-I- Learning To Survive

Time had passed slowly at first, then it lost its relevance to Bulma. She'd spent uncounted days out in the forest. She listened to the news on a hand held communication device, the reports where grim. The Sayians had landed. They demanded that control of the planet be turned over to them. One foolish country had replied with bullets and met with their fate. They made an example of a major city on one of the other continents; they sent two burly men who transformed into large monkeys they called Ouzarus. In their transformed state they rapidly stomped out the area as if the residents had been ants. They broadcasted the destruction world-wide with all the gore and blood to prove they were serious. The World Leaders gave in without a fight. This angered some of the people that were unable to grasp the strength of the aliens and they formed resistances to the Saiyan. Most of these groups where hunted down and slain, others were captured and used as playthings for entertainment.

Then other ships began appearing; they were huge like floating cities almost. Three ships landed and remained motionless for a couple of days. Bulma didn't like what she was hearing; from what she'd learned from the remains of Son Gokuu's space pod this was the beginning of trouble for Chikyuu. Subconsciously she fingered her right earring, though it looked like a normal earring it doubled as a holographic projector. It held pictures of her friends and family and other assorted memorabilia from her destroyed past. She sighed and wrapped her hands around herself, warding off the sudden chill she felt. With all her heart she wished that someone were there with her to comfort her. The tears dripped silently off her face and landed in her lap, the drops creating a sad pattern of loneliness. Her mind floated back to a month prior.

They had all been so happy, sitting around outside without a care. Gokuu and Chichi seemed like the perfect couple with their little boy Gohan. The facade was shattered when Gokuu grabbed his head and hissed in pain. Everyone had stopped their actions and turned to him. After a moment he looked up with clarity in his eyes. "Kami wants us all at the look-out now!" he stated plainly. The group nodded, knowing that this was tremendously important if Kami-sama wanted anything. One by one they all flew off, leaving Bulma alone. Chichi had fought with Gokuu over leaving her alone, so he took her with him to the lookout. With no leverage over anyone in the group Bulma watched helplessly as they all left her standing on the lawn alone. Her throat constricted as she watched her friends fade from view. She sniffled and reflected on her feelings towards this familiar scene. She would stand on the sidelines and watch as her friends put their lives on the line. This time was different though; they'd all left her alone. Over the years she'd gotten used to being helpless in some ways, but this was beyond that. Her inability to fight set her apart from her friends; deep down she knew she'd always been separated from them. She'd always kept her feelings of alienation to herself, turning towards her inventions in an attempt to obliterate them. This time though, she couldn't force them away; it was her childhood all over again. The children avoided her like the plague. She was different then them because of her superior intellect. She forced down her emotions and left to find consolation in what she knew best, her inventions. Annoyed at her memories and her life, the Capsule Corporation president got up and wiped away her tears. With determination in her eyes she set off deeper into the forest.

After a strenuous couple of hours she set up camp in the dwindling twilight and settled down to listen to her radio for news. Nothing but static came through so she shut the hand-held device off and called it a night. The following morning the radio announcer was back, and blaring more bad news, the Sayians were loading up the Chikyuu natives aboard the three large ships. The Z senshi had descended from Kami's lookout and were vigorously attempting to stop the sayians. It was a failed attempt. Even after all the time they'd spent in the room of Spirit and Time it was a futile war. There were far more sayians then the Z senshi could hope to vanquish. The defeated group returned to the lookout and waited for what was to pass next.

Bulma sighed in defeat as she felt a cold dampness in her left boot. Looking down she discovered that she had stepped right into a bog. With a sickening sound she pulled her foot out and attempted to find an ulterior route around the hazard. Her anger boiled when her watch vibrated, signalling that there was a sayian headed in her direction. She scrambled about until she found solid ground to stand on. Pressing a couple of buttons on her watch, the face displayed a map of the forest. Her eyes searched over the tiny screen, caves! The perfect place to hide. She turned and began to back track.

On the short trek to the caves Bulma had become rather paranoid, checking her watch every few paces to make sure she wasn't being followed. After searching for a couple moments she found exactly what she was looking for, a relatively dry cave with a narrow opening that spanned into a larger main room. A shoulder high ledge jutted out 5 feet from one of the back walls. She pursed her lips; this would do perfectly, she thought.

Out of her belt she pulled one worn capsule. She pushed the triggering mechanism and tossed it away from herself. When the dust cleared twelve fist-sized boxes sat on the dirt floor. Picking up two she walked over to the entrance and affixed one on either side of the opening. Another she placed above the entrance, while she buried a forth directly under the door. The remaining boxes were set on the remaining walls. While she did this Bulma thought to herself cockily, "At least I'm not completely helpless; if one of those things shows up here I'll show him who's who."

Satisfied with her work she sat down and took a deep calming breath. The sayian she'd detected earlier was gone, her watch found no trace of him. Weighting her options, she concluded that staying here for a couple of hours longer, to be safe, would be a wise idea. The couple hours were lightened at the onset of a raging thunderstorm. With the solar light gone Bulma pulled out a flashlight and shone it around the cavern. She would explore until the weather turned. Upon closer inspection she found an archway leading to a small anti-chamber. In its center lay a pool of water, fed by an underwater passageway. The bottom of the pool was illuminated in a strange green tinged glow. The rock formations in the pool were called ‘Kami's Light’ by some. The crystals grew on the bottom of freshwater ponds and lakes within strict temperature ranges.

Bulma dipped her fingertips in and found it surprisingly warm. For a moment she stood deep in thought, a slow smile accompanied by a familiar glint danced on her dirt-smeared face.

It'd been a week since she's last bathed, she guessed, and she gleefully began to strip away her dirty clothing. Happily she floated in the hot spring, letting the warm water wash away all of the accumulated dirt and grim on her and her clothing. Since she'd removed all her jewellery she didn't take any notice as her watch began to vibrate at an insane pace. As it was programmed to do, the watch stopped its warning after a pre-set time. Reaching one hand out of the pool she felt the clothing that was laid out to dry. Some of it was still damp so she closed her eyes and let herself drift.

Bulma awoke with a start; she'd fallen asleep drifting in the pool. Floating to the side of the pool, she pulled herself out on the edge. Shivering she hurriedly dressed herself in her dry clothing and pulled her dripping hair up into a bun. With her skin tingling with a fresh feeling she pocketed her discarded jewellery and returned to the main cavern. With the intention of dismantling her security system, she reached into her pocket for her watch. With the gadget in hand she let her eyes wander to the door, dusk had fallen. Mentally kicking herself she realised that she'd have to spend the night there. Deciding rather to be safe then sorry she pulled out her watch and affixed it to her wrist. With nimble fingers she tapped a combination of a six-button set on its face but the small instrument didn't respond. She found her flashlight and set its beam on her wrist. The watch's face displayed 'LOW BTRY' in flashing letters. Rolling her eyes at her own stupidity, she reached for her belt and pulled out her toolbox capsule. She rummaged through the box until she found what she was searching for, a small circular solar battery. With the flashlight clenched between her teeth, she worked with a tiny screwdriver to fix her watch. She strapped the finished piece onto herself then returned to the toolbox. Safely securing everything back into its proper place, save the security system, she sat down.

Her face was eerily illuminated by the artificial glow of the indiglow. The sounds of her fingers resetting all of the things she'd had to program in her watch filled the air. In a fraction of a second the watch began to vibrate wildly as soon as the sayian detection program was operational. Bulma's head shot up, blue eyes searching the large cavern. She yelped in surprise and clumsily stood up, using the wall for support. "And where do you think YOU’RE going?" came a deep male voice from the shadows. The woman froze; she could practically taste her own fear. The cavern then came alive with the sound of the saiyan jumping down from the ledge and advancing towards her. The steady scraping of his boots on the floor sent thousands of tiny goosebumps dancing up and down her body.

Everything felt like it was in slow motion for the Capsule Corporation president as a white-gloved hand shot out towards her. Instinctively, she wanted to duck and run, but her limbs were rooted into the floor. Her blue eyes followed helplessly as one of those gloved fingers brushed down her face ever so gently.

The Chikyuu native suddenly came to par with her grave mistake; she hadn't activated her security system. For a moment she stopped breathing as the warm finger stopped its stroking. Her sixth sense could feel his eyes roaming over her face. This was her chance. Cautiously she brought her hand over the watches face as she silently turned the dial around the faceplate.

The twelve boxes kicked into action, they spilled negative moon rays into the cavern. Bulma's ears picked up the sound of the alien man groaning in pain then a sound of a thump which, she assumed, was him falling. With a spurt of adrenaline coursing through her the scientist took of with a start. Her legs pumped as she ran up an incline as far away as she could from the cave. On a whim she turned her head to ensure that she wasn't being followed. As she ran harder the toe of her boot caught onto a gnarled tree branch and sent her sprawling over the rocky ground. Pebbles bit into her bare skin while larger rocks gouged her arms and legs while tearing her clothing. She skidded to a halt as she impacted with something sharp and rather pointy on her right side. Air escaped her body as the wind was knocked out of her frail form.

Gasping in pain, she turned to see what she'd collided with. Carefully she forced a beaten and bruised arm to prop up her damaged body. Her mind was receiving messages of pain from every part of her body. She managed to pull one of her legs under herself to keep her balance. Her eyes drifted to a pair of gold tipped white boots that blocked her vision, it didn't register at first but when it did she made a feeble attempt at escape. One of those white boots slammed down hard between her shoulder blades as the voice above her mussed, "I thought we'd gotten all the natives from this grid."

Bulma's beaten body shuttered and convulsed, forcing salty blood up into her mouth. She spat it out the best she could and fell back to the ground, panting and gasping for every breath. Her ability to focus on anything was failing rapidly, the world spun around at a dizzying pace. She could faintly feel the man above her pressing his heel deeper into her damaged torso.

From his dark eyes the man looked down upon his captive. She didn't look like any native he'd ever seen. She had light blue hair and equally light pale skin. He studied her trembling form; her clothes were alien to him along with the strange jewellery she wore. Under his foot she made an attempt to get up; to stop her he put more weight on her back. His scouter beeped and words in his native language filled his ear, fingers worked the button on the ear-piece as he watched the blue tinted world. Turning his head, he searched for what he was looking for; the mechanism displayed a rapid set of characters on the blue screen. Annoyed, the alien took off in flight, continuing what he originally set out to do. He could always come back for her later.

From her position on the ground the hurt woman could watch a small trickle of her own crimson blood drip down the hill in a depressing parade. She felt the weight leave her back and the cold breeze that signalled the departure of her aggressor. Blackness began to invade the edges of her vision, stopping her from forming any clear ideas of what to do next. Her mind showed her one clear image before she fell into the void, a flickering image of trees and landscapes whisking by.

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Table of Contents
Chapter 2