Hi, guys. Sorry for the wait youíve been having lately in between Chapters. Soon, I have some major things out of the way and will be turning them out like normal.
This chapter introduces some more original characters that have their own agenda to add to the thickening of the plot.
Chapter 7: The Journey Begins
The space station crew watched as the cylinder slid easily thorough the barrier surrounding the landing field. The avian-faced port manager looked around impatiently as the craft made its touch down. The three men watched as the small door opened up toward the top of the craft and its single occupant floated down to meet them.
"Greetings Raven" the boy said looking over the new crew of inspectors.
"Greetings Wrench" the man said.
"These are the men who will be inspecting my ship?" the child said scanning them from head to toe with his eyes.
"Yes" came the reply with a nervous laugh.
"They know to record nothing of what they see marked?" he asked.
"Yes sir" he replied, "This is nothing but a trade vessel carrying textiles and exports."
"Then," the boy replied as the exit steps slowly descended "they may enter, but no one else."
"Yes, sir" the man said cheerily "and we can expect the payment upon your departure as always."
"You know Iím a man of my word Raven" he replied getting strange looks from the three men. "I will conclude my business in three hours." With this he made his way to the habitable portion space station.
"I want this to be quick, but not so quick that is causes suspicion," he told the men. "Remember to only record the items not marked with the Machine Guildís logo."
"Whatís up with this weirdness Lizard?" one of the men questioned. "He was just a kid!"
"I know it seems strange but heís the Guildís top representative. Heís no ordinary kid, thatís for sure." Lizard said in reply. "Letís go and get this over with Horns. Just remember not to touch anything with that logo on it or you wonít live long enough to enjoy the money."
Horns laughed uncomfortably as they slowly ascended into the ship. "Thereís no windows," he noted with surprise. "How do they see where theyíre going?"
"Beats me" Lizard answered handing him a writing pad. "You take this side and Iíll go over there."
"How come we canít use the equipment?" he asked looking at the writing implements.
"They got this thing rigged so nothing will work" Lizard replied. "Now donít ask any more questions and get to work."
"Sure." Horns followed walked towards his section pulling on the collar of his work smock. He didnít like breaking the customs laws like this. He was surprised that there didnít seem to be a cargo bay. There was only one room and it was stacked high with crates. The first group of crates he came across was all stamped with the logo of the Machine Guild. Carefully giving a wide breadth to the forbidden cargo he moved to a section, squatted on his haunches, and wrote down what was on the boxesí labels.
Hearing a scraping sound Horns turned expecting to see his partner but saw nothing. Shrugging he went back to work and then heard it again. His head snapped back up and he carefully surveyed his surroundings. He again saw no one but he swore that there was something different about the boxes. Coming up out of his squat he moved towards the area cautiously and found a space between two stacks of boxes that he was certain had never been there before. Hi s heart beating faster, he peered between the boxes to see an occupied status chamber. Curious, he looked carefully and slid between the stacks of boxes being sure not to touch them. He found himself in and area around which tall walls made of the stamped boxes hid from view. The chamber contained a woman, a beautiful woman, with the most unusual coloring he had ever seen. She could have been a mirrorjin but something told him she wasnít. "Uh, Lizard" the man said nervously. "I thought you said they dealt only in machines."
"They do," his answer came.
"Then how comeÖ"
"I told you no more questions! Now get back to work!" his partner barked.
"Okay" he replied absently staring at the sleeping figure. "Maybe I should pretend I didnít see her. I mean this isnít exactly legal and if anyone knew I saw this then Iíll probably be dead before tonight." He nervously turned and headed towards the opening between the box walls and suddenly felt something brush past his leg. He jumped turning to see no one once more. "Iím just nervous about this thing is all" Horns resolved "and my subconscious is playing tricks on me."
With that he left the sleeping woman in her hiding place and commenced the laborious work of recording the box labels ignoring the scraping sound as the gap between the stacks mysteriously closed.
Vegeta was in a foul mood as he stood on the gangway to the space ship. This mood was due to four very good reasons.
"Vegeta are you sure you have enough food and blankets" said reason number one, Mrs. Briefs.
"Remember to radio us with daily updates" Mr. Briefs, reason number two, told him "anything at all you find out we want to know right away."
"Oh yes" agreed Mrs. Briefs whole-heartedly. "Weíll be besides ourselves not knowing anything! You must promise to tell us everything."
"I donít make promises that I canít keep" Vegeta grumbled.
"For Dendeís sake Vegeta" Chi Chi, reason number 3, scolded, "sheís their daughter and they have a right to know whatís happening."
"Mind your own business woman" he spat at the black-haired female.
"I will not stand-by while you selfishly shut everyone else out! In case youíve forgotten we are all Bulmaís friends and family and we care about her." Chi Chi began "Why if it wasnít for me her parents wouldnít even have known that anything had happened and not only would that have been inconsiderate but your familyís livelihood would have been at stake, because the last time I checked you werenít bringing in any money. Bulma and Trunks could have lost everything."
"And if you werenít so busy interfering where you had no business to then you wouldnít of let my son go missing," Vegeta told her icily instantly shutting her up. This reason, the fourth reason, for his mood was by far the worst of them all. He had entrusted Trunks to the Sons and they had managed to loose track of him and no one could locate him because his ki was missing.
"Weíll find him Vegeta, donít worry" Gohan spoke up to the prince. "I wonít fail you," he added solemnly.
Vegeta nodded at the teenagerís comment at the very least he knew that Gohan would do his best to keep his word.
"Why the tragic faces?" a voice asked. "Donít tell me youíll actually miss the saiyajin?"
Vegeta looked up and glared at the smirking black-haired android. Now there were two more reasons to further his current frame of mind. The two metal misfits who had managed to needle their way into his plans.
"Oh my!" Mrs. Briefs squealed flinging her arms around the hapless androidís neck. "Thank you so much for helping Vegeta rescue my girl!" She pecked him on the cheek before latching onto 16ís arm. "Vegeta, I know with two strong, handsome men to help youíll bring Bulma back with no problem."
Vegeta scowled at his in-law as she fawned over the androids.
"Ah!" Dr. Briefs stated. "Here is what you asked for my boy," he said striding forward and producing a small case from his pocket and handing it to 17. "Iím sorry that I couldnít do more on such short notice."
"Itís quite all right Dr. Briefs" 17 said tucking it into his jeans' pocket. "This will help a great deal."
"Enough with this useless kuso!" the irritated prince exclaimed. "Iím leaving in one minute and if you two are planning to come you better be on the ship before I close the door."
"Weíll be in momentarily your royal shortness" 17 said defiantly.
Vegeta 'humphed' and turned on his heel and stalked into the ship muttering curses along the way.
"This is going to be fun," said 17 with a grin.
In the habitation section of the station a lone figure sat in her rented room. The portable holographic emitter diffused the darkness with its soft glow as the image flickered to life before her. He was tsirijin, like herself, and sat lounging on a large golden throne he had recently appropriated.
"Long live King Frigid, the greatest of our kind, ruler of the Frost Clan, destined to rule the universe," she chanted from memory.
"What news do you have for me today" the owner of the image asked her.
"The Machine Guild had a very interesting cargo this time," she said. "They had a woman on board in stasis."
"Collecting another brain to add to there collection no doubt," the image said disinterestedly.
"But thereís more," she protested a little shortly. "From the little information we have I believe sheís a human woman."
"Human?" the Changeling questioned in childish glee. "That means he came from Earth. Oh, I would so love to know what he saw there. You know I owe that planet a great debt for swallowing Freeza and Kind Cold up for me. "
"Do you wish me to inquire about this woman and the Machine Guildís acquisitions?"
"Yes, yes" Frigid answered. "Now if thatís all Iím quite busy at the moment."
"That is all" she said and the image abruptly flickered out. She sighed and cursed under her breathe about her temperamental and impatient master as the darkness overtook the chamber once again. She and her sister were cursed to serve him because of her brotherís bargain and its continued usefulness to her clan. "Damn you Freeza" she added for good measure.
Trunks held his breath as he heard the steady footfall signaling someone had entered the ship. Nervously the boy fingered the ki module hoping that it really was working. He couldnít be found out now. They had to be far enough from Earth so that they shouldnít turn back before he could reveal himself. It was his father; he could feel his familiar ki, hanging above him like an apparition. Trunks, prayed that he had the device modified properly to block his ki signature as he heard the clang of Vegetaís boot striking the metal floor above him. He was thankful his grandfather had made room for extra storage in the belly of the ship and his father hadnít seen fit to store anything in it. He would be unnoticed there until it was the right time to reveal himself.
Trunks heard the muffled roar and next felt the trimmer signaling the shipís eminent departure.
"You werenít going to try and leave without us, were you?" he heard 17ís voice say above the roar.
"Youíre lucky Iím even tolerating your presence android" he heard his father bark.
"Thereís no need to be so uncivil" the android said. "You donít seem to know what youíre doing. Why donít you let an expert driver take over the piloting?"
"Why donít you mind your own business and get reacquainted with the other tin can?" his father growled.
"Because its be kind to animals day so Iíd thought Iíd help a monkey in distress" 17 replied.
"You wouldnít know where you were going baka" Vegeta replied. "Iím the only one in this group who can get us to where we need to go and know what Iím doing. From this point on you and your metal ass will take orders from me. Got it?" Trunks felt the vibrations go more rapid and his sensitive ears pained at the volume increased causing him to cover his ears and miss the conversation. All at once the small boy was immersed in a world of sensory overload as the ship left for the vacuum of space.
Wrench exited the rented conference chamber, leaving behind a very happy customer. The trade of resources had gone satisfactorily and his ship was to be loaded with twice as many goods as normal thanks to the ingenious little capsules he snatched from Capsule Corporation. Technology for the resources the planet needed to keep running. They always were happy to do business with the Guild.
Up ahead in the hallway a massive alien leaned up against the wall, arms crossed over his chest, eyes closed. The setting was just too suspect to ignore. Keeping his eyes on the figure, he continued his progress and was rewarded with the confirmation of his instincts when the figure looked up at him with a pair of violet eyes. Smiling condescendingly he approached the alien. "Let me see is it Blizzard or is it Snow?" The alien glared at him and he chuckled. "Donít look so miffed dear" he said to it "Iíve been around your kind for too long not to recognize one of your illustrious sisterhood and the only tsirijin I know who scouts the station is your master so naturally it had to be either of you."
"Listen mammal I donít have time for games" the alien replied in a deep but tiffy voice. "Frigid is very interested in your latest cargo."
"Ah, with that attitude it must be Snow" Wrench said. "I see youíre using our voice oscillator, you know we now have an upgraded model."
"Just explain your cargo" the alien boomed squinting itís eyes.
"Yes definitely Snow" Wrench remarked.
"You have a woman on board" the alien continued "and she appears to be human."
"Thatís because she is" Wrench said putting his hands behind his back. "Of course only those of us with access to Freezaís records would know that means Iíve just visited Earth."
"What did you find there?" the alien demanded.
"You can tell your master that there is definitely some information he would find most interesting but" Wrench said with a taunting smirk " weíll let him know through the usual channels."
"Perhaps we could interest you in selling the information to us before it is released on market" the large alien prodded.
"Oh no" Wrench said. "There are others of your kind who will find this information as valuable as your master. Perhaps they will value it more."
"Yes" the boy continued. "Your birth clan."
"The Cold Clan?" she queried.
"Yes" he said with a smirk. "I imagine with the two most powerful tsirijin clans and all the other races vying for the same information weíll collect a pretty price."
"What the hell could be so interesting to half the universe?" she asked impatiently.
"Thatís for me to know and you to find out. Good day" Wrench said with a chuckle before leaving the frustrated Snow behind.
"Well see how smug you are when you find out just how wrong you are to underestimate us" Snow snapped to his retreating form. "Well see how smart you are when we knock you and the rest of your self-important Guild on its ear."
* * * * *
Hmm? Wrench seems to think Frigid will be interested in the information he wants to sell, I wonder why? Could he and our favorite prince have crossed paths in the past? ;O)
Yes we have female tsirijin in my version of the DBZ universe (of course if youíve been reading Cold Accord you already know that smile).
Whatís in store for next time? Trunks is discovered; our heroes arrive at the space station and begin their investigation; Wrench arrives at the Machine Planet with his cargo in tow...
Chapter 8: A Chill in the Air