The lights go out and I can't be saved
Tides that I tried to swim against
Have brought me down upon my knees
Oh I beg, I beg and plead singing
Chapter 4: Against the Tide
Bulma was trapped in an oubliette of black. She heard no sea sounds and felt no current. If she remained still, the water felt like air and she was floating on a charcoal cloud. The area Bulma was now so easily encumbered in was as black as its sleek stone encasing. If she had been more aware of what it was, she would have embraced the place. It matched her dim mood and visions of existence. A black endless forever, stretching in every direction, not a light to be seen.
The Mer had not been afraid upon entrance. No, she had not trembled when the jaw like rocks had slammed together, clenching her in eerie confinement. Her existentialism as of late had allowed her to accept this fate. And so she did with open arms.
However, it did not take Bulma long to realize very quickly that she was not alone. In her strange predicament, with not a sound but the soft beats of her fin, it was only momentarily before she felt a whir of water. It was a chill rush of liquid, beating against her face. She did not recall the sea ever feeling so cold, except in the presence of Allecto. Bulma cringed at the thought, but remained steadfast.
"Who are you?"
She would not fear the opaque prison or its inhabitant. Deep inside, her heart yearned for it to be a predator, something fierce.
Something that might destroy her.
"I am your desires, Bulma, your answered prayers," the voice replied.
The sound was smooth, like a deep throaty whisper, breezily coming to her in the water. She found very soon she did not exactly fear it, but was wary nonetheless.
Light filled the cramped cavern, a purple hued ray that caught her unawares, and Bulma soon realized that before her, was a Sea Witch.
The woman was beautiful, considering nearly all Sea Witches were taken to granting themselves gorgeous looks and immortality. She somehow knew this from instinct. However, she had never expected to come across one.
The witch had emerald hair that flowed down to the end of her purple fin. She was lazing upon a cloister of magenta coral, the likes of which Bulma had never seen. It shown brightly underneath her, presenting the witch with a crimson aura. Her eyes were purple like her fin, and emitted the light that colored the room. Her pale blue skin, glistening with embedded diamond glitter and pearl hues, seemed to writhe. The witch was indeed and imposing sight.
"No doubt you know that which I am," she asked, rocking her violet fin back and forth.
Bulma nodded her head.
"Yes, indeed." Her purple lips creased into a devilish grin.
Bulma found a perverse, erotic quality in the woman, which she instantly understood. Sea Witches usually favored women.
"Do not fear my lustful eye, child," the Witch said as if in answer to her thoughts. "Even I am wise enough to know when I am out of my league."
Not knowing how to answer that comment, Bulma ventured to ask her own question.
"What is your name?"
"I am Hecate, but more importantly, you are Bulma! The sea does hate you so very much these two years past. An intruder in our midst, a creature who does not belong and yet might command it at will. Yes, Allecto did a very good job."
"I have no memory of my life, until these two years," Bulma sighed.
"Neither did the others, my dear."
"My sisters?" Bulma asked, looking up in hope.
"No, they weren’t your sisters. Simply weaker beings that Allecto attempted to overpower. You see, the woman could not take power where there was none. Thus you were taken."
"Each night, when I am allowed back my legs, I feel the loss in every single item I encounter. I once knew trees, Hecate and rocks, meadows, flowers!"
Hecate nodded sadly.
"It is Allecto’s pure cruelty that she lets you roam on your old legs each night. She does not want your body to forget its love of the land, or she fears you will no longer loathe your existence in the ocean and come to enjoy life. Perhaps," Hecate said. "Perhaps, she thinks, you might even find a way to overpower her."
"You see, Bulma, she has kept you down, depressed and lost in your misery. But you were once human, my dearest beauty and my grief at your rape and crudely forced adaptations from a former life of peace and happiness, haunts me incessantly. Forgive that it has taken me these two years to build power and fortitude enough to sustain myself from a vengeful Allecto! Hell hath no fury like that pathetic bitch."
Bulma smiled. For once in her miserable life, she was happy, she had a comrade and if Hecate betrayed her in the very next second, she would still be forever indebted to her momentary reminders of what life could be like, when possessing compassion and honesty and things that warmed her heart against the chill of the wide wet world.
"You sympathize with me, Hecate?"
"Yes and that is why I lured you here and even managed to sway away that annoying entourage of yours. It will be another tide yet before they realize their folly and report to your mistress. It is a pity you cannot control the ocean against her."
"This is true," Bulma admitted, looking to the sandy floor. "I long ago realized that any and all attempts at attacking that creature were beyond me."
"You tried, dear one, and that is all a woman can do."
"Hecate?" Bulma asked, looking up. Her lip quivered in hope, a small foolish little spark in her heart.
"You said you could answer my prayers…"
"But of course, and so I shall! I will give you legs and return you to the dry walking earth that misses your presence so greatly."
"How though? Allecto has taken mine and turned them green. She forces me to give her audience daily so that I might be allowed to witness them upon her body."
"It’s why this offer is so extremely late in being made. I have made a PURE copy of your original legs, without that puce shade our disgusting Allecto is so fond of."
Hecate waved a slender aqua hand in a circle and suddenly a set of legs appeared, encased in a crystal container, hovering parallel to the floor.
Bulma gasped and fell back against the wall, witnessing legs that she had only ever dreamed about for two years, now directly in her grasp.
"They are yours my dear; however, there is a catch."
"I lose my voice?" Bulma blinked, where had she heard that? Hecate raised an eyebrow at the question but continued.
"No darling, your voice will remain. Unfortunately, I cannot tell you the catch, only that you must strive to live happily in these legs as long as you have them and attempt to be useful in situations. I wish I could tell, but I’m afraid the spell would be broken. You see, we witches are cursed in our charms, because we cannot play our tricks without catches. Sadly, I was doing something good for a change and yet I am unable to remove the annexed rule. Forgive me, dear girl."
"For those legs, I forgive you a million times over," Bulma whispered, only able to looking longingly forth.
"Very well, I shall send you to land in these and in a place where you belong. I am not blinded by this darkness or the murky depths. I am just as aware of the happenings on land as in sea and for that, I have found people who will benefit in your presence. Be happy my dear, if only for a little while and beware your secrets, for if you disclose all and then this experiment fails, your new comrades will only come looking for you in vain. Earth men have yet to possess the ability to change fins to legs."
Bulma nodded at the solemnity and seriousness of the situation. This moment, though too good to be true, also had a dark hitch in its sunshine promises. She might lose the legs she had been robbed of, just as soon as she was once again awarded them. The thought was unbearable, but it was reasonable.
Suddenly she looked up, back to her future legs.
"Give them to me then," she asserted. "If only for a little while.
He was pounding away at the droids before him in utter boredom. The machine no longer held any interest. Vegeta growled his frustration and considered, momentarily of course, that he might blow up the entire gravity room and possibly then he’d have some relief.
The familiar ki that materialized behind him was no longer surprising as he turned around to a happy Goku.
The man was ALWAYS happy.
"Kakarott, what now?"
"Spar?" He asked excitedly. The man was nearly jumping up and down.
Vegeta punched him solidly in the gut, knocking him into the spherical gravity room wall.
"There, we sparred, away Kakarott, I’m in no mood for anyone."
Goku giggled from his vertical perch and got up.
"You’re never in the mood for anyone!"
Suddenly there was a bang against the gravity room door, followed by the thud of an object falling. Vegeta was first to hear it. Whatever hit it was a creature, because it moaned as it dropped.
Goku raised an eyebrow and scratched his head.
"Gee, I wonder what that could be?"
Easily enough, he swaggered his way across the floor, pushing the open button in a whimsical manner. However, what greeted them on the other side was not so humorous.
Goku gasped and stepped back, falling flat on his bottom in amazement. Vegeta took a step forward, witnessing the creature that lay before their door.
"The Mer," Vegeta whispered, frozen in movement.
"Bulma," Goku added, words blurry with tears.
The Saiyans looked at each other in surprise and then back to the disheveled thing that lay unconscious before them.
* * * * *