"My name is Kakarotto."
He tells me that he is Bardock’s son. The uncanny resemblance between them makes my mind shudder; it still feels like I am talking to the corpse I dissected.
"How did you know my father?" he asks intriguingly.
"Well, as a scientist…I study different races around the galaxy…" I lie. "I think we crossed paths once. His name slipped from my mind until I saw you."
His eyes lighting up, he inquires further. "Where did you see him? What did he say?"
"I honestly don’t remember…it was pretty long ago."
There is no way I am telling him that I scavenged his father off a battlefield and spilled the contents of his brain out on a laboratory table. Smiling genially, I try diverting the topic away from Bardock.
"So what happened out there today? What was with those light beams flying around?"
"It’s called ki…" he frowns. "But you felt it before. You charged the ship’s lasers."
"Oh, yeah… It just sort of happened—because I needed it to happen. I never felt ki before."
The piteousness of my answer eats at me. But the pity I feel for Kakarotto is greater, for he is such a trusting person that he accepts everything I say. What would he do if he knew about Bardock’s death, and about my shameless experiments?
What would he do if he knew that his companion in the regen tank was the killer of his father?
"That’s strange," Kakarotto says, and lets it go. His unsuspecting manner strikes another painful chord in my heart. "You had enough power to hurt the enemy, and I gotta thank you for giving us an escape."
"Oh, I had some issues of my own to settle," I say darkly. "I crash-landed on that planet, and met some insane old man who built those two androids."
"Androids? What are those?" he asks, genuinely curious. For a second I pause; his eyes look so innocent, and his expression is as clueless as a child’s.
"Well, and android is…a robot, sort of, based on the body of a living thing. In this case, Juuhachi and Juunana were based on humans. Because they are artificial, they would really be called Juuhachigou and Juunanagou."
"Oh. I don’t like them at all, but it must be horrible having numbers for names. I think your name is pretty."
"Thanks," I say, utterly befuddled at the mercurial nature of Kakarotto’s character.
"But something as pretty as ‘Bulma’ wouldn’t fit the android girl. She’s beautiful, but she’s a monster. Just like her brother. They’re both monsters. I wasn’t hurt too bad, but Juuhachigou hurt Vejita pretty seriously…she almost killed him," he says, staring past me to the tank where his partner is healing.
"Oh yes, Vejita. How is he?"
"He should be fine now. He had to stay in the regen tank longer than you," he smiles, standing up. I get out of the makeshift bed in the corner of the room and follow him to the tank. It is a remarkable piece of equipment. The blue liquid has amazing healing properties, and the circulation system must be very complex in order to maximize the rejuvenation process. I am not in the position to make any demands at the moment, but perhaps Kakarotto will let me take it apart sometime. Now that I am in no immediate danger, I feel no need to leave, unless the Saiyajins don’t want me here. I’m pretty used to drifting around in space and experiencing bizarre, life-threatening joy rides anyway.
He stays back silently as I walk slowly around the globular tank, watching the bubbles float up from the oxygen mask. My back turned to Kakarotto, I let my eyes wander to the figure suspended in sleep. Fascination replaces the apprehension I initially feel whenever I set my eyes on him. He was a cold-blooded killer when I first saw him, finishing Bardock as cleanly as possible, as if he didn’t want to dirty his hands. That permanent scowl on his angular face reinforces the darkness of his persona. My eyes meander further and I forget that Kakarotto is watching me. His voice snaps me away from the glass.
"Excuse me, Bulma, but if you’re a scientist, do you think you can help me with something?"
"Uh, of course. What is it?" I ask.
"I want you to program the ship’s computer never to return to that planet with the androids on it. Just lock it out, encrypt it, whatever. Before Vejita wakes up. Because I know that he’s going to go crazy trying to get back there. He hates running away," he says, smiling wryly.
"I’ll try," I answer.
"You probably have until tonight, which is plenty of time for a smart girl like you, right?"
I blush. "Well I’ll do anything to keep Vejita from going berserk. Or getting his ass beaten by the androids again."
"Vejita will go berserk," Kakarotto confirms. "Once he finds out the coordinates are blocked."
I gulp nervously. He laughs.
"Don’t worry. He usually beats me up anyway. I’ll cover for you," he says, as if it is a laughing matter.
In one hour I am able to block Xethyros as a destination for this ship. The computer is so interesting and so rich in advanced data that I stay there for a couple hours more, exploring the different systems joined in the main.
"You’re not hungry at all?" Kakarotto asks, bringing me some water.
"No, just tired," I answer, yawning. "I guess I should go to sleep again."
"Yeah, get some rest. I’ll see you in a few hours, then," he says briefly. "Make yourself comfortable before Vejita wakes up."
Back in my small room, I undress slowly and methodically, my mind drifting in calm despite the chaos I have been through.
Prince Vejita of the Saiyajins. Catchy title.
Bardock had wanted me to kill him. I had resisted. His spirit is beginning to haunt my senses. Progress in my study is now made only through my experiences of his presence, no longer through scientific experiments. I have entered the supernatural zone of science, whereupon anything I construe cannot be backed by reason or math.
Finding his son and his killer living together and fighting side by side is an irony his spirit must feel. Furthermore, Kakarotto does not even know that he is dead, and that Vejita killed him.
So I now believe in his spirit, that it exists. I believe I have accomplished my goal of research on soul matter. I believe Bardock’s restless soul has attached itself to me, and I am not afraid, for he has protected me. Up to now.
The only bad thing about it is his lust to murder the prince.
Oh, a soap opera. What a picturesque setting for my space travels. So what will I do now?
Go to sleep, Bulma, I tell myself. I slide under the covers, lying for a while just staring at the floating figure in the tank. So perfect. My heart flutters as he stirs, a cloud of bubbles foaming in the blue liquid.
I think of calling Kakarotto. But I do not want to move, transfixed by the waking form of the prince. From this side view, I see his eyes open, and his hands reach up to snap off the breathing mask. The liquid drains, and he stands, his dripping hair still brushing the top of the tank. He is going to step out and see me. I wonder with a twinge of fear what he might do. I draw the blankets more thickly around me.
Click. The glass slides down, and I shield my eyes as Vejita flares his bright ki, all the water evaporating off his body. I fight down the natural wariness I feel whenever I see him, Bardock’s spirit still influencing me. A hot shiver passes through me. I had said before that once I finished my research, I would go back to my normal lifestyle again. Look for people and socialize. Look for men.
"So you’re not dead after all." His low, calm voice breaks the silence. He does not even look at me.
"No," I answer. "I am very much alive."
Now he turns to me, his stony gaze burning holes through my skin. I get a good look at him, and I like what I see. I think I’m up to a little challenge here.
"You enjoy staring at me?" he says flatly, his eyes never leaving my face.
I hope he cannot see me blush in the darkness. Left without an answer, he begins to walk out. Two forces play in my heart, one rising with hostility against him, the other inexplicably drawing me towards the danger. The latter wins.
"Wait," I call a little too loudly. He stops, his back still turned. "I—I want to thank you for saving me."
He is silent for a moment. "The Gods know it was not my intention."
Then he leaves, and I do not bother trying to stop him again.
Sighing, I lie down in bed. Tough challenge.
I am remembering a past I have tried to shut out till now. A past in which I believed I was happy, when I had a man whom I thought I loved, when I surrounded myself with people and reveled in their attention. Look at me now. I have almost forgotten the mall trips, the dates, the movies, too busy getting caught in death traps and landing myself on a Saiyajin ship. I don’t even know where I’m going. At least I won’t be heading back to Xethyros.
Prince Vejita. A character so intriguing that I must find out more about him, melt that shadow that hangs over him, a mystery.
I wake up in the morning feeling refreshed, happy ignorance clouding my mind like it always does after a good sleep. I get out of bed and stretch, then leave the room to wander the ship. The oversized training shirt that Kakarotto has given me brushes against my thighs as I walk down a corridor, yawning.
Today I will attempt to communicate with my family. I’m sure Mama is very eager for news from me. And Yamucha…we better keep our little friendship going. I just hope I don’t annoy Kakarotto too much with my requests.
"Good morning," I say cheerfully as he walks into view.
"Hi," he replies with a smile. He pats his stomach as it growls. "Gotta have breakfast."
Following him into a freezer room, noticeably colder than the other rooms, I discover that all the food they have is meat. Distastefully I hold out a piece of raw…animal…while he gobbles down monstrous portions at a time.
"Oh," he notices my unease. "Here."
Taking it from me, he cooks it right there with his hand glowing alight. "What race are you again?"
"Human," I answer, accepting the now scorched meat and taking a tiny bite.
"Oh…and your planet is called Chikyuu?"
"How did you know?" I ask, curious.
"We passed by there once, a while ago."
"And you didn’t drop by to say hi?" I grin.
"No," he says flatly, not taking it as a joke. "We probably would have killed everyone there."
The humor evaporating from my face, I look at him quizzically.
"That was the last time we were with other Saiyajins. Vejita’s assistants, some royal officers or something like that. They wanted the planet ‘cause it looked like it was worth a lot. So Vejita just left them there to argue over it and me and him went off on our own," he says, licking his fingers before he gets more meat.
My face begins to whiten. "When was this again?"
"I’m not sure of the time. Five hunts ago. A dozen planetfalls ago. I dunno…you’ll have to ask Vejita," he says offhandedly.
"Kakarotto," I say, urgency flickering through in my voice. "Can I get a hold of any communications device you have on board?"
"Sure. I’m not sure how to work it, though…"
"That’s okay. I can do it," I stand up, and after a few seconds he realizes that I want it now.
At the main controls, he points to a small transmitter built into the other panels. I thank him and get to work on it immediately. After a few minutes I figure out all the basics, and send a stellarsonic message to my lab at home. It should be loud enough for my mother to hear from anywhere inside the house. I wait for a while, hearing static and fuzziness and faint beeps as my message is bounced through space. Five minutes. Ten. Worry eats at me like an biting itch, but I tell myself that this equipment must be outdated, that’s all.
Inactivity I hate, so I send another message to Yamucha.
*Hey sweetie, you know who it is. How are you? I miss you a lot. I’ll come see you soon. I should be heading for home.*
I sit down in the captain’s seat and sigh. I try to keep calm, looking at things on the brighter side. The Saiyajins had probably left, finding nothing interesting about Chikyuu after all. Everything was fine, and no one had even noticed that they could have been all enslaved in a day. Mama and Yamucha would answer me soon.
In the meantime I stare at the complex setup of the ship’s control room, my eyes drifting from one bright colored panel to the next. Suddenly I notice the figure standing on my right, against the far wall.
"Oh…hi," I stammer, hastily rising from the chair. His look emanates nothing but disdain, his arms crossed over his chest in a lax yet confident pose. Slowly, disinterestedly, he unfolds them and walks away from the wall, straight to the communications.
Click. The static stops and the light meters fade with a touch of his finger.
"Hey!" I exclaim. "I had that on!"
"It won’t work," he says simply, now heading for the door without so much as a glance at me. "Chikyuu is gone."
"You don’t know that!" I say defiantly, striding towards him, cutting him off from the exit.
It is now my eyes against his. Surprisingly we are the same height, and I am close enough to feel the warmth radiating from his muscular body.
"I know." He tries to push me out of the way. I stand my ground.
"How are you so sure?" I challenge him stubbornly.
Shaking his head in amusement, he smirks. "Are all humans as thickheaded as you are?"
"Are all Saiyajins as rude and vicious as you are?" I retort.
"Yes," he replies.
I am no longer scared of this bastard. Just really pissed off. "Chikyuu wasn’t destroyed. My messages would’ve gotten there by now if you hadn’t turned the damn thing-"
He cuts me off with a wave of his hand. "When a Saiyajin wants something, he gets it. If another Saiyajins wants it too, then something happens called a life-or-death battle. Simple. I didn’t feel like being a referee so I left Chikyuu and a group of my men bickering over it. It happens. And a lot of the time, the men forget the planet is there while they’re fighting…you know those stray ki blasts…"
"You can call your men, then," I say firmly. "Go ask them what happened, prince."
His eyes flash dangerously at me, but I shake it off. "Bitch, you really want to order me around?"
My hands are wrenched from my sides as he grabs me by the shoulders and swings me into a wall, pressing me against it until I cry out in pain. My arms twitch helplessly, my eyes forced to stare into the deep black pits that burn through me.
"I am the last of the Saiyajins. Curse the others to hell, they are there already. And I have a little order for you," he hisses, his eyes narrowing. Defiantly I raise my chin at him. "Send this ship back to the androids’ planet. Now."
"Hell no," I spit, daring to cross the line.
"You won’t do it? All right then, human, let’s find out if your pathetic planet really is still there," he sneers, and with one hand he reaches to the computer and taps various buttons with effortless speed.
"This is a little search that will trace back to planets where this ship has been," he explains simply. "Twelve planets ago was Chikyuu."
The screen shows an elaborate list of times and ship speeds, temperatures and locations. It includes a map, pinpointing the poles and the equator.
"Now," he says with smugness, "we find out."
He types in a quick inquiry, *Current status?*
*Terminated.* the computer beeps.
At the look of anguish on my face, he adds with pleasure, "And it seems like you are the last of the humans."
With a jerk he lets go of me, and is out of the room in a second, his footsteps resounding down the hallway. I slide down to the floor and cry.
Damn Kakarotto. And damn that exasperating woman he has brought on board.
I had been so close to killing her, so close I could feel her trembling in my grasp, her fragile form radiating fear. So close that her scent nearly drove me over the edge, and her face had me enraptured again. What a weakling I have become. Running from battle. Primal instincts threatening to take over sense. Unable to return to the battlefield and complete the victory that was rightfully mine.
Meditation no longer helps me. I do not want calm right now. I do not wish to rest. I want to fight, savor the taste of spilled blood, enjoy hearing the screams of death. The Dragonballs…I have momentarily forgotten about them. Would they help me? It seems nothing can at the moment.
If I must, I will beat the woman unto she switches course back to the androids’ planet. That wouldn’t take too long. But Kakarotto would fight me over her…that would complicate things.
The darkness of the room seems to fill up all my senses. My eyes, open, gaze at the ceiling, my ears filled with silence as I lie here in the night of space.
Give me my son.
Go back to your gang of asses, Bardock. Perhaps then I will spare you.
I know you just want us all dead. I don’t know why you are keeping Kakarotto alive. But he’s mine.
Drip, drip, drip. Blood.
Faint sounds of ki blasts going off in my head. As if I am standing behind a soundproof wall, a window.
BOOM!!!!!! BOOM!!!!! BOOM!!!!!
The wall is suddenly torn down. My ears are deafened by the battle sounds in my own mind.
Silence. The wall is back. I am once more an observer of my own battle.
Quiet. I shake my head as if to rid it all from my head.
Then a piercing laugh cuts through the near-silence. The she-devil.
"Where’s your strength now, hot shot?"
"You said you had your cash down. I guess now you’re broke! Ha!" Crunch, the bones in my arm easily snapping under her heel.
"Guess what, monkey boy!" A horrible yank as my tail is ripped off. "You lose!"
A blinding light. A scream. My only chance.
Then that too is taken away, as I am grabbed and tossed aboard the ship, a matter of seconds. The torture searing through me, worse than any physical wound, that I am helpless and weak and cannot stop running. Helpless, as helpless as the naked woman next to me. Dragging me down into pits worse than hell.
Vejita! You’re almost dead and you don’t even know it!
Shut up! Shut up!
My eyes snap open, and I jerk upright in bed, my entire body drenched in sweat as I allow myself to breathe, shoulders hunched and chest heaving. Then I notice the body beside me.
The blade is an inch away from my throat, glistening dimly in the light filtering through the door cracks. Just like the blade she holds, her sapphire eyes gleam sharply and triumphantly. She kneels on the mattress, hand poised for a strike, her face leaning into mine. A few seconds of silence seems like forever.
"You," I whisper, staring at her with narrowed eyes. The knife presses against the skin of my neck. "You really think you can kill me with that?"
Her lip trembles, but she raises her head defiantly. "You deserve to die, you cold-blooded murderer."
Her eyes are the same color as the cyborgs’. But they shine with a different medium, brimming with unreleased passion and danger. My entire body tenses. Smiling, I press my throat against the knife. Harder. Harder. Her knuckles turn white as she tightens her grip on the handle, trying to push it into my flesh. I keep leaning forward, closer and closer to her. She gasps in surprise as the blade snaps, and with a flick of my hand the knife clatters dully onto the floor of the other side of the room. She stumbles as I back her against the wall, like a hunter crawling toward prey. My hands plant firmly on the bed, on either side of her legs.
"Like I said," I whisper again, my breath against her mouth, so close, so hot. "You really thought you could kill me with that?"
"Monster. I…I hate you," she stutters, trying to turn away from me.
"You really do?" I ask, my hand carelessly brushing her thigh as I reach up to her face. Slowly, drawing out the torment, I stroke her reddened cheek. "You didn’t hate me when you saw me."
"You killed Bardock. You killed everyone. All of my people," she hisses, her mouth now quivering uncontrollably.
"You didn’t hate me. You don’t hate me," I continue relentlessly, relishing this sweet moment of torture. I have my enemy trapped like never before, vulnerable, cowering before me. I smile. "You want…"
"No," she says softly, shutting her eyes. "No."
My lips brush her cheek once. Then again, nearer to her mouth. I draw closer to her, my legs almost straddling her, her thighs wedged between my knees. One palm on the wall, the other sliding down her neck. My lips on her again, this time more pressure, parting to let my tongue make contact. A shiver passes instantly through her body.
"No," she repeats, her voice barely audible, helpless at her own inner conflicts undoubtedly raging inside her. "No, no, no."
"You…want…this…" The tip of my tongue reaches the corner of her mouth.
"No…I want…I want…" Her attempts to escape have ended already. Pathetic thing. She sits powerless, waiting to be taken. I have already made my decision.
Now even closer, her soft breasts pressing against my chest, my hand curled in her silky hair, the other still stroking her neck as my tongue slips into her mouth. I turn her face towards me, and she looks at me dazedly, her eyelids drooping, her face hot. Her legs shifting, spreading to accommodate me. I know what helplessness and instinct can do. Indecisive, pitiable human, I sneer. So weakly fighting the uncontrollable desires that I have set alight.
"You…want…this," the words releasing themselves between my tongue and her lips. No answer. What has happened to the wild thing I contested with earlier today? Crushed. Fled in the darkness, the silence, the solitude of night and the tired workings of a conquered mind. Willing, unknowingly, to succumb to—this—release of thought, the drunkenness of the soul, the emptiness of the heart…
My tongue burning a hot trail down her neck, hands deftly removing her sweat-stained clothing and tossing them away, my feet kicking off the sheets tangled between my legs, now leaving nothing between us. Skin pressing together. Sinewy, rock-hard muscle against supple, velvet flesh. Body heat insuppressible, already hardening against her entrance.
Now she breaks.
Her lips on my skin, on the side of my neck as I anoint her breasts with my tongue, drawing out the taste of her in my mouth. Around the nipples, my hand caressing one as my teeth lightly brush the other. She lets out a soft moan, her breath warm on my shoulder. Her fingers snared in my hair, bringing my face up to meet her fervent lips, a fiery kiss burning through my emotions, sparking an urgent need, rushing it all on. Her hips jut forward, her legs spread further, thighs tightening on my hips, inviting me in.
I take one last look in her crystal blue eyes.
"You want this," I rasp, and thrust into her deeply.
Her back arches against the wall, her breasts pushing harder against my chest as her hands lock around my neck. I let my teeth scrape against the tender skin of her shoulder, hardly controlling the fervor myself. I begin to move inside her, hips grinding against hers, slowly at first, slowly, rhythmically, her body moving in synchronization with mine. Slight whimpers escaping her lips, eyelids fluttering with the overpowering sensations surging up in her, passing into me. Continuing to build as I move faster, more intensely, thrusting, waiting, coming…and with a final cry, rushing over the top, passions gushing into her, her nails digging deep into my back, a scream torn from her throat.
It is as if bulging floodgates opposite each other, finally broken, spill boundless torrents of water cascading to form an ocean, both sides mixing and merging until the original sources are indistinguishable. Two waterfalls, pounding into one another. Another heart beats with mine, against my chest. But somehow I feel it inside me, too. An overload of frantic emotions, swimming afresh in my mind, combining with my own passions, as I grow hard inside her once more. More…more…
Her hands grasp me feverishly as she cries out again, reeling against me, reaching a second peak that drains the rest of the energy from her body. Eyes shut, arms limp around my shoulders, labored breathing in my ear. Breasts heaving, hips slackened against mine. I draw her away from the wall, still holding her, and lay her down beside me on the bed. Hot, wet skin against mine, she looks wearily in my eyes. We are joined now. Bonded. The floodgates have opened, leaving me with a sea of alien thoughts and desires. No doubt mine have entered her soul as well. No time for regrets or second thoughts. Only acceptance of the consequences.
Her hand rests on the side of my face. The corner of her mouth upturns slightly.
"I wanted this," she echoes, breathless.
Our mouths meet in a last embrace, tender and soft this time, the madness having passed. Serenely, she curls up against me, closes her eyes, and falls asleep. I stroke her hair absently, her even, tempered breathing in my ears.
Bulma. Her name.
Xethyros. The planet to which we will return on the morrow.
I rub my eyes drearily, eyelids heavy and numb. Forcing myself up on my elbow, I blink and look around. The regeneration tank stands before me with its familiar drone of water cycling. I am back in "my" room.
How long did I sleep? I am still so tired.
Then, all at once, the memories of the night before rush vividly through my mind. His touch, his smell, his taste…the wild emotions awash in me…the creepy sensation of knowing a man completely after meeting him for one day.
What the hell did I do?
I put my hand to the side of my head, cursing. I had slept with the man who had caused Chikyuu’s destruction! The ruthless bastard who reveled in the pain of others, who had taunted me about the death of all I loved. I…I had let him…
But I wanted him. I wanted him so badly, with the suddenness of the moment, that common sense had fled and left me with only fervent instinct and longing. And I had gotten more than I had bargained for. A deep bonding to his soul. It seems like my continuum of emotions and senses have been multiplied twofold. He is part of me. That cannot be changed.
I sigh with a sinking hopelessness. I had slept with a murderer. But part of me understands, accepts him, and has some inexplicable longing for him still. I get out of bed, walking mechanically to the door and wondering to myself about the heavy consequences of my rash actions. What will I say to him? What will he say to me? What about Kakarotto?
Neither of them is anywhere in the corridors. Then the faint sound of explosions from the other side of the ship reach my ears. They are training. I begin to walk down there, but hesitate. No, I don’t want to face him. I am too afraid of his reaction. So I wander the ship alone, wanting desperately to talk to Kakarotto but unable to interrupt their sparring session without confronting Vejita. My appetite is non-existent. All I can do is try to control the biting worry inside me.
In the controls room I begin toying with several built-in devices. Advanced stuff. It lets the scientist in me take over, at least temporarily subduing the pent-up anxiety weighing like lead on my mind. I should know the layout of the ship’s complex computer inside out by now. I’ll have a lot to upgrade once I get myself a new ship, and go back home.
It hits me like deadweight metal. Chikyuu is gone.
Suddenly my soul plunges into the murky depths of darkness, completely lost, empty, alone, and hopeless. The burden of the multi-billion death list falls on my back, guilt settling over me even though I am not the one responsible. I am the last human, light-years away from her birthplace, family, and friends, and totally unaware of the genocide that destroyed it all a month ago. Perhaps I can cling to the hope that some survived. Mama. Yamucha. Kuririn. Tenshinhan. All my friends.
But it is unlikely. The obvious truth crushes my hope. So, for the first time since Yamucha’s betrayal years back, I cry; tears of sorrow, not the rage of yesterday or the pain of two days ago. Yesterday I had not fully realized what Chikyuu’s destruction would mean to me. No home. No identity. Just loneliness. I do not even know how everyone died. I pray that it was instantaneous, painless, triggered by a stray ki blast like Vejita had guessed.
Or had the Saiyajins landed? Picked their victims apart, enjoying the slaughter and bloodshed? Carving out the guts of innocents for their families to see? Incinerating entire cities with leisure, so it would all burn slowly, people watching their own bodies burn up in horror. Dragging Mama out into the street…dealing Yamucha and Kuririn slow, agonizing deaths for daring to fight back?
No. No, I shut the horrible thoughts out, my hands gripping the sides of my head as I stare tearfully at the computer screen. Vejita had said he was the last Saiyajin. That meant the rest of them had died. Perhaps killed each other in that battle over Chikyuu, the victor himself so badly wounded that he had met his demise as well, along with the challengers he had slain.
I rock myself back and forth, now sitting on the cold metal floor, arms drawn around my knees. Stupidly weeping, tears running down my face and onto my legs. I had tried to kill Vejita last night, piling the blame on him, caught up in a demonic rage that placed that knife in my hand. It would have been as simple and satisfying as slicing through the flesh of a cadaver, like Bardock’s. I had turned into nothing more than the Saiyajins that destroyed my home. What would have happened, if Vejita had not woken, and the blade had actually penetrated his skin, severing the jugular? What would I have felt as his blood poured over me, his death throes lashing me on his bed? Would it have been any better than what had actually happened last night?
I wanted this.
I had said that. I had given the word that I was willing to chain myself to such a creature, a Saiyajin, that it was not rape.
"Stop! Stop it!" I cry, shutting my eyes tightly and wishing the whole world away. But when I open them, everything is still here. I am still here.
I drag myself up by the nearest panel, not caring if I switched anything on by accident. The viewing window opens with a small whoosh. Bleary eyes lifting up, I see it.
If this does not snap me out of my living nightmare, it only adds to it. We are heading back to Xethyros.
Forcing my mind to focus, my fingers race as they type frantically into the computer. I had encrypted the lockout coordinates with the heaviest system I knew! It would take the top agents hours to decode! Had I made a mistake? No, I had checked it twice. What…what the hell…
The computer refuses to change course. I check the speed of the ship. Three times the norm, breakneck and dangerous. We are heading back to doom three times faster than before. I try everything I know to turn the ship around or stop. It won’t even slow down. Everything is blocked.
I rush out of the room to find Kakarotto. I no longer care if Vejita is with him; I will have to deal. I quickly unlock the training room door with a security bypass and run in.
"Yo, Vejita, STOP!" Kakarotto yells, and in a blur he is beside me, shielding me with his aura. I had almost been hit and killed, foolish to jump in the middle of a spar.
Then Kakarotto whirls on me. "What are you doing, Bulma? You could’ve been killed there, don’t you know it’s dangerous?"
He is roughly shoved aside, and I swallow a lump in my throat as I face Vejita. His face hardens like ice as he stares contemptuously at me.
"All right, wench, what the hell is wrong with you? Get out," he commands, but I stand firm. My resolve hardens as well.
"Kakarotto," I say calmly, my eyes never leaving Vejita’s in a standoff. "It seems we have an unhealthy change of plans."
I watch a spark light up the ebony of the prince’s eyes. He did it. But how…
Last night. Amidst the passion, the loss of self, and the world-weariness, there had been the connection. The river that had flowed between us, and fused our souls together. The bonding. He now has my knowledge. But a lot more than what I have of his.
Before Kakarotto can speak, Vejita cackles madly. "You were both such fools. You really think I would just ‘let it go?’ You think I would forget about your cowardice, Kakarotto, that has loaded such shame upon me? You really think I wouldn’t go back and finish the unfinished? You think I don’t hate those androids as much as you do, Bulma?" he sneers. "You are fools."
"No Vejita," I hiss, my voice tipped with poison. "You are the fool. Kakarotto, destroy the planet. Destroy Xethyros, now."
He moves towards the door, just one step, and then Vejita disappears from view. A huge shock wave rolls through the air, knocking me back. Kakarotto shouts in confusion and anger as Vejita takes him by surprise.
Bam! Bam! Whoosh! Bam!
This time I do not run away or cower on the floor. Dimly I am aware of the danger, that I could be wiped out in a second, but I do not care anymore. I realize that nothing of mine matters; my home is gone, my loved ones are gone, all I have is my pitiful self and the savage I have bonded with. I stand silently, only blinking as the ki blasts fly by, missing my skin by inches. Their movements are too quick to track, but the impacts of their fists are definitely perceptible. So fast. So powerful. Yet I still stand, waiting for the outcome of this struggle.
Kakarotto’s body solidifies, no longer a blur to my eyes, and he crumples to the floor, unmoving. Vejita straightens and turns to me, smiling cruelly.
"You thought he could stop me?" he gloats, coming nearer. "You think anything can stop me from getting what I want? You sure couldn’t. Not yesterday."
I keep my face expressionless. Something I picked up from him.
"No. But I wanted to kill you."
"Yes, I suppose you did. But what does it matter? I will be the one dealing the kills today," he says, eager anticipation in his voice. I say nothing, and look away, hoping he does not see the deep sadness I feel.
"You say you hate me, woman. You want to kill me. Yet you sleep in my bed. You hate the androids, you even threatened to kill the female. Yet you run away and refuse to return to face them. Don’t you want them to die, the way you want me to die?"
No, my soul cries out. I don’t want you to die.
This confrontation is now reaching uncharted depths of my heart, caverns formed unknown to even myself. Until this moment, I have believed that I should kill him. That he deserves to die.
My hand reaches up for the side of his face. The room is dead silent. I look in his eyes again, a silent prayer fleeting, communicating wordlessly what I feel. Now, curse the truths that have led my life till now. Send it all to hell. I have already danced with the devil, sold my soul to him.
His lips meet mine in a hot, fiery embrace. Our bodies twisting together once more, eyes unseeing and shutting out all else, forgetting in seconds the impending fate we will face in hours.
The Gods, if they exist, cannot save my soul now.
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