.  I understand.  Your intent was good.  In fact, I’m rather impressed that you managed to juggle this with all of your other assignments.  You’re going to make a fine doctor someday.”


Pazru gaped, then smiled slowly and nodded gratefully.


“Is he ready to go, Paz?” Kyokou called.


Uhhhhh, no wait, Kyokou!” Pazru shouted.  “There’s one more thing I need to do!”  He began to rummage quickly through his pockets, finally coming up with the box that Moira had given him barely an hour before. 


“Here it is,” he said to no one in particular, holding the box up before him triumphantly.  Flipping the lid open, he fished out a small object.  The silver nametag glittered under the harsh light of the pod departure zone.  Hearing Moira’s tiny gasp, Pazru gave her a remorseful smile. 


“I’m sorry that I lied to you,” he said quietly.  She looked away from him and sighed.


“I understand now,” she replied.


Pazru nodded and turned his attention back to the pod and its tiny occupant.  Stretching the small bracelet out in his fingers, he deftly slid it over the infant’s hand and onto his wrist.  The name inscribed on the flat surface of the tag stood out boldly.


“Turles,” Pazru whispered.  “No one gave you a name when you were born, so I’m giving you one of my own.  It’s not Saiyan, but it’s still a good name.  In my language, it is a word that denotes strength and determination.”


“It suits him,” Scleren said quietly from behind Pazru, “as well as his caretaker.”


Pazru beamed happily and leaned in to ruffle the child’s hair.  “All I wish for you, Turles, is that you grow big and strong and determined to thrive.  What you choose to do with you life I leave solely up to you.  You are not bound to any morals, any rules, not even to the cultural bonds of your Saiyan heritage.  Unlimited possibility lies before you; make the most of it.”  Pazru smoothed back a few errant strands of Turles’ hair and stood back and regarded his young charge.  Turles stirred slightly, a small moan escaping his lips, then quieted again.  Pazru backed slowly away from the pod, Scleren following suit, to stand near Moira.  He turned to look up at Kyokou who nodded and began to read off the launch briefings.


“Target directional coordinates: FS-93.  Name: Turles.  Rank,” Kyokou glanced down at Pazru then back at the briefings, “None.”  Pazru smiled warmly at his friend.  “Planet of destination: Charenjisei.”  Kyokou keyed in the launch codes slowly and carefully.  Pazru’s smile thinned somewhat as the hatch closed.  He barely felt the prick of hot tears as they welled in his eyes to spill down his cheeks.  Warm fingers entwined in his and he looked down to see Moira at his side, her eyes sympathetic and her smile soft.  The door to the launch tube fell shut, air hissing from the exhaust vents.  He squeezed her hand tightly as the pod was launched up through the tube, it’s occupant on his way to a new challenge, a new life.  Feeling pressure on his shoulder, he looked to his other side, at Scleren, who hugged him close and nodded in silent assurance.


Kyokou leapt from the observation platform to join the other three.


“So he’s on his way,” he murmured as he stared at the empty launch pad.  “The little guy should do real well on Charenji; it’s a great planet.”  Pazru sighed happily.


“Charenji,” Moira echoed.  “It has a nice sound to it.”


“So what were you going to tell me earlier, Kyokou?” Pazru asked.  The other man’s serene expression suddenly faded and he turned away from the others.


“I saw Frieza’s ship arriving in Vegetasei airspace about a half an hour ago.”


Scleren stiffened and turned to stare at the attendant, the blood running from his face.  “And?”


Kyokou began to reply, but was nearly thrown to the floor as a vast earthquake shook the complex.  Moira cried out and clung to Pazru for support.  Scleren fell against the side of the platform and held tightly to its side.  A series of loud squawkings, bits and pieces of shouting voices, issued from the scouter embedded in Kyokou’s helmet.  Kyokou’s eyes widened, his mouth falling open as he listened to the words flying back and forth on the channel.  Scleren, Pazru, and Moira stared at him fearfully.


“What’s going on, Kyokou?” Pazru whispered.


Kyokou swallowed loudly.  “A fight broke out a little while ago in one of the Saiyan cafeterias.  It was Bardock.  He was saying crazy things.  Like how Frieza had betrayed the Saiyans and was planning on destroying them.”


Scleren’s eyes widened and he grabbed the startled man by the shoulders and shook him.


“What was that just now?”


Kyokou’s eyes shifted to the side as he concentrated on the garbled bits of conversation coming through the scouter’s com-link.   “Bardock…Bardock left to challenge Frieza.  Alone.  He’s fighting right now.” 


Scleren dropped the attendant and climbed to the top of the platform with a speed and agility most his age could muster.  He fiddled with the computer panel for a few seconds, bringing up a large screen that was projected onto the far wall showing a view outside the complex.  Clusters of towers and antennae as well as the distant outlines of trees and the glimmer of a small lake rose from the red soil.  The sky was a riot of light and color, the silhouettes of several hundred warriors cast into sharp relief by the fierce white light of a small sun. 


Scleren blinked.  “Oh, Kami,” he murmured.


That was no sun.  It was growing steadily.  That was a massive, massive amount of ki.  He could feel it already, pricking up the hairs on his arms, sending a small shockwave up and down his spine.  And what was that shadow behind it?  Another earthquake, stronger this time, rocked the room.  Pazru and Moira were thrown to the floor and Scleren was forced to his knees.  He regained his footing and squinted at the image.  That shadow.  It was a ship. 


“Frieza’s ship,” Kyokou whispered.  Pazru and Moira stared at him in horror. 


“Scleren,” Pazru shouted, “what is that thing?”  As the words left his lips the diameter of the object in question suddenly doubled, tripled, approaching rapidly.


Scleren looked down at his pupil, his lips pressed tightly together.  “I’m proud of you, Pazru,” he said.  Another earthquake began, steadily intensifying as the massive ball of ki approached.  “You have excelled beyond me in everything; you’re courage is a match for any warrior’s.”  The screen was consumed with blinding white light.  Pazru, one hand over his eyes, squinted to see the form of his mentor.  “What you have done today,” Scleren shouted over the increasing sound of the tremors, “will have reverberations throughout the universe.”


“Scleren!” Pazru shouted as the room was consumed in white flame.




*           *           *           *




            “Yes?” came the reply from the lone figure standing on the ship’s bridge.


            “I just found a strange energy signal.  It seems to have originated somewhere in the Vegeta System.”


            “Vegeta System?”  The leader walked over to the large bank of glowing computer panels, which were being monitored by a handful of technicians.  Milky-green light washed over a smooth, heart-shaped face as the leader leaned over the shoulder of the tech who had reported the signal.  “What do you have on the signal?”


            “The data’s still coming in.”  He pushed a series of buttons and a long list of numbers and figures appeared on the screen.


            “The intensity and magnitude of force…what a massive explosion!”  The leader said in awe.  “A supernova, perhaps?”


            “No.  The readout indicates that the source of the signal was organic.”




            “I can’t be certain, but I doubt it; it’s far too large and powerful.”


            “Has anyone been able to intercept any transmissions coming from Vegetasei since it appeared?”


            Another tech looked up from his seat.  “No, leader, and all transmissions directed to Vegetasei have gone unanswered.”


            The leader stood back, arms crossed, thinking.  “The Saiyans were part of the planet-clearing trade, were they not?”


            “Yes, leader,” replied a third technician.


            “Under Frieza?”


            “Yes, leader.”


            “What are Frieza’s whereabouts at this moment?”


            The sounds of rapidly clicking keys filled the room as the workers busied themselves with the order.  One of them gave a sudden victorious shout and pumped his fist in the air.  A thin smile teased at the corners of the leader’s lips as a second list of data appeared beside the first.


            “That’s what I thought.  I had heard rumors that Frieza feared the strength of the Saiyans, but I had never believed that he would actually go so far as to wipe them out completely.”  The smile turned into a sneer.  “How cowardly, but if those furry-tailed barbarians were too dumb to figure it out beforehand then let them burn.  What is our position relative to Vegetasei?  Are we in range of any debris?”


            “Possibly.  Would you like me to alter the ship’s course?”


            A shiny mass of hair, color dark, but indeterminable in the dim light, flew through the air as the leader looked back over one small, bare shoulder at the attendant.


            “Do what you deem necessary,” she replied before turning on her heel and leaving.



On to Part 2                          Back to Chapter Index                  Back to Fanfiction






Author’s Notes:  Well, that’s the end of this section.  I would be lying if I didn’t say that I’m sad that it had to end like it did.  I’d grown slightly attached to my original characters, in particular Pazru.  At the beginning, Pazru, Scleren, Kyokou, and later Moira were more of a means to an end, and also to reflect on the situation in ways that Turles was not capable of at the time.  Pazru annoyed the heck out of me when I first started writing him.  Maybe it’s because he’s basically my Mary-Sue…Mary-Steve….whatever, or rather he’s like myself as I was when I first started writing this three years ago.  But after I had picked this story back up a few months ago after having shelved it for over a year and got myself back to speed (if you can call it that ^_^) I found that I actually liked him fairly well and through him I was able to better voice some of my own ideologies and beliefs in these last few chapters.


                            People who have seen the Bardock Special are going to notice that I took a lot of dialogue from it in this chapter.  The second and third sections are lifted almost directly from it.  And yeah, I guess I have to say that Kyokou isn’t completely my original character since he does appear in the Bardock Special. The dialogue I lifted is from the actual translation of the Japanese, not the Funimation translation.  If you want to check it out and you have the dvd, set the subtitles to “Japanese”, it should be the second subtitle track.


                           So I need to know: What do you think so far?  Did you like the ending of this section?  Were you upset that I killed off almost all my characters? Email me your comments and criticisms.  And when I say criticism, I mean criticism, what you hated, what you would have liked to happen, sections of the story that felt awkward or contrived, stuff like that, believe me, I want to know, and I won’t get pissed off at you for telling me, actually I’ll thank you!


Random Thoughts: I liked the name-tag thing.  Initially I wasn’t sure how I was going to have Pazru pull that off.  Moira came in pretty handy there; she really wasn’t supposed to be anything more than some girl Pazru saw looking at him in the cafeteria, but she kind of just muscled for rank in my head so there you go.


In the Future:    I’m going to start Part 2 right away, and unlike the previous section, it’s going to be a lot shorter.  I had initially intended to make it just as long, but given the fact that I’m really interested to get the main story with an older Turles rolling, it’s been chopped down.  Don’t worry, you won’t be missing anything exciting.  Part 3 is what I’m most excited to write, and that should also be the longest of the sections with the bulk of the story.  If you looked at my story outline on the fanfic page you’ll see that the title of Part 3 is also the title of the fanfic proper.  And if you’ve read the prelude to this story, then I think you might be able to figure out who the very last section of this chapter is referring to.  If you want a timeframe, I would say that the prelude happens several months before this story.