Chapter 4: There are no Children
“Please remind me,” Darwin began before turning to Sobrium. “What is it that makes this planet so valuable? We have gone through a lot of trouble to push our way past Heat just to get here.”
“Never thought you as an intellectual type. Making a scheme or two, Darwin?” Sobrium sighed. “That is never very healthy for my reputation.”
“This time, no. I was just sittin around, snuggling my Koala kid corpse and I got to thinking. Soluris is a big place. Its sun revolves around it in the distance, I mean it makes a good mineral farm, but I feel you have been a bit… dedicated to this planet.” Darwin said as he stroked his chin.
“Well Darwin, do you remember the stories from King Heat’s ancestors hunting down the Namekians in order to have a wish granted?” Sobrium asked his tail slowly moving side to side.
“Nope.” Darwin shrugged and sat down, staring out of the front of the ship at Soluris. Even
from nearly a billion miles away, Soluris was still visible. It was actually rather interesting to watch the sun revolve around it, it was moving incredibly fast. The eggheads called it a marvel of existence, something of exquisite beauty. It was such a pretty sight for a ship that reeked of blood and sorrow. Darwin hated it. That’s why he had the torture room added in, so there would be no hope for escape in his toys. That made them less fun to play with.
“Long story short,” Sobrium cut in while Darwin was smiling to himself. “The Namekians apparently have a set of items that are meant to grant any wish. The ones that settled here on Soluris are believed to be the very same ones that fled from Heat’s ancestor. Their numbers had dwindled significantly, and even when they moved in with humans, they still preferred their own villages. I doubt our attack on Taton even budged their population that much.
“Come to think of it, I remember killing one in Taton. He had some fight in him-” Darwin perked up. “That’s where that kid was from!”
“Oh?” Sobrium asked in curiosity.
“Crimson and Derek, two of the kids you gave me to torture, who escaped thanks to those ORBL guys. I remember seeing them and the guy I killed; right outside an orphanage I blew up. Killed the Namekian that was with them, and sent the rest to you.” Darwin noted. Within a swift second Darwin was punched in the face, and sent spiralling across the room. Sobrium stood with one hand behind his back and his fist held close to his chest. Darwin began to chuckle and he sat up, spitting out a surprising amount of blood. “Hey, you didn’t tell me the what’s and why’s, so I assumed it was like any other planetary attack. I could kill whoever I wanted!”
“From now on.” Sobrium said in an annoyed tone. “Please do avoid killing any Namekians, we need them to find the Dragon Balls.”
“The dragon’s what?” Darwin blinked.
“Wake up, Crimson.” The voice said softly. It was distant, faint. Was he really hearing it? Crimson didn’t know. There was something cold on his forehead, the feeling started to draw him towards the voice. “Wake up.”
Crimson sat up suddenly taking a deep breath. Dayereh placed his hand on Crimson’s chest gently, easing him back down into bed. “Rest now, friend. You are still not fully recovered.” Dayereh sighed. “Before you get into it, you are safe here. We are in a Namekian Village hidden deep within the mountains. This has been our home village for many years, and only the strongest warriors may enter.”
“Why was i-” Crimson began before holding his side in pain. His voice was barely audible.
“Rest. I will explain. After you escaped from wherever you were, Darwin McDarloss found you. He beat you within an inch of your life and then chucked you several hundred miles through the atmosphere. You landed nearby. There was no sign of Darwin anywhere on the planet after that, and it is assumed that he left. Our elder would like to speak with you.”
“Why?” Crimson asked.
“If I knew that I would have said so. Please, be as respectful as you possibly can. He allowed me to bring you in after I found you on my way to talk with him about the resistance.” Dayereh sighed. “Even my advanced healing barely saved you from how bad you were hurt. You should be able to walk, but don’t overdo it. No training, no using ki, nothing. Your body must have went through hell to get this powerful, this fast. It will take a long time for you to heal.”
“How long?” Crimson swallowed.
“Months. You weren’t meant for fighting, as I am sure you have heard enough times to make you puke at this point. How strong you have gotten… it’s unnatural. You shouldn’t be able to keep up with the likes of Darwin, even with training. You will need to take it easy now, ok?” Dayereh sighed and got up. Crimson slowly got off the little cot, and Dayereh stood there for support. Once he was steady, Crimson made his way out of the stone house. The village was breathtaking. Mountains rose tall all around it, and it was wedged in between them. There were waterfalls that flew into beautiful ponds, and an incredibly large well that was filled near to the brim with water.
“Why have a well if you have waterfalls?” Crimson asked in a rasp.
“Like you taste foods differently, we Namekians taste water differently. Some of us prefer groundwater over waterfall water.” Dayereh smiled. He led Crimson up the path, where he passed staring Namekians who whispered to one another. None of their gazes were really threatening, but they made him uneasy. They arrived at the base of a staircase that lead up the side of a mountain. Crimson watched it rise higher and higher up the side of an incredibly tall mountain. The clouds covered what was at the top.
“First you tell me to take it easy, and now you want me to climb these stairs like a normal person?” Crimson laughed. Dayereh feigned an evil smile.
“Muhahaha.” He chuckled. After that, the two began their ascent, and on the way, Crimson explained what happened to him to Dayereh. When they reached the cloud level Dayereh told him to put one arm out in front of him, because the stairs get very steep around here, and it would be a nasty fall, so he needed to make sure he was still on course. The clouds didn’t block his vision too much, but Crimson did as Dayereh told him anyway.
When Crimson broke through the top layer of clouds, he turned around to see the sea of the sky. Clouds rolled over like waves, peacefully unaffected by anything around them. They stretched for miles in every direction from the summit. When Crimson reached the top, there was a perfect circular floor laid out on the mountain, with a single building in the middle. The stone was thick, and gray, like the stairs, but it was very smooth, polished almost. Crimson took a deep breath and stepped forward and moved towards the building in the center. The air was thin, and without ki it was just like his first time on Willowpeak.
Crimson walked forward towards the building in the center. It looked like a fluffy cake, the stone rolling gently downward, growing wider as it got down to the ground. It had three levels. There was a large window near the top of the building, where two spikes jetted out of the building. There was a Namekian man standing with his arms behind his back, staring forward like a statue. Dayereh grabbed Crimson’s shoulder, stopping him. He told him to stay put, and then went to go speak with the Namekian man. Crimson gazed into the sky, and zoned out. After a while, the Namekian man followed Dayereh over to Crimson.
“Come with me.” He said sternly. “Dayereh, thank you. Please wait outside.” He nodded, but shot Crimson a gaze that told him: ‘Remember to be respectful.” The inside of the building was more magnificent than the outside. There was all sorts of strange stone furniture on the inside of the building that really added to its appeal. There were a couple strange plants that Crimson had never seen before. They were like trees, but with purple leaves, and the grass that surrounded them in the potter was a bluish-green, not the dark green he was used to. There was a hole in the ceiling in the shape of a perfect circle, much like the ground outside the building. The Namekian man walked over to the center of the room, and Crimson stepped forward, looking up. The floor began to rise, and Crimson wobbled back and forth due to the unexpected motion. He got his balance, and passed the second floor of the building, where there was a few beds and an indoor waterfall.
As the Elevator came to the top floor, Crimson stood facing the window. The clouds had parted and Crimson could see for miles. The world was beautiful. He had never thought to look down when flying, it was a sight that he never stopped to take in. He was always looking at the stars, that he forgot that the ground he stood on carried a mysticism and beauty with it too.
“Welcome.” A warm, kind voice said. Crimson turned around to face another Namekian man. He was scrawny, unlike the man who escorted him here, who was very buff, even by Namekian standards. The man had a soft smile, and a turban on his head. He wore a cloth vest, and baggy pants. “Nice view, isn’t it?” He smiled Crimson nodded and turned back to the window.
“It is.” Crimson started out in the distance, looking through the cracks in the clouds to get a glimpse at Soluris.
“Dayereh asked me to give you a message, by the way.” The elder chuckled. Crimson turned to face him. “He told me to tell you to stop meeting him when you are on the verge of death. Quite amusing that a majority of your encounters with him start with you extremely injured.” The elder folded his arms and walked up besides Crimson. “My name is Kuele, I am Dayereh’s father, and the father of many Namekians on this planet. This here is my assistant, Bolt. He guards the lookout while I am way, or asleep.”
“I hope it isn’t rude if I ask why you wanted to see me?” Crimson asked in as polite a tone he could make.
“Ahh yes. Times are changing drastically. The era of peace we were used to, the far off war in the galaxy that seemed to be all but a dream has finally arrived here on Soluris. Normally I would try to solve things peacefully, but I am no fool. There are those who do not wish for peace. Those who would make children murderers, weapons…” Kuele trailed off. Crimson choked, unable to say anything further. He had killed dozens of people, both good and bad. The Blue Bowtie Battalion. The first time he ever witnessed what a true war looked like. “I don’t want to live in a universe where children cannot grow up without getting blood on their hands. Do you share this belief, Crimson?”
“Yes.” Crimson said immediately. “But where is my part in all of this?”
“You have seen both sides of the spectrum right?” Kuele asked. Crimson looked confused, which prompted Kuele to explain. “You have been on both sides of the moral compass. One where you hated the thought of hurting someone, it repulsed you, and the one where you simply did not care anymore. Their pain was not your burden. Am I correct?”
“How did you know-” Crimson began.
“You are easy to read.” Kuele chuckled. “You also speak in your sleep. You would wake up occasionally and tell Dayereh of what happened, then pass out. We only got bits and pieces, but it was enough to figure out.”
“I don’t remember that.” Crimson looked at the floor embarrassed.
“I know from experience Crimson, someone who is brought back from the brink of the darkness, who returns to the light, returns stronger than ever before. Does the thought of killing still suit you?” Kuele asked.
Crimson took a few seconds to think before taking a deep breath and responding. “Yes. I have to be honest. The thought of killing people like Darwin, like Sobrium. It appeals to me.” Kuele frowned and turned around.
“Then you are like the rest.” Kuele sighed and waved his hand. Bolt put his hand on Crimson’s shoulder. “We will let you stay until you recover your ki-”
“I wasn’t finished.” Crimson cut him off. Bolt squeezed his shoulder, cracking his bone. He expected Crimson to fall to his knees, but he didn’t even budge. Bolt was surprised by his pain tolerance. “I told you it does appeal to me, but not because of vengeance, or hate. I want to do it because it is right. I want to protect those that cannot protect themselves from monsters who would abuse their power. I want to instill the fear of death in their hearts. If I know I can’t change their evil ways, then I will end them with my own two hands, and carry that burden on my shoulders.” Bolt released Crimson’s shoulder. Kuele turned around, a smile creeping across his lips.
“Dayereh was right about you. You aren’t completely pure of heart, but you are definitely right for what I have in mind.”
“What did you have in mind?” Crimson asked.
“I want to train you. I may not be able to unlock your potential due to how little of it there is, but I can still make you stronger. You can fight against fate. I want to help create proper guardians to protect the galaxy, people who can do right. Do you accept?”
“Yes.” Crimson said without hesitation.
“Great. We start as soon as you recover.” Kuele smiled.
“I thought Dayereh said I could never recover my ki.” Crimson frowned.
“Oh don’t you worry about that, your shoulder was just fractured by Bolt in an attempt to make you heel, but you didn’t so much as flinch. Your body can handle it.” Kuele said and returned to a large chair that sat in the room, jumping onto it and staring out the window. “Rest up, if you are really convicted to this, you are going to start immediately tomorrow. You can sleep downstairs until you get your power back.”
“But-” Crimson began to protest before Bolt bopped him on the head.
“Thank you Bolt. We have been through this. I know you will get it back, now get to work healing. I am not very patient.” Kuele said and waved Crimson off. He left and went downstairs on the strange elevator, laying on top of one of the stone beds. He thought about Ryal and the others. He owed it to them to live, to get stronger. He was done giving up on himself. No more crying about how he isn’t making progress. If the universe told him he couldn’t he was going to do it anyway.
Ryal moved his head out of the way just barely. The ki blast grazed him ever so slightly. He leapt back into the woods and Derek held out his hands, trying to stop Jason, but as soon as his arms were extended, Jason was already chasing after Ryal. Jason swung wildly at Ryal, who ducked the punch and hooked Jason in the stomach. He bent over, holding his stomach, but looked up at Ryal and let loose an animalistic cry of rage. Ryal slid his foot back for support, and blocked Jason’s next attack. He then dropped his guard immediately, sliding past Jason’s extended arm and headbutting him.
“You left us to die!” Jason screamed in his rage, although Ryal barely understood the words before having to refocus on the fight. Jason was far stronger than Ryal had anticipated, but he had gained a lot of fighting experience. He swerved his head around the next barrage of wild swings. He jabbed forward, striking Jason in the chest. Jason growled even harder and pushed into Ryal’s fist, pushing his attack through. Ryal was struck in the face and sent flying through a tree. He immediately turned so he landed on the next tree feet first, then propelled himself off of it, snapping the tree in two like a twig. Jason moved out of the way of Ryal’s propelled attack, and rose his knee into Ryal’s stomach. Ryal caught his knee just in time to prevent the impact, but Jason brought his fist down on Ryal’s back, causing him to spit up blood. Ryal turned immediately, kicked Jason off of him. He slid along the ground to get himself to stand upright, but Jason was already coming after him again. Ryal let himself fall back so Jason fell just short of clocking him in the head.
Jason jumped back and prepared a ki blast, placing one hand behind his back, like he was waiting for someone to hand him something. A purple ball of energy appeared in his hand and Jason rose it in front of him, firing an immense beam forward. He screamed his attacks name “Melody of Justice!”, just like he was taught at Willowpeak, and Ryal did notice that the beam got bigger. Ryal stood his ground and stared down the beam that effortlessly destroyed ground, trees and rocks alike. As it approached him, the energy made rippled waves across his cloths, like he was caught in a strong breeze. Ryal roared and hit the attack straight on with all of his ki in one fist. It felt like he hit a brick wall, and he couldn’t budge it back, but it wasn’t moving forward anymore. The stalemate lasted for only a few short seconds that seemed like hours. Jason’s uncontrollable rage made him an unpredictable opponent, and Ryal underestimated him. Jason was putting power in this blast that Ryal had not sensed before.
Electricity shot out like whips from the point of impact. Ryal grabbed onto the electricity with his ki and used it to fuel his punch. Slowly, the ki attack began to move back, however it started to make the most unbearable high pitched sounds that made nails on a chalkboard seem like a pleasant memory. Ryal fell to his knees, using his free arm to cover one of his ears. The sound was coming from the ki blast. He began to lose ground, the blast pushing closer and closer to him. If he was hit directly, that was it. The fight was over, he wouldn’t have the strength to get up again.
However, just before the blast reached his face, he felt its weight be completely lifted off his shoulders. Paul stood next to him, push the blast with him. He let loose a yell and threw the blast into the air. The sound grew distant, before finally disappearing. Ryal held his ears, which were ringing, blood trickling down the sides. He looked up at a furious Jason, who rushed forward again. Ryal was getting ready to turn this into a life or death fight, when Paul stopped Jason’s next punch. The shockwave created a perfect line down the split between Paul’s energy and Jason’s. Ryal couldn’t believe it. They were equal in strength. When the dust settled, what used to be a section of a forest was now a pile of dead logs, with no grass or shrubbery.
Jason tried to hit Ryal again, but he didn’t have the strength to get past Paul. He had wore himself out. “Move Paul!” He cried. “Move! It’s his fault! It’s all his fault!” Paul trembled for a second and listened to Jason’s plea. “He… It was his fault the Blue Bowtie Battalion learned where we are! It’s Ryal’s fault that Sobrium found us, that he killed so many of! He is the reason Jacob is dead, why Crimson is with Darwin! He is the reason-”
“Keep crying.” Ryal said and stood up, staring Jason in the eye. “A real man accepts his actions, and moves forward to right the wrongs. We were all too weak to do anything. It’s different now. We have the power to do something. So instead of hitting each other, we should be hitting Sobrium.
“He’s right.” Malkor said from behind Jason. “At least about the Sobrium bit.” Jason turned to look at Malkor.
“Who are you?” He growled.
“This is Malkor.” Derek said as he walked over to Jason. “He was with me and Crimson when Darwin was torturing us.” Jason’s rage subsided and he took his fist out of Paul’s hand. He took a deep breath and looked back to Ryal.
“So that smile and ‘let’s fix our planet’ was just a ploy?” Ryal asked, still a bit angry about Jason’s sudden attack.
“I meant it. Killing you would have done justice to a lot of people.” Jason sighed. “At least you got stronger, you might be able to keep up with me and Paul now-” Jason stopped as he used his ki to sense Derek’s. His power dwarfed all of theirs.
“Derek, how did you get so strong if you were in captivity?” Paul asked before Jason got the chance.
“Darwin was torturing us, as I said, but he didn’t realize I was Saiyan until much later on in the process. When a Saiyan returns from the verge of death, their body learns from the experience, and strengthens, ki power included. I came back from the verge of death enough to get this strong. Although, if I were a full Saiyan, the effect would have been more potent.” Derek laughed.
Double stared at the children and sighed. “Hard to tell they are even kids, isn’t it?” Double asked Trips. Trips nodded in agreement. “Do you think the ORBL will accept them?”
“I don’t doubt it. Their power is equal to ours, and we have trained our entire lives. That one with the black hair is equal to one of Sobrium’s officers, maybe even stronger.” Trips noted. Double sighed and walked over to the group, breaking up tension.
“Alright guys, ready to go?” Double asked.
“I am not going anywhere with you, old man.” Jason spat. Double smacked Jason upside the head, which surprised him.
“First thing you need to learn to blend in with the ORBL is to respect your superiors, and the second thing is that I am only about two years older than you guys, and I assume you are all about fourteen?” Double asked, and a majority of them nodded in response. Trips sighed and made his way back to their base to get Quad. By the time he got there, Quad had moved to the corner, and begun weeping over his brother’s death.
“Why did it have to be him Trips?” Quad asked. Trips looked down, a lump forming in his throat. “He was so… innocent. Out of all of us, he believed in the aftermath warriors the most. How can we go on with this routine? It was supposed to bring a happiness to people, a smile on the faces of a damaged kid or a tired adult to see. I can’t-” Quad choked up and went back to crying. Trips sighed and sat down next to Quad. He was so close to his little brother. He didn’t know how to cope with the pain of this lose.
“I think he is smiling, from wherever he is now.” Trips said with a chuckle.
“How could he be? He and I lost each other…” Quad trailed off again.
“Our mission was to save that kid from Darwin. We did. Think about the life he could live now that Darwin is gone.” Trips smiled. “I bet Quin was happy to die fighting for a cause that wasn’t just some mission the ORBL gave him, but one he truly believed in with all his heart. Plus he was knocked out immediately, your brother died painlessly, he didn’t even experience the fall.” Trips said in a failed attempt to comfort Quad.
“Trips, Darwin crushed us, then went after that kid again. I doubt he even got away.” Quad grumbled through his tears.
“Hey, you may think that, but I followed him silently when I got my wind back. I couldn’t help the kid, but Darwin never found him.” Trips lied. He saw how badly the kid was beaten. There was no way he was alive, but Quad didn’t need that information. He needed to know his brother died a hero, not just another casualty of this gruesome intergalactic war.
“We need you Quad. We found those kids from earlier, and there are more of them. They want to join the ORBL to take out a corrupt member that put them in this position, that caused the death of some dear friends of theirs.” Trips said. “They want Justice against him, and then they want to set their sights on Sobrium.”
“Alright. What do they need the Aftermath Warriors for?” Quad asked, regaining his composure.
“Extra man power” Trips shrugged. “And we know more proper training techniques. Sure they are strong, but I saw their fight. Those kids get winded very easily. It would be best to make them stronger, but increase their endurance as well.”
“How many years before we are ready to take on this corrupt member?” Quad asked.
“Several. These kids will be into their teens, maybe even adults by the time they are ready to take on a King of Fighting.” Trips said as he stared at the bloody table where Quin’s body lay under a sheet.
“It’s Ghost isn’t it?” Quad asked with a chuckle. Trips turned to him and blinked in shock. “Figures. He recruited Double, Quin and I because we were Saiyan. Let me guess, he used the other races as canon fodder?”
“I didn’t know Saiyans were black.” Trips laughed.
“Hey, we Saiyans have just as many ethnicities as a Human or Gerton.” Quad let out a small laugh. He quickly stood up and gathered his things.
“Alright, let’s go train these kids.” Quad sighed. “We will need to get stronger too though, if it’s Ghost we are taking on, I may need to find out how to go Super Saiyan.”
“You don’t actually buy into any of that do you?” Trips asked.
“I have seen it with my own eyes. The spiky golden hair, the emerald eyes that pierce through a person’s soul. It really is something to behold.” Quad boasted.
“Well I guess it would be hard for an opponent to tell if a baldie such as yourself went Super Saiyan, that could be a good surprise tactic!” Trips broke out into a fit of laughter, and Quad joined in. “Come on, let’s go make sure the kids haven’t killed each other yet.”
“Oh isn’t it nice to see you again. Did’ja miss me?” Darwin asked with a sweet smile.
“Shut up Darwin.” Pyra spat. “This time, I will make sure you stay down.”
“Still sore over what I did to your brother?” Darwin asked.
“I couldn’t care less what you did to Inferno. This isn’t for that snot nosed little brat, nor my overbearing father. This is for Heater.” Pyra growled.
“Oh right! The oldest Heat brat. War started because Sobrium killed him, right?” Darwin said as he cleaned out his ear with one finger. He sniffed the earwax on his finger, then shrugged and proceeded to eat it. Pyra didn’t respond, he simply pounced forward, creating a sonic boom on his take off. The ground broke from the force of the jump.
“How dare you take a vacation on this moon!” Pyra shouted. “How dare you attack my brothers grave!”
“Hey, I just wanted a good view of your castle is all!” Darwin chuckled as he rolled out of the way. Darwin traced Pyras fist, watching it extend past him before sweeping his feet. Pyra fell sideways, losing his footing, but quickly spun around and smacked Darwin with his tail. Darwin held his jaw and spat blood. He chuckled, then licked some of the blood off his lip.
“Juicy.” He chuckled. The moon at this point was rotating away from the planet. There would be no oxygen for Darwin, which meant all Pyra had to do was delay this fight until Darwin was weakened. Darwin leapt at Pyra like a crazed animal, on all fours he bounded forward. Pyra had trouble predicting the movements of such an unusual fighting style, and barely got out of the way of the tackle. Darwin planted his feet into the ground, like a bull slowing to a stop, except this bull made a new crater in the moon. Pyra roared and hit Darwin square in the jaw before he could recuperate, and he didn’t let up. Pyra smacked him again. There would have been a sonic boom if they weren’t so far out of the atmosphere. Darwin picked Pyra up and suplexed him out of the blue. Pyra wrapped his tail around Darwin’s neck, but Darwin immediately pressed his chin to his chest, to prevent Pyra from choking him out. He then reached up through the supplex and grabbed Pyras side. He threw Pyra with one arm, sending him into the orbit around the moon. As Pyra came around the orbit, Darwin swung his fist, but he just barely missed Pyra, grazing his side. Pyra had charged up a large ki blast, and aimed it right at Darwin’s face.
“Well that’s not fair.” Darwin laughed before Pyra hit him with all his force. The explosion sent shockwaves around the moon. King Heat was sitting in a lawn chair outside his castle, watching the spectacle like it was a movie. Inferno sat, with Mur on a leash next to him. Her face was tear stained, but she knew better than to try to move. The collar around her neck was spiked, meaning if she struggled she would hurt herself. Inferno was smiling smugly, taking an occasional glance away from the fight to see his slave suffer. Heat’s other son, Warmer, was silently watching the spectacle, taking notes of Darwin’s fighting in case he may one day have to face him.
Mur coughed, jabbing her throat into a spike. She began to cry again, the fiery agony rekindled. “Inferno shut your mutt up or I will shut it up for you.” Heat said as he glared towards his son.
“Come now father, she is only a girl. She doesn’t know any better. She is only in her teens. Don’t know Soluris years compared to ours though, so I can’t say for sure how old she is.” Inferno began to trail off in thought on something trivial. Heat sighed and returned his gaze to the fight.
Pyra was now well worn from the fight. Darwin was relentless as he was ruthless. Every time Pyra hit him, he got back up. He definitely had internal bleeding, but he didn’t so much as flinch. Darwin jumped at Pyra again, knocking him towards his father on the planet. Heat stood up, catching his son with one arm. Pyra felt like he had just hit something harder than the ground, and turned to see his father standing with a smile on his face.
“You should have known better than to challenge him.” Heat chuckled in amusement.
“He is stronger… than last time.” Pyra laughed as he sat back.
“Do you think yourself the only one in the galaxy who trains?” Heat sighed.
“Warmer, if you could.” Heat commanded as he sat back down in the lawn chair, putting his arms behind his head. Pyra laid on the grass, looking up as his brother Warmer jumped into the fray. Darwin growled at Warmer like a rabid animal, and Warmer launched a barrage of ki attacks at him. Darwin effortlessly dodged him. Heat only laughed and commented “He really is a monster.”
Warmer used the distraction to move quickly behind Darwin, and deliver an Ax-kick to his head. Darwin fell to the ground, making yet another crater in the moon. Darwin growled and slowly began to stand up, pushing Warmer off of him. As he stood up, Warmer followed up with a roundhouse kick. Darwin stopped the attack with one arm. The resulting clash caused electricity to rip through the air, slashing the moon and leaving nasty scars on its surface.
“Red moons are lovely, aren’t they?” Darwin commented, before his smile disappeared. “Perfect for disguising all the blood.” Warmer leapt back, but Darwin grabbed his foot before he pulled away too far, and he lifted him over himself and slammed him on the ground. Blood erupted from his mouth, but Warmer clenched his teeth and kicked Darwin square in the stomach with his free foot. Darwin stumbled back a few steps. Warmer then freed his foot and planted both feet in Darwin’s stomach. He kicked off of Darwin’s stomach sending him flying around the moon’s orbit. As Darwin went by, Warmer could hear a faint ‘Weee!’ Coming from Darwin. He flew up and caught Darwin mid flight, but Darwin anticipated this. He slid a bit under Warmer and chomped down on his tail. Warmer gritted his teeth and let out a grunt.
“Got quite the pain threshold, don’t ya’?” Darwin chuckled. He grabbed Warmer by the head and threw him back down to the surface of the planet. Darwin then realized it was getting dark, and looked up to see the void of space. He then got a bright idea as he timed how fast the moon spun. Heat raised a brow, wondering what the man was up to. Warmer groaned and got up, looking to Pyra.
“Quite the monster, your rival.” Warmer said with an expression void of emotion. “Should we fight him together? I dislike the fact he is standing atop of Heater’s grave.”
“Warmer.” Heat said as he snapped towards his second born.
“Sorry father, but I must persist, what if he destroys Heater’s grave?” Warmer said, looking up at the moon.
“Doesn’t matter to me. He is dead, I am sure he wouldn’t care what happened to his grave.” Heat shrugged.
“Understood father.” Warmer bowed. Inferno rolled his eyes, returning his attention to Mur, licking the side of her face and pressing himself close to her.
“How do you like the light show?” Inferno asked.
“I enjoy watching your family lose.” Mur spat.
“Boy!” Heat shouted. Inferno immediately looked back to see Pyra standing like a toddler in his father’s gaze. He sighed in relief that it wasn’t him who was being scolded this time. “I said no. Leave Darwin to his devices for now.” Heat returned to his seat and sat down, taking a small cup with an umbrella in it and drinking the tropical fruit juice. The ground began to rumble, causing the magma to rise from the sea, scorching the edges of Heat’s makeshift garden. He frowned and looked up. The moon was approaching the planet.
“You have to be kidding me…” Pyra blinked. “He threw the moon at us!”
“He was waiting for it to rotate him into position.” Warmer noted, equally shocked. Inferno looked up from torturing Mur to scoff at the moon.
“You two are scared of a little moon? Even I could obliterate it in a single strike. It’s not that threatening considering the artificial gravity will restore in seconds.” Inferno laughed. Heat seemed to agree with his youngest son. He walked to the edge of the magma sea, letting the molten rock touch his feet. He raised his hand to the sky. He looked back at the grass around his castle, sighing and wondering how long it would take for it to grow out to this point again. As the moon approached the planet, Heat pointed at it with his index finger. It hit Heat’s finger dead on, and stopped completely. It began to crumble into the magma and Heat sighed. The sea rose ever so slightly. Heat flicked the moon, causing it to disappear. The atmosphere blew open. Where the moon was, then slowly began to close, weaker than before. The moon was hit so hard that even Darwin’s well trained instincts had no clue where it went, all he knew is it was probably about to strike some poor unsuspecting planet. He chuckled, having gotten what he came for. He vanished from sight, leaving the Heat family confused.
“What was he here for. Is he really as insane as they say?” Warmer asked.
“I know him better than most. He definitely had a reason to come here.” Pyra grumbled. He hoped his failure didn’t come back to bite him in the future.
The room reeked of sweat and blood, just like usual. Cabba groaned and moved over to Bryce, who was hitting a punching bag. “Who’s inside?” She asked.
Bryce smiled, turning to his sister. “I wish it was Ryal, but alas, it is actually just Ezzploot.” His sister nodded in understanding. So Ezzploot was their rat? No wonder he ended up on the inside of a punching bag. It wasn’t screaming, so either Bryce already killed him, or he passed out.
“When do you think you will unlock Super Saiyan?” Cabba asked.
“Soon sis, I am not as natural a fighter as you. I mean you got it a month or two ago.” Bryce laughed.
“Well I believe in you little bro.” Cabba ruffled Bryce’s hair. He had grown out of his street beggar appearance, and looked like a proper warrior now. She had Ghost to thank for that. She was still disgusted that Ryal would attack such a caring man like that, but he was definitely weaker than them. Ghost had begun to weed out the weaker Saiyans, sending them to other training programs. They had stayed however, thanks to the fact Cabba attained the coveted Super Saiyan power. No one here who hadn’t unlocked it could possibly match her might. Bryce wasn’t as lucky as she was. Ghost said she got the ‘good genes’ and Bryce would need some pushing to go Super Saiyan.
“Report!” A Cotemwall said as he ran towards Bryce and Cabba. “Nearly six months old, but we found it may be of some interest to you. Our scouts recorded a video of the capital building, and they were able to identify someone who was fighting with Darwin.” Ghost must have overheard this, because he just appeared behind Bryce and Cabba. He was insanely fast like that, and seemed to enjoy using it to freak the kids out.
“Well, what are you waiting for? Play the video.” Ghost urged, crossing his arms. The Cotemwall pulled out a piece of glass, attached to a plastic piece with some buttons on it. He pressed a few buttons, then held it up for the three of them to watch. The video started with someone talking about the patrols around Taton, and how often Sobrium’s officers left. Then, out of the blue, there was an explosion from the top floor of the building. Ghost raised a brow, while Cabba and Bryce leaned forward in anticipation. Out of the smoke, there flew two figures. The camera zoomed in on them, then provided a proper identification, and displayed some facts and numbers.
“That’s a Zenkon from the early days.” Bryce commented out of memory. “And… Derek?” Ghost took some time to try and remember Derek, but couldn’t. He assumed he was a part of the rubbish they threw out. There was a pause before Cabba growled. Bryce traced her eyes to the information she was reading.
“He’s Half-Saiyan?” Bryce asked, completely stunned by this information.
“He’s a dirty mix.” Cabba spat as she switched off with her brother, beating the bloody punching bag.
“A mix, yes, but there is still some Saiyan in there. Jacob was good at keeping secrets, even from me.” Ghost laughed. “The glasses really put you off didn’t they?”
“So what, do you want us to recruit him?” Bryce asked.
“No.” Ghost said, shooing the Cotemwall away, who left with a bow. “I want you to kill him.”
“Alright.” Bryce said, raising his voice to get over the sound of his sister hitting the punching bag. “Any reason why?”
“Don’t need to ask why Bryce, just when.” Cabba commented with a chuckle, stopping herself from hitting the bag, and turning to Ghost.
“If you are really curious, it is because Crimson and Derek are liabilities. Too dangerous to keep alive, else we risk the obscurity of this mission.” Ghost said.
“Crimson?” Bryce asked, turning to Cabba who shrugged, knowing as little as he did. Ghost groaned, grabbing the Cotemwall and bringing him back before he got out of the room. The man held up the screen again, and maneuvered to the point in the video where Darwin pushed Crimson out of the tower. A smile creeped across Ghost’s face as he watched Double save Crimson, then he skipped through the video to show Bryce and Cabba the footage of Crimson fleeing the scene.
“Those two are alive and well, and who knows what information was extracted from them when Darwin held them in the tower? What if they give Sobrium the thought to come take us out. Of course we could deal with small fry, but Darwin. I will admit for something that isn’t a Saiyan, his race is scary. Warriors, all of them, not weakened due to years of peace. That atop the fact he is completely mad makes him a dangerous foe.” Ghost rolled his shoulder and told the Cotemwall to leave.
“Do you know where they are?” Cabba asked.
“Scouts have been looking. Crimson fell off the grid, smart of him, but our dear friend Derek has been regrouping with others. Jason is one-” Ghost said before Cabba growled.
“Jason? That self entitled little brat?” Cabba asked.
“Yes, that one.” Ghost responded slowly. He was not aware there was a rivalry between the two.
“There are more. Paul is there too, as well as my old trainee Double, and some of his men. I also believe Ryal came back to join them, but the scout wasn’t sure if it was him because Jason attacked before they got a verifiable answer.” Ghost notified the two.
“Their power rating?” Bryce asked.
“D plus.” Ghost said. “Derek is a C however.”
“Not super strong are they?” Bryce asked. “Cabba can beat them. Is Double free game?”
“Of course, he is helping the enemy.” Ghost said as if it should have been obvious.
“Alright, I will focus on him.” Bryce nodded.
“Don’t think you can beat him so easily. Double, as well as all of his men, focus on multiplication techniques. Doubles is by far the trickiest. Usually when someone creates a duplicate, they split their power in half. That’s not the case with Double. He is actually capable of creating a clone that is equal in power without reducing his own.” Ghost informed the two, before saying a bit softer. “He was also my student. He’s an honorable fighter, but his heart is too pure for war. Make it quick will you?” Bryce nodded in understanding, then took a deep breath. He grabbed his sister and began making preparations. It would only be a week or so before they knew exactly where the big group was, and could accurately predict where they were going. He wanted to be at his best.
Ryal fell to his knees, sweat dripping from every area of his body. He was at his physical limit, but his cocky smile never faded. Jason was equally as winded, but was pushing himself to his feet. Not wanting to be shown up, Ryal stood up with Jason. Double, and his copy, stood with their arms crossed.
“How did he get so strong, so fast?” Ryal asked between breaths.
“Saiyans man, it’s almost-” Jason stopped to take a breath. “Like cheating.” On the side, Trips and Quad were facing off against Paul and Derek and Malkor. Everyone was going through strict training regimes, which they designed as a group to keep anyone from falling behind. Even Quad, someone who was dwarfed in power by the likes of Jason and Ryal, was able to go toe-to-toe with one of of them. After a decisive strike, Derek’s team lost because Paul was taken out. Quad and Trips may be weaker, but their strategy was far superior to the kids.
Derek decided to take a break, he was hungry, as was Quad, the other Saiyan. Double, Ryal, and Jason had been fighting for two straight days. While Derek went to hunt, being the captain of the losing team, Malkor sat down with the rest to watch Double fight Ryal and Jason. Just as they got seated, Double’s copy was holding Jason in a full nelson. Double flew directly at him, almost planting a kick in his stomach, were it not for Ryal’s intervention. Ryal grabbed Double’s extended leg, and swung him around in circles, sending him spinning off towards the ground before muttering “Spiral Takedown.” Double’s copy threw Jason towards the ground, who was able to stop right before impact, and fly back up. Midway through his attempt to return to the sky, Double jumped up and grabbed his leg, pulling him back to the ground, separating him from Ryal. Ryal immediately went after Jason to save him, but Doubles copy grabbed him by the shoulder, spun him around and struck him on the face. Ryal flew back a few feet before regaining his balance and flying towards his opponent. The copy swiftly stepped to the side and kicked Ryal to the ground. Jason looked up as he clashed with Double, only to be greeted by Ryal falling directly on top of him, knocking both him and Ryal down.
“That’s match.” Double said. His copy disappeared from the sky, bursting into little beams of energy. Ryal stood up weakly, with Jason following suit.
“You kids know you are about to pass out. Give up.” Double sighed.
“I guess you can say a certain stubborn friend of ours taught us a thing or two.” Ryal smiled. Jason kept his gaze locked on Double. He tensed up, preparing himself to lunge forward at a moment’s notice. Double sighed and stepped forward quickly, prompting Jason to lunge at him. As he left the ground he felt an extraordinary jolt of pain, originating from the leg Double grabbed. It slowed him up just enough for Double to land an easy hit on his head. Jason immediately fell limp and Double caught him with one arm, setting him gently on the ground.
“Found his weakness.” Double said, before turning to Ryal. “As per our rules, you two lose for today.” Ryal groaned and dragged Jason back to the others, setting him up against a tree. Malkor turned to Double as he walked over to join those resting in a small clearing.
“What was his weakness Double?” Malkor asked.
“He fight’s with way too much rage. It’s the opposite of how Derek fights by overthinking. He doesn’t think at all, he just lunges at his opponents, not even taking time to think about his injuries. Had he propelled himself with the other foot they could have kept going.” Double explained, casting a quick glance at Ryal, who was eavesdropping. “Ryal, I could tell from the beginning. He is the perfect fighter right now, he just needs to get stronger. He may appear cocky on the outside but he is smart, a team player and thinks about his next action quickly and carefully. It’s obvious he has the most experience fighting.”
“What about Paul?” Ryal asked out of curiosity. “Or Trips and Quad?”
“Paul is too soft.” Double began. “He isn’t getting the proper fighting experience out of these spars because he is too afraid of hurting his opponent. Obviously I don’t think this will be a problem in a real fight, but the lack of legitimate experience is going to really hurt him. As for Trips and Quad, I doubt you will be fighting side by side with them, but the two are like you Ryal. Enough experience to be a quick thinker in a fight, but they give you a one up with military training. Their teamwork crushes yours, but that’s not something to be ashamed of. Our entire squad relies on teamwork.”
“You have a squad of just four people?” Ryal asked.
“No.” Double answered after a short silence. “I had a ‘falling out’ with a few others from my unit. Not everyone wanted to come to Soluris and be vigilante heroes. They weren’t given nicknames, so these are there real names by the way. Syn and Ichirou. They wanted to fight on the frontlines, but I wanted to take a break and do some work helping the little people. They are mad at me right now. Wanted to fight on the front lines or something along those lines.”
“So you weren’t always the Aftermath Warriors?” Malkor asked.
“Nope. Our real name is the X Force.” Double stated.
“What’s the ‘X’ stand for?” Paul asked. Double turned to him, surprised he was still conscious. He shrugged, causing the others to laugh. Trips and Quad were talking to each other on the opposite side of the clearing.
“Who would have guessed that this was as close to the front lines as anything.” Ryal commented.
“Don’t.” Double said, casting a nasty glance towards Ryal.
“What-” Ryal began before Double cut him off.
“Don’t assume you know the horror of war. You guys were on Willowpeak, and that is candyland compared to some of the things I have seen.” Double said before sitting himself down and staring out across the clearing.
“You weren’t there.” Paul said weakly. “I am pretty sure hell was jealous.” Double stood up and was in front of Paul before he could react. Paul blinked and looked at Double, who snapped his fingers, causing Paul to flinch again.
“That’s how fast it happens.” Double said. “A beautiful, healthy, lively planet. In the snap of a finger it looks no different than a moon pelted by meteors. Atop those craters lay thousands upon thousands of bodies. All different colors of blood mixing into some sort of sick rainbow that makes you think the planet’s oceans were recolored. I have seen rivers flood because of how much blood was spilling into them. The planets are much smaller than Soluris, and that makes it so much worse. You can’t fly to safety because you will eventually just circle the planet, and see the same dead eyes staring back at you, and all across the world you will still hear the sound of blasters firing, ki being thrown around, people screaming in pain as they die, begging to see their families one last time and there is nothing…” Double choked for a second, swallowed and continued with a shaky voice. “Nothing you can do. On the battlefield, sometimes even I,who should be a leader to them, a man of superior strength and rank, feel like a prisoner on the battlefield. Strapped to a chair and forced to watch true horror unfold before my very eyes. Syn and Ichirou have grown desensitized to this kind of violence, but me? I will never get used to that kind of bloodshed.”
“Alright, alright. I’m sorry for asking.” Paul said, hoping to get Double to calm down. It seemed to have worked too, as Double did return to where he was sitting, but he left an uneasy air in his wake. Jason was listening to Double, but decided against commenting, for he had nothing to say that wouldn’t spark an argument. Ryal groaned and got up. He was bored with the drama, and decided to go out on a walk. No one asked him where he was going as he left, they all just sat in silence.
After an hour had passed, the sun was starting to set and Ryal was enjoying the view from atop a ridge near their “home base”. It made him a bit homesick to see a view like this. The trees swaying in the wind below him, the freshness of the air. The feeling of lands untamed and worlds unexplored. He got the same feeling when he saw the “Sky Lights” at Willowpeak. As he gazed off into the distance he felt a power. It was faint, and very distant, but there was something familiar about this tiny power that made him take notice. Where had he felt this power before? He thought on it a bit before he felt the power grow a bit, enough for the puzzles pieces to fit together. A smile creeped across his face. Somewhere in that direction, thousands of miles away, he could feel Crimson’s power.
Ryal turned away from the sunset, walking away with his head held high. He didn’t want to tell the others. They may be mad that he didn’t confirm that Crimson was alive, but he didn’t care. There were more pressing matters at hand, and Crimson escaped this war. If he wanted to come back, he would have come looking for them. Maybe he was wrong, and Crimson thought they were all dead. Either way it is what Ryal had decided on. He had grown stronger with the others around, but he still wasn’t the best. He still had one edge in fights thanks to his sister, but he was saving it for emergencies.
He made his way back to the clearing, passing over rivers and valleys in only an hour. Everyone had already gathered around a large fire, and on it was cooking one of the largest pieces of meat Ryal had ever seen. Just the sight of a hunk of meat that large, hearing it sizzle and pop, was enough to make his mouth water. Ryal hurried over to the group, sitting at the base of the large campfire. There was a smile on everyone’s face as they began to pull pieces of the tree sized meat off the campfire spit and chow down. Ryal rubbed his hands together and ripped off the largest piece. Jason took one glance at him, and grabbed another piece of meat, making his pile total more than Ryal. Seeing this as a challenge, Ryal stacked more food onto his pile, and this pattern kept going until a good portion of the bone was visible. Double sighed at their competitive natures, but didn’t say anything. In the end, Jason managed to eat the most. Ryal grumbled, upset about his defeat.
The days went by in a similar fashion for the rest of the week. They trained from dawn until the evening, then those who lost had to go get food for that night. Partners were switched every day, and because of this Ryal actually got to relax somedays. Anyone paired up with Jason lost that week. Jason was too out of control in his fights. He was on a warpath, becoming stronger was all he cared about. Being part of a team meant nothing to him if it wasn’t Derek or Paul. Only then would he take precautions, but it still wasn’t enough. Double was beginning to give up hope that these kids would ever be proper soldiers. They were strong, exceptionally so. Their weakest member was still twice as strong as an average soldier, and that was impressive, but still not enough. These kids wanted to take on the war itself.
Double didn’t sleep well that night. He was constantly thinking about whether or not he had prepared them enough. Over the past month or so he had actually grown quite attached to these kids. They were an odd bunch, scarred and molded by times of war, but they still had an innocence to them. Perhaps that was the reason he was staying around to train them. The kind of innocence most of them have is something the galaxy desperately needs. Jason and Derek were the only exceptions, but they were just confused kids.
After a long time listening to the cool night breeze whip through the trees and staring at the star filled sky, Double finally managed to fall asleep. There was a rustling in the bushes soon after he fell asleep. Trips heard the rustling and tensed up. He nudged Quad, who awoke with a groan, letting out a long breath as he did. He stopped as soon as he heard the rustling. He quickly used a multiplication technique to send a copy into the forest. His copy only made it so far before disappearing. Quad immediately nodded to Trips, who disappeared from view with incredible speed.
Quad went over and woke up Double. Double sighed, wanting to know what was the problem. He saw a silhouette behind Quad, one that he didn’t recognize. He immediately threw Quad to the side and rolled over to avoid a ki blast. The attacker turned their attention on Double and continuously streamed ki blasts towards him. Double in turn, rolled out of the way as fast as he could, getting into the brush of the forest. Trips returned on the other side of the clearing, where there was more of a visible path through the forest. He sped into the attacker, body slamming them. They fell on to the ground, but quickly swatted Trips away into a nearby tree, cracking it in two and sending Trips flying through the forest. Quad quickly followed after him to set up a team strategy. Double launched out of the brush at the assailant, but he was quickly struck in the stomach. They were fast, too fast. He let them throw him back. As his back hit a nearby tree, he stopped himself, splitting into two using his division technique.
There was another silhouette across the clearing, looking over a sleeping Malkor. Doubles copy rushed to Malkor’s aid, but fell just short. A ki blast was fired towards Malkor’s head. Luckily for him, Ryal was nearby, and dove in the way of the attack. The blast burned into his back, but did nothing more than burn his clothes. Ryal slapped Malkor, instantly jolting him awake. Ryal thrust his leg backwards, striking the attacker in the chest. They didn’t budge that much, but Double’s copy arrived soon after, hitting them with a spin kick, which knocked them clean on their back. Paul was awoken by the commotion, and immediately shook Derek awake. With the entire group getting their bearings of the situation, the assailants intensified their assault. The one by the original Double was locked in intense combat with him. Double was holding on by a thread. Without his copy, he was having trouble getting the upper hand.
Quad and Trips returned to assist him moments later. Trips charged straight for the opponent, who tensed up to stop his incoming assault. Trips immediately side stepped, running in a perfect triangle around his opponent. He made three afterimages of himself around them. Each afterimage began lashing out at the silhouette to confuse them. Quad meanwhile, formed a square above the triangle with his copies. He looked up at the spot above him, where Quin would have made a star with his four copies. He closed his eyes in pain and muttered to himself. “For you, little buddy.”
The opponent looked up, hoping to escape the triangle, but only seeing Quad covering all possible exits. They took some time to look for a perfect opening, but couldn’t find an opening in this defence. Angry, they prepared to fight back when they suddenly received a strike from above. They coughed and turned to see Double, who had dropped through the defence from above to hit them. They fell to one knee and roared in pain, then turned to strike Double. He went tumbling back into the sky, causing Trips and Quad to immediately break formation.
On the other side of the clearing, Jason dodged a blast from the silhouette, then moved in quickly and mercilessly. He hit them square in the stomach, but to little effect. He could tell this assailant was a woman just by the shape. He knew them from somewhere, he just couldn’t place it. He looked up as the assailant prepared a ki blast again. The light illuminated their face and Jason’s eyes widened. Ryal stopped himself from attacking too, and Derek stared, jaw dropped. Paul stood stuttering, his heart sinking to the bottom of his chest before breaking apart like ash in the wind. Cabba shot a blast straight at Jason’s face, and he didn’t move. Malkor shot a beam at the attack, pushing it out of the way just enough that it only left a small cut on Jason’s face.
“Ca-Cabba?” Jason asked. “It… can’t be you. You wouldn’t… what about when-” Jason choked. Cabba struck him angrily, not wanting him to utter the words.
“Idiot, I was obviously just getting close to you to measure your weaknesses.” Cabba sighed, fading into a silhouette again. Paul gazed across the clearing at the other assailant.
“Then that’s…” Paul began, stopping for a second to take it all in. “Bryce.”
“His name is not Bryce.” Cabba growled. “That is a human name. He is Olve! A pure-blooded Saiyan, unlike some people here.” Cabba cast a nasty gaze towards the silhouette she recognized as Derek. “Enough warning shots, I know who is who now. You were all so weak it was kind of hard to tell the difference.”
Bryce managed to grab hold of Trips in the meantime, and he flew up incredibly fast, then came crashing down towards the ground. He slammed Trips into the ground, causing him to spit blood up, a few of his organs were severely damaged on impact. Quad attacked Bryce from all four sides. He easily evaded most of the hits, only getting grazed by a few of them. He was impressed by Quad’s strength, easily assessing him as a Saiyan. He stopped two attacks with both arms, then kicked both his assailants. They disappeared into a puff of smoke.
“Just like the one earlier.” Bryce commented. He then hit the two remaining ones, sending them both flying in opposite directions. One disappeared into a smoke cloud, and the other hit a tree and went flying into the forest. Double growled in anger and struck Bryce across the face with all his might while he was distracted. Bryce hit the ground hard, causing half the clearing to break into a crater, sending dirt and stone everywhere, obscuring vision in a night that was already almost pitch black.
Cabba rushed to her brothers side, grabbing Double and throwing him out of the crater.
“She’s fast!” Derek commented.
“I could barely track her.” Ryal grumbled. As the dust settled, Ryal could see Cabba helping her brother up and dusting him off a bit.
“Don’t be so careless Olve.” She scolded him.
“Sorry Cabba, I will do better.” Bryce said with his head hung low. The others lined up with Ryal next to the crater. They all got into a fighting stance, ready to launch themselves at the two. Derek nudged Ryal and whispered to him.
“I have a plan.” Derek gulped. “Not a very good one, but here it is.” Derek told Ryal to pass it to the others. Jason wasn’t really paying attention. He didn’t even argue the plan, he just stood there and stared at Cabba, his mind running wild with rouge thoughts. His body betrayed him, remaining frozen there. “Now!” Derek shouted. Jason stood there as they all rushed Cabba. She sighed and crossed her arms, waiting for all of them. Derek hit her square on with a hook punch. There was a loud boom as the two ki forces connected, but Derek smirked at her. He opened his land, light pouring out from the cracks. “Luminescent Bomb!” He shouted with a sudden expression of rage on his face. Immediately Malkor and Paul shut their eyes. Jason was snapped out of his thinking by the blinding light from Derek’s attack. Cabba screamed in pain as she was completely blinded by the attack. Bryce was squinting, his eyes shut in pain. He reached out to help his sister, but Ryal tackled him, flying into the sky as fast as he could. He carried Bryce a good three miles away, throwing him to the ground before he had a chance to hit him.
Cabba swung her fist wildly to try and hit Derek. He hid his power and moved out of the way. Paul raised one hand to the sky, looking like he was holding a plate carefully. Derek and Malkor in the meantime, charged their own ki attacks to be launched at Cabba in her blinded state. Malkor called his “Brain Wave”. His attack launched first. It was like a lightning bolt, doing a zig zag pattern back and forth. Cabba barely moved out of the way. The attack pierced through the rock like a fork through a soft carrot.
“Tooth and Nail!” Derek shouted as he launched an immense ki blast towards Cabba. She had to jump as high as she could to avoid it. She began to regain her vision, and saw the attack clearing away all the forest in a straight path as far as the eye can see. Cabba smirked to herself, knowing that even that massive attack meant nothing to her. She snapped her attention back and saw several razor thin ki beams coming her way, all fired from Derek’s fingertips. She moved out of the way, knowing better than to try and take an attack like that head on. Unfortunately for her, the surprise of the attack made it impossible for her to dodge one of the beams, and it pierced straight through her arm. She screamed in pain and held the hold in her arm. Derek had wounded her hand to hand combat abilities, now, the only thing left was to send Jason in. However Jason still was just standing there. Staring up at her with a look of confusion and regret plastered across his face. Where was his rage when they needed it? Derek grumbled and started thinking of a new plan. He looked to Paul, who was just standing still. He was sweating profusely, despite having not moved from the exact spot he was in. Derek looked up and saw a massive ball of ki high in the sky. It was absolutely humongous, and if Paul sent it a mile or so into the sky, it could be mistaken for a second sun.
Derek didn’t stare at it though. The light it produced was already noticeable enough, and if Cabba wasn’t focused on dodging their attacks or screaming in agony, she would definitely have noticed it. Bryce on the other hand, had found himself face down in the dirt. Ryal stood behind him, arms crossed and a cold gaze locked on him.
“Let me help my sister Ryal!” Bryce shouted.
“Not a chance Bryce! A man doesn’t let his enemies walk away unharmed!” Ryal shouted.
“You may think you’re all tough because you stormed our base, but we weeded out the weak Saiyans, and guess what, Ryal?” Bryce asked with a growl. Ryal stood unmoving, letting Bryce monologue like a parent watching a toddler throw a fit. “I wasn’t one of them!” Bryce finished. His voice had grown louder with his rage. He launched himself at Ryal, who had actually been preparing himself the entire time. He raised his foot to Bryce’s face and stomped him down to the ground. Bryce sat there with his face in the mud, growling like a feral animal. Ryal pressed down as hard as he could, burying his head in the ground. Bryce pushed himself up as fast as he could, shoving Ryal back. Ryal quickly regained his balance and stood with his arms crossed again. He planned to aggravate Bryce as much as he could to try and make him fight more ferally. He was used to fighting feral opponents several times stronger than him, it would make this fight far easier.
Bryce did just this, swinging a wild hook at Ryal. Ryal used both arms to block the attack. It was far stronger than he thought, and his arms flared up with pain as Bryce pressed his swing forward. Ryal grabbed Bryce’s arms and ducked under them, sweeping out his legs from under him. Bryce fell flat on his face, and jumped back up instinctively. Ryal was waiting for him with a fist extended. Bryce ended up hitting Ryal with the force of his own jump. It damaged Ryal’s fist heavily to take an impact like that, but Bryce almost knocked himself out.
“Dumbass!” He shouted, holding his head. “I am so strong that even me spitting could kill you, and you just stick your arm out!”
“A man doesn’t-” Ryal stopped and closed his eyes. He gritted his teeth for a moment “I don’t need both my arms.” Bryce kicked at Ryal suddenly. He jolted his head to the side, but not enough. The kick hit him in the jaw, instantly dislocating Ryal’s jaw. Ryal went flying back, sliding along the ground, burrowing into the dirt on his way along the ground. He stopped when he hit a boulder, getting the wind knocked out of him. He took a second to catch his breath, but when he looked up Bryce had grabbed him.
“Stay out of my way.” Bryce sighed.
“I knew you didn’t have it in you.” Ryal smiled coyly.
“Shut it.” Bryce said, then dropped Ryal. “You already delayed me from helping my sister enough. Move against me again and I will kill you.” Ryal said nothing and sat against the boulder. Bryce gave him one sad glance before flying off. He couldn’t kill him. He kept hearing his boisterous laughs in his head, kept seeing his loud cocky grin as he told him to ‘man up and take control of fate’. Whatever that meant. He wasn’t like his sister. He couldn’t think cruelly, no matter how much he tried to force himself to. He really had a hard time doing this, but Ghost had given them so much. How could he say no? Even if they are old friends, he had to kill one of them, or else his sister would get mad at him. It was unavoidable, so perhaps he would go after the x force soldiers? That wouldn’t weigh heavily on his conscious.
He returned to see his sister’s side to see her screaming in pain. He looked above her to see the largest ki blast he had ever seen in his life. There was a lot of power radiating from this thing, where in the world had it come from? Bryce traced the energies source to Paul, who was staring at him, teeth gritted and tears streaming down his face. He was outputting far more energy than Bryce had sensed in him earlier.
“Traitors. Liars!” Paul shouted through his tears. “You can’t just… come back here to kill us. We were… friends.” Paul had to stop every few seconds to sniffle. Bryce felt tears coming to his eyes, but Cabba turned to Paul and her eyes widened.
“Paul! Hit them!” Derek shouted.
“I…” Paul began.
“Throw it Paul!” Derek roared.
“I can’t! I can’t do it to them! I just can’t!” Paul broke down sobbing, his grief multiplied. Cabba looked at him, then vanished from sight. Paul began to panick, looking around for her. The ki ball had illuminated the area, clear as day, but she was nowhere to be seen.
“Paul!” Malkor shouted. “Behind you!” Paul began to turn but it was too late. There was a sharp pain, and he looked down. He saw Cabba’s fist, bloodied from running straight through his abdomen. Everything stopped for a moment. Derek’s screams of anger, Malkor’s cry of surprise, Bryce’s roar of grief. Paul couldn’t hear any of it as the world seemed to slip away from him. He fell limp, the energy he had been gathering fading into the wind. The sun had began to rise. Dawn had arrived on Soluris. Paul fell to his knees and stared at the sunrise.
“It’s… so beautiful.” Paul said with a smile before falling limp. Cabba pulled her fist from his abdomen, throwing him to the side like a disgusting piece of garbage. Double returned with Quad a moment later and saw Paul on the ground. He said nothing. He didn’t scream or shout, or even shoot Cabba a nasty gaze. He just stared at the corpse, setting Quad to the side to allow him to rest. If only he had stayed nearby, his copy wouldn’t have disappeared. This was no time for him to feel guilty, it was time to feel nothing. To fight intelligently so the rest may survive.
Double walked towards Cabba, intent on taking her on. What he didn’t expect was for Bryce to mimic Ryal’s earlier move, and tackle him. It took him off guard and he was dragged off into the distance. Cabba gave her brother a thumbs-up as he left, letting him know that she had it from here.
“Only three of you left. This doesn’t have to be slow and painful you know. You could have been asleep for all of this.” Cabba sighed. She felt a sudden surge of power and looked up. Jason was standing there, the earth quaking around him. Pebbles were floating up off the ground, caught in the streams of his aura, which was a visible red glow around him. The energy that had begun to scatter into the wind began to pour into Jason. He was absorbing it.
“Jason stop! That’s too dangerou-” Derek managed to get out before Jason threw him to the side forcefully. He launched himself at Cabba, causing her to fall back in surprise. He had gained a lot of power in that short time. He hit her square in the stomach, causing her to cough up blood. She looked up at Jason. His skin was beat red, his veins were bulging from his skin, and his teeth were gritted in an unrivaled rage. Jason slammed her into the ground and hit down with all his force. She managed to move her head out of the way, but the force created a second crater in the ground.
“This is for everything you have done to me!” Jason roared, almost incomprehensible. He headbutt Cabba, breaking her nose. She let loose a savage roar in return, no longer toying around. She threw Jason to the side, but he quickly recovered and began charging at her on all fours like a mad animal. He hit her straight in the stomach with another headbutt. She growled and brought her fist down on his back. Jason began to force her back, and her hits were doing nothing to stop him. He pushed her through trees and boulders like they were twigs and pebbles. Cabba was helpless to stop Jason’s blind rage. She broke a few of his ribs, probably dealt some internal injuries to him, but he wasn’t slowing down. He was actually getting faster.
“He sent you didn’t he?” Double asked with a smile on his face.
“Ghost? Yes he did.” Bryce answered honestly.
“Did he tell you how he knew me?” Double questioned.
“You were his student.” Bryce answered.
“That is only half of the truth. Ghost is my father.” Double answered blatantly. “I was his very first student.” Bryce starred in a stunned silence.
“That is why he asked us to make it quick.” Bryce laughed in surprise.
“Guess he really does still care after all this time.” Double smiled. “Now then, only one of us is walking away from here.” Bryce nodded and got into a fighting stance. He immediately charged Double before he could do the same, attempting to catch him off guard. Double’s copy grabbed Bryce’s arm, throwing him to the side. Bryce groaned and got up. He rushed Double again and yet again he was stopped. He just couldn’t find an opening in Double’s defence. He may have been a bit weaker, but his defence tactics were flawless. He had already been hit by him once before, and it wasn’t something he was going to walk away from again. His fight with Ryal had weakened him a bit. He couldn’t let this fight wear him down too much in case his sister needed him, not that he thought she would.
Double ran past Bryce with an arm outstretched. He caught Bryce’s neck with his arm, and slammed him into trees as he ran. Bryce tried to get out, but Double’s copy was flying behind him, holding Bryce’s shoulders so he couldn’t move too much. Double let go and sent Bryce launching into the side of a nearby hill. He burrowed into it, creating a new cave in the side of the hill. He waited for Bryce to exit the hole, trying to be a fair fighter. He had a sort of code when it came to facing opponents. A code that prevented him from kicking them while they were down, something his father would have not cared about in the slightest.
Bryce didn’t exit after a short wait, which caused Double to worry. He felt out for his power level, and smirked. He punched into the ground below him and pulled Bryce up from the dirt. Bryce let out a cry of surprise as he was yanked from the ground, and it gave Double the opening he needed to strike him square across the temple. Bryce felt shockwaves of pain spread throughout his entire head. He crumpled over and held his head in pain. Double was insanely strong compared to what they had reported. Those reports must have been older than they thought. Everyone here was stronger than they should have been. Could he really beat them? He shook his head and groaned, standing up slowly. Double sighed, standing with his head in the clouds, thinking about his father. Bryce felt mocked, and charged at Double in anger. Double’s copy rushed to stop him, but Bryce slid under him as he lunged forward, and continued towards the real Double. He vanished from sight, causing Double to snap his attention to his back, a common place for enemies to appear after vanishing with a speed blur. He felt Bryce’s foot connect with the back of his skull. He fell forward and let out a cry of pain and frustration.
“Sneaky move kid, waiting for me to turn around.” Double commended him. Bryce was getting ready to hit him again when someone suddenly grabbed him and put him in a full nelson, locking him away from using his arms.
“Let me go!” Bryce shouted, looking up and expecting to see Double’s copy, but instead he saw someone unexpected. Ryal was the one holding him. He was bleeding, bruised badly, but he still kept his serious expression. “Ryal let me go or I will kill you this time! I will!” Bryce struggled.
“Go.” Ryal said to Double in a manner unusual for him. Double wasn’t sure of what to think of Ryal being so serious. Usually he was cocky, attentive in battle, but never serious. It was actually kind of intimidating. “I said go Double! The other’s need you!” Ryal shouted. Double nodded in understanding and he took off with his copy. Ryal held Bryce back as best he could while Double took off. He didn’t know how this would end, but Double would definitely help the others.
Jason continued his savage assault on Cabba. She broke away from him, only to be hit in the back. She felt like her spine nearly snapped in two before she went rocketing forward from the force. She punched her fist to the ground, grabbing it to slow herself down as she flew. Dirt and grass flew away in piles, but she was able to stop herself. Double arrived behind her soon after she stopped. She turned in surprise, wondering what happened to her little brother. This moment of hesitation proved to be nearly fatal, as Jason began launching a barrage of ki attacks. There were so many blasts flying towards her that she couldn’t dodge in any single direction to avoid them all. She started to move out of the way of each blast that was coming towards her, and it took all her effort to make sure they didn’t do any more than scratch and burn her lightly.
Double barely managed to jump out of the way of the continued assault, losing his copy inside the intense barrage. The attacks weren’t too strong on their own, but put together this massive barrage could tear apart just about anyone foolish enough to stand still in it. It was like watching a thousand soldiers all fire their blasters wildly in a single direction. The forest was devastated. A cliff in the distance just collapsed and fell over, and to top it all off, the blasts were only getting stronger. This wasn’t good, especially not for Jason. He was going to burn himself out completely if he didn’t stop soon. Double caught a glimpse of Derek walking through the intense wind that resulted from Jason’s explosive attack.
Derek was walking easily through the wind, making his way to Jason. Jason looked like he was going to explode any second now. Cabba was barely making her way around the blasts. Jason wasn’t even aiming for her, just everything in her general vicinity. Derek got right behind Jason, taking a second to watching his arms move furiously back and forth as he fired each individual blast. Derek reached forward and placed one arm on his shoulder. Jason roared and turned around to smack Derek, but stopped just short of hitting him. Derek was bleeding from his head. A result of when Jason shoved him. Jason began to calm, and took a few breaths.
“Derek.” His voice trembled. “I am so sorry. I couldn’t…” Jason choked and Derek sighed lightly.
“Are you done now?” He asked calmly. Jason slowly nodded his head and Derek patted him on the shoulder. He walked forward to look at Cabba, who was on her knees, taking deep breaths. Jason’s attack had worn her out considerably. Behind her was nothing but a steep hill, there was nowhere for her to hide. Jason had eliminated most of the surrounding forest, and in her condition she wasn’t going to survive a fall like that. Jason walked up beside Derek, and Malkor landed next to them. Malkor closed his eyes and raised a finger, preparing to end Cabba’s life. Jason grabbed his finger, stopping him.
“No. It should be me who ends this.” Jason told him. Malkor sighed and didn’t argue. He let Jason walk forward in front of Cabba. She looked up at him with a sad, familiar expression on her face. Jason didn’t give her what she was looking for, his expression remained the same: enraged.
“Cabba!” Bryce shouted as he landed near her. “Cabba, no!” Bryce continued to cry out from behind her. Jason raised his hand in front of Cabba, preparing to execute her. Bryce shouted again, but he fell on one knee. He was too weak to be of any help. Jason quickly shifted from Cabba’s head to Bryce. Everyone’s eyes widened in surprise, especially Cabba’s. Jason let loose the remainder of his power to hit Bryce. There was a bright golden flash as Cabba dove in the way of the attack for her brother, and it hit her, then slammed her into her brother, and finally sent the both of them went flying off into the distance, too far to even see. Jason dropped his arm, the ki dissipating and vanishing into a thin line. Everything in the way was disintegrated, leaving a perfect circle leaving the cliff face on a diagonal path.
“It’s over.” Derek sighed. “They’re gone.”
“Yeah, I think that is that.” Malkor said sadly. What Jason did was dirty, but it worked. Cabba died trying to save her brother, and the blast took him out too. Double landed by the three of them and took one long look at the monsters he had helped create. He turned around and walked off to go tend to Quad and Trip’s injuries. Jason fell on his backside, and decided to just stare off the hillside. Derek spent some time with him, but eventually realized what was best, and left to go back to base camp. Malkor stayed at Jason’s side until night began to fall, at which he left and went back to the clearing.
Ryal stumbled out of the brush about an hour after, and saw the giant barren wasteland that was leftover after Jason’s attack. He looked off the edge of the steep hill to see the cliff in the distance that had been pummeled into a hill. Ryal sighed and limped back to the clearing, not in the mood to deal with anyone’s crying and whining. Not that he didn’t care, he was just out of patience. Jason was left alone on the cliff, and that is where he fell asleep for the night. Alone in the cold darkness, rage comforting his bruised and wounded heart.
“Sorry!” Dayereh shouted as he ran over to pick Crimson up. “I didn’t realize how strong I had gotten from Kuele and Bolt’s training.
“I don’t know what’s more dangerous, you in a fight, or you when you are being klutzy!” Crimson shouted. Dayereh rolled his eyes and the two began to laugh. Kuele sat in a small chair outside his building and looked over the sea of clouds. Crimson had made considerable progress in his training, and Dayereh was really helping him grow stronger. The two were great students, albeit Dayereh’s klutziness did get on his nerves sometimes.
“Kuele, sir?” Crimson asked as he made his way over to him.
“Yes Crimson?” Kuele responded with a small sigh.
“You have a power beyond ki, right? Do you think…” Crimson stopped for a second to think about whether or not it was appropriate to ask.
“Crimson you can ask me for small favors you know, I am not uptight like some in my position.” Kuele chuckled.
“Do you think you could see how my friends are doing?” Crimson asked.
“Sure thing, just give me a second.” Kuele said and leaned forward in his chair, placing his elbows on his knees and locking his fingers together. He rested his head on his hands, and closed his eyes for a moment. Crimson waited for a small bit before Kuele opened his eyes and looked at him.
“One of them was just barely in range to feel you get your butt kicked by Dayereh.” Kuele smirked. “Looks like the rest are all training to get stronger.”
“Awesome!” Crimson smiled. “I have to keep up!”
“Not possible.” Kuele sighed. Crimson’s smile turned into a frown. “They are all leagues ahead of you right now. Your refusal to do any training personally is slowing you down a lot.”
“Kuele the last time I trained with those techniques was with…” Crimson trailed off. Bolt patted him on the back, surprising Crimson. He looked back at Bolt, who stared at him with an unusual smile. It looked very forced, but it made Crimson ease up none the less.
“I know it’s hard for you, but if you want to keep up with people when you don’t have the potential they do, you have to be committed to training three times as much as they are. In the morning you must get up and train, in the afternoon you spar, and at night you train again. You can’t just get stronger on sparring alone.” Bolt said. Crimson turned to Kuele, who nodded in approval of Bolt’s words. Crimson sighed and said his goodbyes for the day, and went down the long staircase with Dayereh.
“Did he tell you to do personal training again?” Dayereh asked.
“Yeah.” Crimson answered. “I just really wish they had another way to do it. He told me to train, but it just feels wrong without him, you know?” Crimson asked, turning to Dayereh. Dayereh laughed softly and answered.
“Yeah I know. Hey look, there is someone I want you to meet!” Dayereh said in a sudden change of topic.
“Who is it?” Crimson asked, turning to see Dayereh had been obscured by the clouds. Crimson got out of the clouds and looked around to see Dayereh was no longer next to him. He turned to look down the stairs and saw Dayereh was tumbling down them. Crimson immediately jumped into action and bounded down the stairs. He began to gain ground on Dayereh, as he could now hear him shouting.
“I am going to puke!” Dayereh cried out, managing to get a word out every time he rolled. The fall wasn’t going to hurt him due to his ki. Crimson was more worried about him tumbling into someone. Crimson just about reached him when he hit a bump and went flying into the air. Crimson saw a strange short walking dog person. It threw him off enough that he didn’t realize Dayereh was crashing right into him. The man let out cry of surprise as Dayereh tumbled into him. Crimson caught the both of them just in time to prevent any further damage. The man fell on his tush one stair down, and Crimson was just barely holding onto his little staff with one finger. The dog man used his staff to stand back up and cast a nasty glance at Dayereh, who was incredibly dizzy.
After Dayereh had a few moments to catch his breath, he turned and gave the man an apologetic bow. “I am very sorry Mothro, I did not see where I was going.”
“Obviously not.” He grumbled as he wiped himself off. Crimson offered him a helping hand, but he waved him off. “I don’t need your help, but thank you. I am quite capable of making the trek to the top still.”
“I haven’t seen you around Mothro.” Crimson said. Mothro bopped him on the head with his staff. Crimson had let his guard down so much that it actually hurt a little. He rubbed his head and looked confused.
“Mothro.” Dayereh said, annunciating the two o’s in his name. “Sorry, he doesn’t hit me because in his words: ‘It might make me even klutzier’.”
“Well I will be sure to remember.” Crimson smiled.
“Hmph, you’d better!” Mothro laughed and continued his way up the stairs. Crimson continued down the steps, this time making sure Dayereh didn’t tumble down. They were actually almost at the bottom after that whole thing. When they did manage to reach the bottom, there were a few Namekians waiting for Dayereh. They laughed and joked around with him in their native tongue, and Crimson smiled, waving Dayereh farewell before making his way back up to Kuele’s lookout.
He passed by Mothro on his way to the top, who grumbled some remark about Crimson’s youth, but other than that he didn’t so much as wave. Crimson got to the top to see Bolt and Kuele were waiting for him. Kuele was sitting the chair, pinching the bridge of his nose in shame, and Bolt had his eyes closed as if he was trying to unsee the event that just transpired. Crimson chuckled a little, but felt incredibly awkward. Perhaps they were mad he didn’t stop Dayereh sooner? Too late now, and everyone turned out alright, so it shouldn’t be that bad of a lecture.
Crimson heard Mothro’s staff clack as it hit the stone behind him, and he turned to see him making his steady ascent up the stairs.
“Is this the kid you wanted me to talk to?” Mothro asked Kuele as he reached the top. His long fur kind of poofed out and then relaxed as he talked. It was actually quite amusing.
“Yes, this is the one.” Kuele said. “He is quite the troublemaker. He refuses to train, only to spar. I am having a tough time having him keep up with Dayereh’s progress.”
“Alright Kuele, I will take it from here.” Mothro sighed. He bopped Crimson on the head with his staff, causing him to hold his head again.
“Hey! What-” Crimson asked before being smacked in the noggin again.
“Shush!” Mothro commanded. “And I don’t just mean your loud obnoxious voice! I mean shush those thoughts of yours! Not training? The most basic principle to getting stronger is to train and workout, and you refuse to do either of them? Are you dense!” He bopped Crimson on the head with his staff again. Crimson groaned and Mothro continued. “Whatever happened in the past is in the past. Leave it there! Stop draggin’ your feet in the present!” Crimson thought about protesting, telling this strange dog man that he couldn’t possibly understand his pain, until the third time he was clubbed in the head.
“Seriously. Stop it.” Crimson told Mothro.
“Don’t tell your elders what to do!” Mothro bopped him again.
“I thought dogs only lived around twenty years!” Crimson groaned.
“I have lived for eight-hundred years, and you will treat me with the respect I deserve!” Mothro shouted. Kuele sighed, and realized that bringing Mothro might not have been the best idea. He had a nasty habit of escalating things, and taking them off topic. “If your training is so sacred, then this is the perfect place to do it! Rarely anyone even knows where this place is, and even then it’s hard to find. People can’t just waltz up here uninvited.” Mortho huffed and looked away from Crimson. Crimson sighed and suddenly fell forward. Mothro jumped, wondering what was wrong, and bolt and Kuele rushed to his side. Crimson stuck out a hand to stop them all. He stopped just inches from the ground, balancing his entire body weight on just his toes. He leaned back and made his way back to a standing position.
“No armed push-ups as Ecanoya used to call them.” Crimson said. “They were part of the warm up.” Kuele and Bolt looked at each other.
“That is some one-of-a-kind training method you have there. I bet you are the only person left alive who even does that. For a warm-up no less!” Mothro encouraged. “Why kid, if you had been doing that from the beginning I don’t think any of those rough headed hooligans who train by blowing things up or hitting their friends would ever stay ahead of you. You could catch up to them in a week!”
“If I don’t burn myself out.” Crimson reminded him. “I barely got through this when I did it every day, I doubt I will be able to catch up in a single week after not doing it for several months”
“It’s a start.” Mothro nodded to him. “Get to training kid, come talk to me if you burn yourself out, I will be visiting Kuele for the rest of the week. It has been too long since I have been here.” Crimson nodded with a slight sigh. He knew the others were waiting for him. It was time for him to prepare, to get better and meet them on equal grounds. He continued with his warm-up, and Bolt sat down with Kuele and Mothro to marvel in the intensity of Crimson’s training. One finger handstands that required him to constantly hop up and down on one finger were just one example of the insane workout regime he had. Crimson called them “One finger Pogo’s”. After a while Crimson sat down and began to meditate. The others waited patiently to see what strange extreme he could push meditation to. They waited for about thirteen minutes before they realized Crimson was just meditating, not doing anything special. That was, until they looked up and saw there was a few ki blasts in the air above Crimson. He was moving them all around separately, controlling his ki fluidly. There was one red blast in the middle, swirling around several blue blasts, dodging them as they attacked from all angles.
Crimson finished his training regime a few hours later. It was the first time he had done it since Willowpeak, and it left him almost completely drained. He couldn’t even move on his own when it was done, and Mothro force fed him some strange bean. After he ate it he immediately felt at his top again. Everything was at one-hundred percent.
“What was that?” Crimson asked.
“A senzu bean. I grow them back at my house. I brought several with me when Kuele asked me to come.” Mothrow laughed.
“Why are you guys so keen on helping me?” Crimson asked. Mothro raised his stick to bop Crimson, causing him to tense up. Mothro lowered the stick and looked to Kuele.
“You have a good heart. It is very hard to find someone as purely innocent as you are. Very hard indeed. Ninety-nine percent of the people that go through what you go through usually come out pretty bad. Your life has been one bad story after another, and perhaps that is how you learned to be a good person? Maybe it was a positive role model. Who knows, but what I do know is that you try when most others would give up. That is what it means to be brave. You’re worth it kid, don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. Now shutup and go fetch us a big juicy steak.” Mothro encouraged. Crimson rolled his eyes and went looking for food.
His days went by pretty simply for the rest of the week. In the morning he would train, nearly pass out, Mothro would give him a bean, and he would be right as rain in an instant for sparring with Dayereh. At the end of the week he had gotten used to the workouts again, and since his pain tolerance was so high, he was able to practically ignore any injuries he sustained, although Kuele warned him against doing this.
Then it happened. On the last day before Mothro was to leave there was a huge ball of ki floating in the sky, far in the distance. It was like looking at the sun during the night time. Crimson turned to Kuele and Mothro, and they did not have a good tone in their voice.
“Go.” Kuele said as he threw Crimson the bag that Kuele held the senzu beans in.
“There’s only two left.” Crimson noted.
“Use them wisely.” Kuele sighed. Crimson nodded and rushed off. He had no clue what was happening, but all he knew was that it involved his friends. He stopped suddenly as he approached that giant ball of ki and he realized where all that power was coming from. It was Paul’s attack. He doubled his efforts, searching for Paul in the mass of energy that was nearby, but just as he found him, the light disappeared from the sky. Crimson stopped abruptly as he felt Paul’s ki dwindle away to almost nothing.
Bryce held his sister’s head close to his chest, rocking back and forth. She was limp, burned all over, and barely breathing.
“Olve…” She managed to get out in a weeze.
“Yes, Cabba I am here, what is it?” Bryce cried. He had never felt so much pain in his life.
“I’m… so sorry.” She said, closing her eyes and resting her head in his embrace.
“For what? Cabba?” Bryce sniffled. “Cabba?” He asked again when she didn’t respond.
“For leaving you… all alone… in this cruel world.” She managed to get out before everything just went black. The sky was cloudy, the plateau on which Bryce cradled his sister’s corpse was nothing but rock. It was an empty wasteland. Cabba passed away peacefully in his arms, a look of regret plastered across her face. She died to save him. She had to sacrifice herself, just so he may live.
This was all his fault. Ryal. If he had never taken him away from his sister, if he had never held him back, maybe he would have been strong enough to move out of the way of that attack, or at least arrive before Jason went beserk. Ryal’s name was like a curse word to him now. It twisted his insides, made him sick. All of them. All of them made him sick. Every last one of them deserved to watch Paul get butchered. That was only made up for a fraction of the pain he felt. Bryce looked down at his sister’s face and the clouds began to become darker. He couldn’t tell if it was his tears falling on her face, or if it had begun to rain because he no longer cared. This was his sister who raised him. The sister who gave him food when he was still scrawny and weak. The person who was always there to look out for him no matter what, not because of any sort of Saiyan pride, or because she was embarrassed to have a weak brother, but because she genuinely loved him.
Now she was gone. A hole was left in his heart that could never be filled again. He couldn’t even blame himself because he knew who was really to blame. He clenched his fist, holding his sister in his other arm. He began balling, completely broken. He wiped the tears from his eyes, but they just continued to fall. A storm began to brew around him, the daylight blackened out by the clouds in the sky. Bryce clenched his fist harder and harder, until his fingers broke through his skin and drew blood. He let out one, savage cry of rage, prolonged until his lungs contained no more oxygen, then he took a deep breath and held his sister tight, screaming at the sky again. Lightning began to strike nearby. Bryce was so caught up in his grief that he didn’t even notice. He continued to cry at the sky until something snapped inside of him. It was almost painful, but the snap sent a jolt throughout his entire body. The storm grew even fiercer as Bryce let loose one final cry of rage and pain. He felt anger turn into strength and he trembled, looking at his fist again. He was surrounded in a glowing yellow aura.
Olve set his sister down and stood up. He was no longer Bryce the weak, the helpless, the one who needed his sister for support. He was Olve, and he was a Super Saiyan. There was but one thing in life left for him to do. Exact his revenge on Ryal and the others.
Double hadn’t gone back to camp yet. He was sitting on the outskirts, lost in thought. Quad and Trips were sitting silently beside him. “Should we go back?” Trips asked.
“Why would we?” Quad responded.
“Well Syn and Ichirou probably need to know what happened.” Trips said in a condescending tone.
“What, that we turned children into cold blooded killers?” Quad asked.
“Obviously.” Trips sighed.
“I don’t even know what to say anymore. How do we come back from this? I was actually sure that this might turn out to be a good thing, but Ghost sends two kids that he trained, just two, and he crushes our entire force emotionally and physically. We were outmatched there. If it wasn’t for Jason’s quick thinking and brutal temper, we may have all died.” Quad sighed.
“That’s true.” Double said suddenly. “We need to be grateful that he was as quick a thinker as he was. I don’t know how he shook off the shock of Paul’s death fast enough to grab the ki-”
“I don’t think that was what enraged him.” Trips noted.
“What do you mean?” Double asked.
“Did you even listen to Jason when he cried out? Oh no wait, you were with Bryce! You only know what they told you. It’s not important really, I just think he got enraged by something else that Cabba did to him, before the fight I mean.” Trips noted.
“That is possible.” Quad shrugged.
“So what do we do with the kids?” Trips asked Double.
“What kids?” Double asked, turning to Trips. He and Quad went silent for a moment and listened to him. “There are no children in this world anymore. Just weapons.”
Chapter 5 is out now! Click the link below to go to it!
Thank you so much for sticking with me for 4 whole chapters. Please leave a comment telling me what you think.