❯ Child of the Storm – The End is in the Beginning ( Chapter 1 )
A sleek, spherical Saiyan pod broke through the layer of atmosphere that covered the Earth like a warm blanket. Its occupant rested motionless, her body frozen in suspended animation. The stars winked at this new presence and the sun blazed brightly towards the world called Earth. The pod glowed red hot from the friction of penetrating the Earth’s atmosphere and with a wailing of air and a storm of static, it crashed into the Pacific Ocean with such force that the water receded from around the point of impact, the land curled up and screamed like a wounded animal. Then all was motionless and silent for an instant, the hissing of steam and evaporating ocean water across the burning hull the only thing audible in the vast crater. Then the apparently seamless hull of the craft began to open letting out an ominous hiss of steam. Arashiko stepped out stretching from the long journey of being cramped in the tiny pod. The Namecks had done their best to reconstruct and repair the Saiyan pod, but their technology was drastically different and the pod was less than maximum comfort.
Arashiko only hoped that he was here, that she had finally found him. The Prince. Her cerulean blue eyes searched the horizon of this strange new planet, the Earth. She rapped her slender tail around her waist and admired the blue sky, which was a great contrast to the yellow brilliance of the skies of Nameck. The gentle wind made her long, blue-black hair trail out, chasing the streamers of the breeze that echoed by. Her body was covered with plates of dark blue and black armor patched together with another kind of armor borrowed from the Dragon Clan on Nameck, it almost looked like the tough plates found on the backs of scarab beetles.
It’s not like Nameck, but it is beautiful. Arashiko thought to herself. She could look at the planet later, her first priority was to find the Prince. Years of searching had led up to this moment and she had no time to admire scenery. She closed her eyes and concentrated, remembering the teachings of the Nameck Dragon Clan Elders.
Clear your mind, free your soul, and release all anger. True power can only be felt with one’s heart.
She reached out and felt for the powers that resided on the planet, a technique that had taken years to master since her Saiyan race had always relied on technology to seek out the power of others. Arashiko’s eyes widened in shock as she felt an immense power, alien but familiar at the same time.
That has to be the Prince!! Only the son of Vegeta could manage such a power level!! She blazed with wild excitement at finally finding him. Wasting no words, she quickly pressed a button on the ship’s controls on her forearm. The hull closed in upon itself into a tiny bulb safe from the elements. None could crack the sealed hull; her ship was safe until she returned to it. Arashiko breathed in the crisp air as it began to quiver around her body. Lightening blue streaks of energy crackled along her slender form. With a burst of energy and joy, Arashiko sped off in the direction of where she hoped to find her destiny and he who would decide her future.
Miles pass within the blink of an eye as the Saiyan advanced on her destination, her long journey finally coming to an end. Finally she saw something, a vague form in the mists of the early morning far down below. Her heart skipped a beat when she saw him fully exposed in the early rays of dawn. The mists wrapped around his muscular form and the upward waft of his dark black hair. Cold light illuminated his taut, proud features that bent in extreme focus. His body was tensed into a fighting stance, one hand leveled behind and one in front for defense. Vegeta’s coal black eyes were concentrated in front of him towards an unseen opponent.
He is no longer the boy I once knew, but a man! And a handsome man at that! Just like his father… Arashiko flinched as tears gathered in her eyes. Years had passed and her failure still carried a bitter, painful sting. If only I could have gotten to him in time!! Damn Frieza!!! The burden of years came back to weigh upon her heart, never ceasing, never relenting. She was loyal to King Vegeta and she was loyal to his son. No time to cry about it now!! You’ve seen too much and waited too long to let your emotions take control of you now!! Arashiko scolded herself. Saiyan Warriors don’t cry!! She thought harshly as she tore the tears away with her fingers.
Arashiko stopped again as she saw someone else below. It was a tall youth with a slenderl muscular build and light lavender hair. He also possessed the same determined look. The youth was also bent in an offensive fighting stance, mouth wide yelling a terrific battlecry. Arashiko gasped as the young man charged at the Prince, executing a skillful series of quick kicks and punches almost too fast for the naked eye to follow.
He’s attacking the Prince!!! Arashiko shouted and thought at the same time, words leading into action as she rushed downward to help the Prince. Vegeta and the youth separated again and took stances. They both jumped back in surprise as Arashiko landed in between them facing the lavender-haired teen. Arashiko focused all her energy to her hands, the blue-white sparkle of power rippling over her whole body and converging at her fingertips. I lost him once, I won’t lose him again!! With a cry of fury, she released the energy into a brilliant focused beam that sped towards the youth.
A look of confusion made the youth’s eyes widen to their fullest as he shouted out a string of confused words.
Vegeta stared forward at the figure illuminated by the blast of energy coming from it, confusion and surprise freezing him momentarily. From his angle he couldn’t see the cloaked form, just a wave of long black-blue hair that billowed out behind it and the immense beam that shot out from the figure’s fingertips. He rushed forward to stop the being, whoever it was, and stopped dead in his tracks when she turned around. The female was shockingly beautiful, blue eyes diving deep into his own. And she had a tail!!!
She was a Saiyan!!
Trunks backflipped to the right to dodge the incoming beam, the passing light casting a cold light upon the world of dawn. The beam skimmed by, sending his lavender hair flailing across his face. The strands of energy pulled off from the main beam and burned the skin on his back, sending a tingling sensation through his wrists. Somehow, he had escaped the massive beam unscathed. That was too close for comfort!! He thought as he stood up to try and see the person who threw the beam. The dark shrouded figure advanced slowly towards his father on what seemed like an attack vector. He strained to see what what happening to his father, but Vegeta was completely in awe of something. Trunks rushed forward to help him. Surprised by whatever it was, his father wouldn’t be able to see an attack coming. Trunks was ready to rush in with as much force as he could muster when Vegeta held his hand up in the air, halting him with a quick, stern, “Wait!” his eyes turning towards him with hot anger. Trunks stared on as Vegeta allowed the figure to approach him.
Arashiko slowly reached her hands towards Vegeta’s stunned face. She could not believe that this was actually happening, that she had finally found him after years of searching and suffering. Was it just another dream or delusion created to torture a desperate mind? Finally, her hands lay affectionately on his cheeks. The dream was real, fantasy was reality. He is here! Alive and standing before me! Arashiko embraced him tightly as Vegeta tensed, stunned and confused by her unpredictable actions.
“So long! So long..,” Arashiko said with charged words, tears streaming down her face, “I’ve finally found you…”
They stood in the embrace for a few moments, Arashiko quietly crying, and Vegeta dumb-founded by this woman who, out of the blue, decides to cry on his shoulder. Arashiko realized how stupid she must have looked and let go of him.
“Please forgive me, Prince Vegeta!” Arashiko kneeled down in front of him on one knee, “Your majesty, it has been a long time.” Arashiko sniffed and shifted her hand over her face, trying to get rid of the embarrassing tears.
Vegeta stood looking down at her, one eyebrow cocked in puzzlement. “Who are you?”
Arashiko took a deep breath to regain her composure and began, “I am Arashiko of the Saiyan Elite Royal Guard, First Class. I served under the High King of Vegeta, your father. We have met before, when you were younger, much younger.”
A flash of remembrance hit Vegeta, he had seen her before!! He could only remember vague images of her in the background of the royal entourage. She had been a soldier and a personal bodyguard for his father, a soldier of the Planetkiller forces, and ally of himself when he was very young, only a preteen. So many memories… most of them bad.
Arashiko pulled something out of her cape, a small trinket which she had waited an eternity to give to the last Prince of Vegeta, her King. “The king is gone, but he lives on in you.” she handed him the necklace, its blue sheen bright in the morning darkness. A complicated but beautiful design radiated from the center of the pendant. Vegeta held it in his hand. He fell to his knees overcome with emotion and memories when he recognized what it was. The amulet of the Royal House. Once it had brilliantly shined upon his father’s breast, a symbol of Saiyan might and pride. Spider web fractures ran from its center as if the amulet had been crushed by someone and then skillfully pieced back together with great care and precision, a job that had surely been time consuming.
Arashiko stared at him, full of pride and profound happiness.
“You are Prince no more, you are the King.”
Trunks ran to Vegeta’s side. “What’s wrong, father?”
Arashiko gasped silently. Father?!?! He’s his father??! Arashiko was shocked again when she noticed something else, he had no tail!! What has happened since I last saw him?
Vegeta clenched the amulet in his hand tightly, holding it up to his forehead. The quiet howl of the wind echoed around them and a long moment of silence, a moment for the dead, pervaded. Finally Vegeta’s solemn voice broke the placid stillness.
“Come with me,” he said to Arashiko, “This is no place to talk about the past.” Vegeta leaped into the air pulling the wind underneath him with invisible power. He took off towards the city. Arashiko nodded and followed him. Trunks scratched his head in confusion and followed the two.
As their forms streaked the sky, Arashiko stole a glance back at the son of Vegeta. She could see it now, the resemblance was uncanny. He has his father’s determined brow, something they both get from their forefather, Vegeta. Arashiko sighed deeply. He has his eyes. She quickly turned away from the youth and stared forward with an angry look on her face. Looking at them reminded her of the past, of King Vegeta and her failure to prevent his murder. Never again!! I swear I will not let it happen again!! I will protect you!!!
“I have been searching for you for a very long time, your majesty,” Arashiko said as she shifted uncomfortably in the alien wooden chairs inside of the strangely confining dwelling, “It has been almost thirty years. I was only seventeen when I served under your father.”
Vegeta sat back brooding intently in the chair across from her. Expressions of puzzlement and suspicion crossed his stern face and danced in the void of his dark eyes. Trunks sat farther away, staring at Arashiko with the glittering eyes of youth. His puerile eyes were azure-blue, like hers.
“How can you look so young after so long a period of time?” Vegeta asked, his voice taking on the harsh tone of a viscous interrogator. He obviously mistrusted her motives and origins and sought to find the loopholes in her story.
“It is a long story, my King, finely tuned with age.” Arashiko replied, preparing to tell him the tale of a past that was long and trodden hard. “Permit me, your highness.” Arashiko implored him as she gently took his hands and placed them on her temples, “This will help you see.”
Vegeta thought of resisting for a second, but then something told him to listen, to see what she wanted him to. Vegeta closed his eyes and cleared his mind. Through physical contact, he could see her memories, feel them. It was an aspect of the Saiyan race that they gained when they became powerful past a certain extent. Vegeta prepared himself as Arashiko took them, as they began….
. . . falling into the past.
. . . falling. The End is in the Beginning.
Not as far back as childhood, everything was as expected of a Saiyan there. Her entire generation had been raised to be harbingers of destruction, agents of pure strength and energy. But there was something different about Arashiko, something unique. She was not like the other Saiyans who, by the light of the full moon, turned into giant beasts known as Ozaroo who leveled entire planets with merely a gentle sigh. When the full moon shined softly on her, she would not change like the others. She would only change in part, but her power level increased just as much, even more. Others saw it as a birth defect, but she saw it as a gift . . . as did the King. It did not take long for her to come to his attention.
As time slipped past, training and warfare forged her into a warrior of great skill among the Saiyans. Her high birth allowed her to, in no time at all, answer the call to be in the Elite, the protectors of the Royal House and the leaders of the Planetkiller forces. These armies were the pride of their people, the forces sent out to clear planets of all life to make ready for sale to the highest bidder. Alongside Arashiko the entire time was her brother Zorn, ever strong and vigilant. Zorn was always there to watch her back in battle. Together they were unbeatable in a fight. She and Zorn were charged with the personal safety of King Vegeta himself. Everything changed one late night when the King called her to his side. A meeting of great secrecy and importance was to take place.
The door shut automatically behind Arashiko as she stepped inside the King’s chambers, adorned in her best armor. The white cloak of the Elite emblazoned with the crimson symbol of the royal family draped around her form. Arashiko almost shivered with anticipation. What was this meeting about? Promotion? Did he think she was finally ready to become a commander of the Planetkiller forces? Whatever it was, it was something important, otherwise Zorn wouldn’t have been so excited when he told her that the King wanted to see her privately.
King Vegeta sat alone in an ornately designed chair, the last rays of the setting sun reflecting over his stern features. Arashiko’s hopes began to fade when she saw his solemn expression. Something was definitely up. She had been around Vegeta long enough to know his sincerely angry facial expression from the harsh expression he normally wore. Vegeta clutched his chin in deep introspection, covering the dark brown beard that outlined his straight and strong chin. His body was calm, but beneath his calm exterior, veins and perfectly formed muscles tenses with anger. Arashiko hesitated, afraid to break his concentration on whatever thoughts preoccupied him now. She finally stepped forward and addressed him formally, crossing her right arm diagonally over her chest in a military salute, “You summoned me, my King?”
“Yes, there is some important business I must discuss with you,” Vegeta paused, “It concerns Frieza.”
The simple mention of his name was enough to send pangs of anger through her. That damned bastard treated them like they were his playthings!! To him, Saiyan might and pride were just tools to be forged to his will. He used the Saiyans as exterminators, capitalizing on their destructive power for his own good. And what’s worse? They couldn’t do anything about it!! Frieza was infinitely more powerful than even King Vegeta himself! They had to compromise with him to stay alive.
King Vegeta continued on, his deep voice booming, “It’s time to deal with that bastard once and for all.” Vegeta balled his fists in anger, “Of all things he chooses to take from us, he can never have my son!!”
Arashiko stood aghast, “The Prince? What!?! Why??!”
Vegeta almost hollered out the reply, “It doesn’t matter!! We’re going to take action now! I’ve had enough of living under that tyrant’s boot! Frieza thinks he can control the might of the Saiyans, but he is mortally wrong!”
“But sire, how do we kill Frieza?”, Arashiko asked, trying to calm him down and make him think rationally, “He has the Ginyu Force behind him, as well as the entire Arquisian Empire.”
The Arquisians were the reptilian race from Arquisia that provided Frieza’s growing organization with technology and military support. One did not lock horns with them and not expect to lose a limb. The Ginyu Force were the other major threat. They were Frieza’s own version of the Saiyan Elite Guard, an army of trained mercenaries and warriors entirely under Frieza’s beck and call.
King Vegeta began to grin insidiously, his brow creasing with a hot glare of anger. Arashiko straightened a little, when Vegeta smiled, one ran the other way and did not look back.
“There is something that can be done, a plan of action that I intend to follow. Several teams have been formed already.”
Vegeta got up from the throne and walked to the back of a room that adjoined to his main chamber. He waved his hand over a circular disk in the center of the starkly decorated war room. A holographic image of a red planet encircled with blue and green rings trembled in the air and then took solid form. Arashiko immediately recognized the distinctive rings of planet Arquisia.
“Each is to be dispatched to one of the six planets that surround Arquisia under the guise of ambassadorial scouts.” Vegeta pointed to three smaller rust-colored planets orbiting around Arquisia. “They will simultaneously clear each planet of inhabitants, cutting off Arquisia from its resources and means of communications. At their signal, a main force will disembark from Kalos.” Vegeta motioned to a small green planet a distance away from Arquisia. “At such a distance from Arquisia, the main force is less likely to be detected by the Arquisian Empire or Frieza’s lapdogs.”
This was almost too much for Arashiko to take in at once. This was a military briefing, directly from the King himself! But why brief her at such a high level? There must be something else he wanted of her, something that put everything at stake. Arashiko’s mind raced, converting from the introspections of a youth to the analytical mind of a soldier. She soaked in every tactical bit of information the King gave her, recording every detail like a robot. But of all the answers she received, she didn’t get the answer to her main question, how do they cut of the head of the snake, how do they kill Frieza??
King Vegeta continued on, “With the Arquisian forces occupied, Frieza will be without military backup from them, and he’ll be left partially unguarded. It’s the best chance we’ll have to hit him.” Vegeta turned to Arashiko and stared straight into her blue eyes, “That’s where you come in.”
Arashiko stared at him in surprise, “Your Highness??”
King Vegeta put a strong hand on her shoulder, “You are one of my finest and loyal warriors, the only one whom I can trust with such a mission. Frieza would be expecting an attack from our ranks, but not someone in his.”
Arashiko nodded as her mind began to grasp the intentions of his plan. A spy! He wanted someone to get into Freiza’s ranks, and that someone was her! The notion was overwhelming to her.
“We need an informant close to Frieza to tell us when he is going to be away from Arquisia so that we can attack.” Vegeta walked over to his throne and laid a hand over the intricately carved symbol of the royal family with its intricate spiraling designs, “If possible, if you can get close enough,” Vegeta removed his hand from the emblem and balled it in a tight fist, “Kill Frieza!!”
Arashiko froze, eyes wide. How could she kill someone that powerful??
Vegeta continued on, aware of her fear, “Frieza would never expect an attack from his own ranks, nor would he have the time to form a proper defense against a close range attack.” Vegeta turned to face her, “And I know you have power. Others see it as a defect, but it is truly a gift. If you cast the Moon Beam and transformed, your Ozaroo form would stay small enough to not be noticed by the ones that surround Frieza. The Moon Beam would also make an excellent diversion. With everyone in the crowd distracted, you will have the ultimate chance to kill Frieza.”
Arashiko nodded in numb consent. This was a heavy burden to bear, a mission that carried such long lasting implications. What would happen if they failed, if she failed? The all-powerful Frieza would not be happy! The Moon Beam was a brilliant diversion though. The Saiyans normally used it to simulate the condition of full moon light, with it they could unlock the destructive force of their race in all its horrible entirety. All they needed to maintain the shattering power of the Ozaroo form was their tail, one of the distinctive characteristics of the Saiyan race.
King Vegeta circled around the room anxiously as he spoke, “You are to leave tomorrow morning, and the ship embarks to Frieza’s base at Moon 24. Once there, you are to report to the Ginyu Force training area. We have learned that Frieza is looking for new additions to the Ginyu. You are to work under the guise of being a renegade from the Saiyan Third Class military units. Frieza would never trust someone in his ranks from the upper military classes.”
Arashiko stood erect, trying to repress the wave of repulsion she felt at the notion of posing as a Third Class Saiyan. He wanted her to deny her very blood and serve, even if only for subterfuge, under the very tyrant who was the bane of their race all together?? She choked down the knot of rebellion and discontent that grew in her stomach. Her loyalties were only to Vegeta. The King had great wisdom. She should not question him. She only worked up the strength and resolve to say. . .
“Yes, your Highness. I will not fail you.”
King Vegeta nodded knowingly and dismissed her, the blue emblem of the Royal House gleaming everlasting in the darkness from the amulet that hung around his neck.
“For the honor and glory of Vegeta.”
Arashiko learned that her brother Zorn was to be a part of the main attack force. Before she departed the next morning she went to his quarters and said goodbye. Zorn clasped her hand in a mighty handshake.
“Kill that monster for me, sis. Come back alive.”
Arashiko smiled at him, assured by his faith in her, “You know I won’t do anything less.” She hugged him tightly and let go. If she didn’t come back, he would carry on their legacy.
“You know I’ll always be there to pick you up.” Zorn echoed the words that he always said to her when he taught her to fight as a small child. Arashiko smiled at him warmly.
Arashiko finished the quote, “And I’ll be there to throw you back down again, big brother.” she joked with him, “Good luck and keep safe for me.” She waved at him and continued on towards the ship that would fly her away from everything.
Zorn quietly watched her go, filled with pride at the thought of his little sister being chosen for such an important mission. His faith was complete in her; he knew she would not fail.
Three weeks in a Saiyan pod and now here she was above Moon 24, Freiza’s base, the heart of darkness. Dark swathes of mist wrapped around the moon and held it in an icy grip. The pod descended down towards the small, barren planet as the icy swathes of fear gripped her heart. Arashiko looked down at herself, the high mantle of a Saiyan Elite had been stripped away, replaced with the black armor of a Third Class Saiyan.
Her identity had been taken too, her very name changed for the mission. Her new name was Kakayun, a low class name. Arashiko looked at her trembling hands, now clasped with the dusty black armor of fear. Her heart nearly exploded when the pod halted with a clang in the landing dock. Caution was all-important now, anything could fail the mission, a slight mistake on her part could doom their entire planet.
The tri-fold door parted at the center and opened to reveal the night sky above. Arashiko stepped through the hissing steam of the cooling spaceship and out onto the deck. She assessed the area. Two control officers in the transportation control room waved her clearance and two guards on the deck eyed her suspiciously. Arashiko squinted rebelliously and strode by them, head held high. Though she was posing as a Third Class citizen, she was Arashiko of the Saiyan Elite in her heart and she still had her dignity. As she stepped passed the guards, she caught a snatch of what one of them said after she had walked further off, “. . . damned monkeys.” Arashiko stopped walking, her teeth clenched in anger from hearing the derogative term for her race. Her fists clenched and trembled, itching to show the guards just what a “monkey” could do to them. But Arashiko had to bite back her pride and anger, a scuffle with the guards would draw unwanted attention to her and look suspicious. As she hurried off towards where the Ginyu Force training facility was, she could hear the guards cackling maniacally. This mission was going to have its trials.
Arashiko ducked out of the way as soon as she entered the Ginyu Force facility, a body flying past only to slam into the door behind her. The poor fellow’s body fell to the floor, leaving an imprint in the wall as he went. At the center of the large, metallic room aliens of various species, shapes, and sizes gathered around a sparring arena in the middle of the area hooting and hollering as some voice unknown to her shouted, “Next?” The noise suddenly stopped. Everyone stepped away from the arena, letting Arashiko have a glimpse of the person causing all the havoc. It was a female Arquisian standing tall in the middle of the room. She pointed to another doomed volunteer who he cowered in the corner of the ring, the hooting and hollering beginning again. Arashiko slipped unnoticed into the crowd and pushed her way to the front to watch the action.
“Hey!!” someone yelled as she bumped a little too hard into them, “Watch where the hell you’re going!!”
Arashiko whirled around to face the rude person but stopped the rebuttal she had ready for them. The person who had yelled at her was another Saiyan!!
“Wha, whu…you’re a Saiyan?” Arashiko asked confused, surprised to see another of her own race there.
“Lemme think about that for a second, hmm… let’s see.” the female Saiyan twitched her tail in front of her face, “Got a tail, moonlight’s not so good for my complexion….yup!! I sure as hell am a Saiyan!!”
“You’re from the Third Class?” Arashiko inquired as she judged by her dark armor.
“And what are you, Queen of the World?” the brute warrior said as she extended a hand out to Arashiko in friendship, “Name’s Brana, what’s yours, oh Queen?”
“Ar. . .” Arashiko stopped herself just in time. She wasn’t very good at this spy thing.
“What’s that?” Brana asked for clarity.
“It’s Kakayun,” Arashiko said, taking Brana’s extended hand and shaking it vigorously. Brana was short, but muscular for a Saiyan. Feathery bangs hung down around her round face and covered her right eye while the rest of her dark brown hair tumbled down her back. Like most Saiyans, her eyes were a warm, dusky brown.
“It’s always good to find another Third Class. Welcome to the Ginyu training facility, my friend. The one mopping up in the arena is our soon to be captain, if you can survive her recruiting process,” Brana stated as she motioned to the Arquisian on the stage, “Her name’s Kaioden.”
They both flinched as Kaioden hammered the volunteer she had pulled into the ring, sending yet another person flying out to greet the hard metal wall. All the battling and she had not even broken into a sweat. The heavily built Arquisian female was flicking away the would-be recruits like insects. Arashiko was staring at the poor soul on the floor when she heard Kaioden’s gruff voice call out again, “You!!” Arashiko turned to look at her as everyone in the crowd stepped as far away from around her as they possibly could.
“M,me?”, Arashiko asked nervously.
“Yes, you!! You’re here for the recruiting are you not?” Kaioden demanded impatiently. Brana whispered across to her, “Just put up a good fight and survive and you’ll make it.” Brana winked at her assuredly and motioned for her to go into the ring.
Arashiko answered assuredly, “Yes I am.” as she spryly jumped into the ring. She knew she could take this Arquisian. But, she reminded herself, not too much showing off; you might draw some suspicion that way. As a matter of fact, she had never seen an Arquisian this close before. Whenever they had shown up to address the King, they had always worn dark crimson robes that hid their features from prying eyes. Only Kaioden’s pale green skin hinted to Arashiko that her race was Arquisian. Kaioden had a sloping forehead with a crest of small horns that ridged the center of it. Two large pointed ears came out from each side of her head and showed through her long, brick colored hair which was tied back with two long strands hanging out in front of her face. Ridges of dark brown skin rested below her eyes, giving their red aspect a dark and guileful glare. Her body possessed the muscular manner of a well trained warrior. A strange white tattoo was apparent on her right shoulder. Arashiko inwardly gasped when she recognized the symbol. It was the Royal Family of Arquisia’s symbol!! The royals of Arquisia were trained extensively in fighting and energy manipulation techniques. This fight wouldn’t be as simple as she first thought.
Arashiko ran forward, not giving a warning that she was ready to fight, hoping to catch the Arquisian off guard. She leaped in the air, twisting her body around to build the momentum for a devastating kick. Yelling wildly she snapped her leg around and kicked with all her might. Kaioden stood her ground, smiling eerily. Arashiko hoped to kick the stupid grin right off her face, but as she brought her leg around, it seemed to pass through Kaioden’s body. There was a blur, an after-image in the air and then Kaioden was behind her. She was that fast!! Arashiko backflipped, executing a double-legged kick, narrowly avoiding Kaioden’s intended punch to the back of her head. The kick caught Kaioden in the abdomen and she drew back, swearing. She had underestimated Arashiko’s reaction time. Arashiko laughed as she thought to herself, That’s what a “damned monkey” can do!! She landed out of the backflip in a handstand and then used her weight to kip-up back onto two feet again.
Kaioden glared at her, the anger burning in her red eyes as the smile stretched across her face again. She shook of the effects of the kick to the abdomen and stood up straight, raised her arm and dared Arashiko to attack again with a wave of her fingers. Arashiko came forward again, with a punch angled at the side of Kaioden’s head. Kaioden caught Arashiko’s arm in midair and twisted it over her shoulder, pulling Arashiko towards her and hammering her chin with an elbow. Arashiko’s head snapped back from the impact, blood flinging from her open mouth. She fell to the ground in a not so graceful landing. She wiped the blood away from her mouth with her arm, infuriated by the sight of it and the fact that she let the Arquisian get a blow in. Maybe I can show off a little. Arashiko reconsidered her earlier opinion about the fight.
Arashiko flipped back onto her feet and took a defensive stance, both hands level and ready. She circled slowly around the ever-confident Kaioden who angered her further by just standing there grinning. Arashiko got tired of waiting for her to take the offensive and went at her again, this time much faster and more carefully. The movements of her limbs made a psychedelic blur in the air as Kaioden lightly blocked her blows.
“Damn you!!” Arashiko shouted in frustration as she finally gave up with physical attacks and resorted to an energy attack, launching a beam straight at Kaioden. Kaioden dodged the beam and came forward at Arashiko with a rapid succession of punches and kicks, nailing her in the stomach with the punches. Arashiko doubled over but used Kaioden’s prediction that she would be left vulnerable to fool her. Instead of falling to the ground, Arashiko doubled back with a somersault and jumped into the air, spears of light gathering at her fingertips. Kaioden turned the surprise on her when she appeared in front of her, moving again with speed undetectable by the naked eye.
“Nice moves, monkey.” Kaioden mocked in her face.
Arashiko yelled insanely at her in fury. Would they never get tired of calling her that!!
Kaioden bypassed her attacks with a quick movement and brought down a double-fisted punch onto Arashiko’s back, catching her falling form with a knee to the midsection. Stunned by the blows, Arashiko started to fall back down but Kaioden caught her…by the tail!! Brana flinched as Kaioden delivered several hard blows to the back of Arashiko’s head and neck, knocking her out cold. She was surprised she had even made it this far, Kaioden normally killed a lot of the recruits within five seconds of entering the arena. Arashiko fell to the floor, body crumpled uncomfortably.
Kaioden stared down at her curiously for a few silent, contemplative moments, and then finally said, “Next?”
Arashiko came to with a start, flinging the wet compress off of her head which smacked into Brana’s face.
The first words to come out of Arashiko’s mouth were, “She grabbed my tail!!! OW!” Arashiko flopped back down onto the stiff bunk. Her head throbbed painfully.
Brana pulled the compress off of her face and gave Arashiko the good news, “Congrads, kid, you made it!!” She whacked Arashiko’s arm encouragingly, “Welcome to the Ginyu Force!!”
Arashiko moaned in reply.
“The Commander was impressed with your performance out there. Most people don’t survive the recruiting process.”
Arashiko’s interest was tweeked, “Commander? I thought she was the Captain?”
Brana answered as she fluffed her scruffy brown hair and wiped the wetness from the compress off of her face, “She’s actually both. She’s our squad leader, and her brother Ryuichi is the general of the entire regiment. Kaioden’s second in command. Not to mention the fact that she’s one of the Emperor of Arquisia’s many daughters.”
Arashiko pressed her palm to her throbbing forehead. No wonder she had been beat so badly, she was the damned Emperor’s daughter and those Royal Arquisians were a tough lot. Arashiko wouldn’t let her defeat rest peacefully though.
Brana stood up and bounced away excitedly. Arashiko leaned forward to slowly rose, holding two fingers to her aching temples. Brana walked over to a small table at the edge of the comfortable little room. Laid out upon the table was a sleek dark gray and black uniform, made in the fashion of Saiyan armor which was developed and used widespread throughout the galaxy. The armor was very durable and lightweight in battle, also able to withstand strong blows. A billowing white cloak ran from the shoulders and spread out over most of the table, its length designed to hide the motions of the armor’s wearer while also looking quite formal and attractive. The white v-shaped symbol of the Ginyu was emblazoned upon the breast of the suit of armor.
“From now on you are to report to duty with this uniform. Your quarters are here and…” Brana jumped up, shouting enthusiastically,”…I’m your new roomie!!! It’s been so lonely being the only Saiyan in the whole outfit.”
“Terrific..”, Arashiko gripped her head tighter as the throbbing became worse.
“Heee!”, Brana continued on gaily, “Our first mission’s in two days!! So you sure as hell better train some more, oh Queen!” Brana bowed in mock homage to Arashiko, “Come to the training room with me and we’ll brush up on that floor-biting habit of yours, HAHAHA!”
Arashiko could tell that being roommates with Brana was going to be a barrel of fun. Arashiko rolled her eyes as she thought, How did this air head ever get in the Ginyu?
“YEEEEAH!! Let’s both try on our uniforms!! It’ll be fun!! Then we can both go to the training room and kick some ass!!” Brana shouted excitedly, full of enthusiasm and energy, yanking on Arashiko’s arm and pushing her towards the table. Oh yeah, Brana was definitely helping with her headache, but Arashiko didn’t see the point of refusing her so she took the white robes and black armor into the adjoining room while Brana got into her uniform. Arashiko slipped into the Ginyu uniform. Arashiko stared at her own uniformed reflection in the mirror. She appeared so different, even to herself. It felt so strange to wear anything but the blue uniform of the Saiyan Elite. The form-fitting Ginyu uniform gleamed softly in the low light, divisions in the armor accenting her muscles and giving her body an ergonomic appearance. The contrasting ivory robes flowed around her sides and gathered at her feet, an accessory added to the Ginyu uniform by the Arquisians. The uniform felt dreadfully uncomfortable. Maybe because of the uniform itself, but most likely because of what it represented to Arashiko. It was the mantle of the scourge of her race, the mantle of the followers of Frieza. The V emblem of the Ginyu blazed on her breast like a scarlet letter, a mark of shame. Arashiko stared at herself in the mirror, looking into her own sky blue eyes. She could almost spit at herself for wearing the Ginyu uniform, but it was necessary, it was her mission. It would all be over soon. She turned away from her reflection and walked into the other room where Brana was waiting impatiently, tapping her foot.
As soon as Brana saw Arashiko, she started waving her arms and hooting, “WOOO!! Lookin good! You’d make the boys back home cry, HAHAHA!” Brana laughed heartily and jumped onto her feet, pulling Arashiko by her arm all the way down to the training room. Arashiko couldn’t help smiling at the antics of her loud roommate.
“Come on, Kakayun, wanna try and beat the strongest of the Saiyans!! MUAHAHAA!!” Brana stood up straight and posed dramatically, trying to show off her muscles. Arashiko passed on that offer and went to sit down by the edge of the ring. Her head was still bothering her.
“Bah, you’re no fun!” Brana said, pouting. She smiled when she saw the perfect sparring partner, a bulky looking alien with purple skin speckled with orange dots. He had a sloping forehead that was covered with an orange layer of scales. “Heeey you!” Brana grabbed him by the arm and flipped him into the ring. He fell face-first onto the mat. The confused alien jumped to his feet, cursing angrily.
“Your name’s Bertak, right? Come on! Show me whatcha got!!!” Brana took a fighting stance and giggled happily. Bertak growled menacingly, angered when he realized that it was Brana who had slammed him into the ring. He shot forward at Brana at breakneck speed, arms extended outward, ready to grip her in a choke hold. Speed was the specialty of his race. Brana side-stepped him and grabbed his leg, tripping him.
“Wow! You’re fast!” Brana said as she pulled his leg up, swung him around a few times, and then threw him across the ring.
Arashiko watched on, amazed by the extraordinary strength Brana displayed for being someone from the Third Class. So that’s how she got into the Ginyu.
Bertak charged at her again, anger making him charge without thought. Brana stood her ground, not even bothering to take a fighting stance anymore. She just stood there with an innocent smile on her face as she waved her fuzzy, brown tail in the air in front of her, taunting Bertak forward.
Brana shrugged in Bertak’s furious face and kicked forward, hitting him right between the legs. All the men in the room went, “Oo!” as Bertak stood motionless for a few moments, eyes wide and pupiless.
Arashiko laughed heartily, her headache starting to fade away. Another reason she got into the Ginyu, she fights dirty!! Hahaha, I shoulda guessed!
Brana giggled and then pushed with a single finger the still motionless Bertak who fell to the floor cringing. “Welp! I’m done here!” Brana stated as she smacked her hands together a few times, “Your turn, Kakayun. Go kick some alien ass!!”
It took Arashiko a split second to realize that Brana was talking to her, she still wasn’t used to being called by the name Kakayun. Brana took a seat by the side of the ring after she picked up Bertak and threw him out of the arena, clearing the floor for Arashiko. Arashiko stood up from where she sat and stretched. Ah, hell, it might be good for me, she thought as she scanned the people in the room for a sparring partner.
She finally spotted the ideal target, a fine specimen of an alien. He was a stout figure though, much shorter than her and possessed of flowing white hair and red-orange skin. He was kind of cute to Arashiko, and muscular for a short guy. Brana came up beside her and whispered into her ear.
“His name’s Jiece. He’s so full of himself, I wonder how he has room to eat anything. He’s cute though.”, Brana winked at her mischievously and nudged her with an elbow to the side, “Go show him how to.” She shoved Arashiko from behind and sent her towards Jiece.
Arashiko stopped her fall and composed herself. She went up to Jiece and smacked him on the back of the head. No use playing nice, she was going to wipe the floor with this guy, but not without having a little fun first. She smiled coyly into his angered face as he spun around, eyes glowing. He stared up as he realized how much taller Arashiko was and the grimace of fury turned into boyish confusion.
“Hey handsome, dance with me?” Arashiko said as she turned and walked into the arena.”
Jiece straightened himself smugly and dismissed her with a wave of his hand and flick of his white hair, “I don’t have time for you weak Saiyan monkeys. I’m much too handsome for someone like you to fight anyways.”
Arashiko’s eye twitched at the corner, There’s that damned monkey name again!! OOHOHO, is this guy going to get it good! Arashiko charged forward and kicked Jiece across the ribs, sending him flying back into the ring. Arashiko caught him in the face with a jab before his body hit the ground. Jiece recovered from the blows and wiped the blue blood from his face, “That’s it! You’ve ruined my beautiful face!” he screamed out at her with anger.
Arashiko laughed at him maniacally. If he only knew the true power level of a Saiyan Elite, he would know how pitifully small his own power level is! Arashiko let him advance close to her as she dodged his blows carefully and decisively, using her superior speed to get behind him and deliver a devastating blow to the small of his back. Arashiko could hear Brana’s voice booming excitedly over the rest of the crowd.
“WOOOOHHOOOO!!! Gooooooo Kakayun!!”
Arashiko seized Jiece by the hair as he made a vain attempt to run out of the arena. He twisted his body around and shot a red energy beam at her. Arashiko quickly reflected it with a smack of her forearm sending red sparkles of energy up into her face which dissipated into the air like fairy dust. Arashiko spun foreword in a corkscrew forward flip and kicked him full force in the chest with both legs. The force of the blow sent him flying out of the ring and into the metal wall, BAM! Jiece got out of the ring the hard way. The room went silent, astounded by the sheer strength and power Arashiko had displayed. Jiece peeled from the wall and fell to the floor unconscious. Even Brana had stopped shouting, she just stared at her mystified.
“Daaamn!” Brana finally broke the silence, “I haven’t seen anybody slammed like that except for when Kaioden fights!”
Arashiko shrugged in reply, “Ah, it’s a gift.” She hoped she hadn’t shown off too much as to give anyone a clue as to who she really was.
Brana raised her eyebrows as Arashiko walked to the side of the ring and sat down to watch the next training matches. She moved her mouth as if to say something to Arashiko, but she couldn’t think of anything to say. She was completely in awe. Finally she managed to force out a couple of intelligible words. “Remind me to never get you mad at me!”, she told Arashiko as she sat down beside her.
Arashiko smiled to herself, her pride swelling. It felt good to have someone marveling at her strength because she had always been subordinate to the King and his son, their power levels exceeding her own as was their royal birthright.
“Just remember that during our first mission. Be there to back me up. From what I saw, your power level is not so small.”
Brana shrugged and coughed uncomfortably, “Well, I guess it’s in the blood.” she said, her voice overtoned with a darker emotion that Arashiko picked up on immediately, “I guess this means you’re ready for your first mission?”, Brana inquired, changing the subject quickly.
Arashiko nodded her head. The sooner she could penetrate the ranks of the Ginyu, the closer she could get to Frieza. She expected that this first mission was going to be a test for the new recruits, an initiation into a brutal army, and Arashiko knew that it was not going to be easy.
* * *
Eight pod ships streaked through the dark, star-spangled void that stretched across the heavens. The pods were only big enough to fit one person and their supplies and weapons so Arashiko and the other team members had to travel each separately in their own personal transports. Arashiko sat silently in her own tiny ship, the red lights of the controls casting a crimson glare over her features. Cold sweat glistened on her forehead as she took slow breathes to sway her fear. This mission was going to be far more difficult than Arashiko had first anticipated. They were going to the outermost planet in the Arquisian solar system, a small planet called Cadvia. Kaioden stated in her briefing that there had been reports of suspicious activity there. Arashiko’s heart beat faster at the revelation that King Vegeta may have stationed troops there and that if they were discovered, their whole plan to rid themselves of Frieza would crumble to ashes, along with all their lives and dreams. Arashiko prayed that the King had not chosen to station soldiers on Cadvia. Hope against hope and pray against the inevitable. The green planet loomed ominously into view, only increasing Arashiko’s anxiety as the g forces of the ship’s descent pressed in upon her lungs. It seemed like her stomach was being wrenched by apprehension and gravity simultaneously. She braced herself as the pods impacted, each pod landing concurrently leaving deep fractured craters in the planet’s surface.
Each occupant of the ships stepped through the hot steam created by the friction of entering the atmosphere. The violent contact of the ships to the planet’s surface caused the forest surrounding the landing site to catch on fire. The trees splayed away from the craters as the smell of burning wood and sap permeated the air. Foliage popped and sizzled around the eight foreigners as they advanced slowly away from the clearing made by their ships and searched for any signs of activity. The dark shadows of the woods seemed to absorb the black garbed Ginyu. Kaioden took point and ordered them forward with her harsh voice which resonated through the thick air. Arashiko looked around at the burning woodland and breathed a heavy sigh of relief. She had found no sign of Saiyan activity within two hours of searching. All she had found was the darkness cast by a dying forest and the parade of fleeing animals.
She spotted Brana over in a small, sunlit clearing under a patch of tall, green trees. Arashiko signaled to her with a wave of her and that she had found nothing. Brana motioned the same signal back to her, much to Arashiko’s relief. As Brana turned around something suddenly shot out from the deep blackness of the woods and hit her square in the back. It was an energy beam!! Arashiko ran to her, barely missing a beam directed at her head. She pumped her legs as hard as she could to get to her friend. More beams whistled past her head as she dashed. Finally, after an eternity she reached her side.
“Brana! Brana!! Speak to me!!” Arashiko screamed into her face.
Brana eyes flew open and she popped to her feet, “What the hell!!”
A multitude of voices clamored from the shadows of the woods as indistinct forms surged forward at them. Arashiko and Brana took a back to back stance, striking out at anything that moved. Arashiko could see them now, their dark green bodies blending with the woods but showing discerningly in the sunlight of the small clearing. They flashed in and out of visibility, blending with the dusk green of the trees and flashing visible again when the rays of the sun caught their rapid figures. Their red eyes gleamed eerily as they streaked about them.
“These are the natives of this planet!”, Brana shouted out behind her, “They don’t have very high power levels but their fast little buggers!!”
Brana ducked as one of the stealthy creatures tried to tackle her. Arashiko nailed him with an energy beam that sent him screaming back into the shadows, his midriff bludgeoned by the shaft of energy Arashiko had sent into him. That was one less native to worry about. Brana and Arashiko stood back to back again and started yelling, each concentrating power into their fingertips. Blue lightening began to swirl around Arashiko’s dark uniformed figure as soft purple light danced along Brana’s. Their battlecries raised through the aborigine yells of the natives as they scattered from the glowing pair. Winds blew around them in a tumultuous uproar of leaves and power, adding a banshee scream to their combined battlecry. Their energy swirled together and burst outward in an all-encompassing wave of destructive force. Blinding light seared the forest around them as everything became imperceptible. In a blur of purple and blue essence, the natives existed no more. As the insuing mists disappeared, nothing was left of the immediate forest around Arashiko and Brana but the black, burnt-out husks of trees and the deeply scarred land.
“Well, I think we got em.” Brana stated matter-of-factly as she stared at the leveled land.
“You think?” Arashiko said as she picked up a charred, dark green body part, the remainder of what had attacked them, and then tossed it aside like garbage.
Arashiko and Brana walked smugly back to the landing site, pride beaming with their easy defeat of the natives of Cadvia. Arashiko breathed a lot easier now with the knowledge that there had been none of the King’s soldiers stationed there. She was even laughing, so relieved was her mind. Kaioden stopped them cold in their tracks as she threw a beaten and battered figure to the ground in front of them. Arashiko couldn’t contain the gasp of dread she breathed when she instantly recognized the uniform and features of a Saiyan.
Kaioden kicked him in the side, sending him flying across the forest floor. He landed in a crumpled pile, coughing up blood that stained the green ground.
“I’ll ask you once again, who are you working for!! Who sent you!!?” Kaioden’s menacing voice assaulted the prisoner.
Through blood and pain he managed to yell out defiantly, “I’ll never tell you!”
No! No! No! Arashiko’s mind railed as she realized how close the King’s plot against Frieza was to being revealed.
Growling ferociously, Kaioden kicked him one more time in the gut, making him double over and cringe on the ground. She stepped aside and stared straight at Arashiko, “Kakayun, make him talk, then finish him!”
Arashiko was almost frantic with panic and fear. She stumbled to find a response for Kaioden, “He will never talk. He’s a Saiyan and he won’t bend. I know our kind better than that. There is no need to kill him, he’s already finished.” Arashiko prayed desperately that would satisfy Kaioden’s appetite for blood.
Kaioden eyed her suspiciously for a few moments then spoke, a sly edge to her voice, “I realize that..but think of this as a test of loyalty. You must prove yourself to the Ginyu.” She moved aside away from the unfortunate captive.
Arashiko walked slowly forward, her blue eyes taking in the countenance of the boy before her. He was a young soldier, probably a weaker foot soldier left behind in the scramble to evacuate the troops before the Ginyu’s arrival Arashiko guessed. He was hardly out of his teens, he stared at her with supplicating eyes that harbored tears of fear and pain. Red blood flowed from a wound to his forehead and traced a path across his smooth face, outlining his ever-pleading eyes. Arashiko could hardly bare to look at him.
“Please!!” his shaking voice begged her, “You’re a Saiyan! You can’t do this!”
Arashiko stood in front of him, inner turmoil twisting her face into a grave expression. How can I do this?! How can I kill my own?? If I show mercy then Kaioden will know who I am! Our whole world could burn!! How can I do this? How!? How?!!!
Kaioden stared at Arashiko thoughtfully, her reptilian red eyes narrowed to two dangerous slits. This was the deciding factor, the test that proved everything.
Arashiko placed a gentle hand over the prisoner’s eyes as she whispered words softly for only him to hear, “Such bravery in the face of power is admirable. You have earned a death worthy of a Saiyan. King Vegeta will live on.”
The boy still looked up at her and begged her one last time, his desperate voice pleading and ripping Arashiko’s heart out, “Please!” tears streaked down his face.
Arashiko stared onward at him, the test weighing her soul with indecision.
For the Glory and Honor of Vegeta.